Thursday, August 30, 2012

What Should Johnny's Next Blogging Obsession Be? Some Suggest The "Vacant Twins" At 3954, 3950 Bryant Ave. N.

Photos, blog post by John Hoff

After I announced my "What Should Johnny's Next Blogging Obsession Be? Contest," suggestions began coming my way by email, in person, on Facebook, and via anonymous comments submitted to this blog.

Wow, there's a LOT of candidates! I say that's a sign of a healthy blog democracy.

One resident who lives uncomfortably near 3950 and 3954 Bryant Ave. N. has dubbed these side-by-side boarded up houses the "The Vacant Twins" in apparent homage to slumlord Keith Reitman's recently demolished "Blue Twins," the subject of my previous "blogging obsession."

The owners of TJ Waconia now sit in prison but their negative impact on our neighborhood ripples forever out into the universe. At least one of these two houses on Bryant Ave. N. were part of their empire of fraud. Currently...

The house at 3954 Bryant Ave. N., pictured at the top, is currently owned by Jose G. Escamilla Vargas, whose address is listed at the same address as the property according to online city records. (What? Jose is living in a vacant and condemned house? I don't THINK so. This is, unfortunately, much too typical of the inadequate online city property records which are constantly out of date and full of minor inaccuracies) Jose's real address is probably 9002 Woodhall Circle, Brooklyn Park, where he is listed as the rental housing contact.

One upset neighbor who communicated with me believed BOTH the houses were part of the TJ Waconia empire. But so far, I can't confirm 3954 Bryant Ave. N. was part of their empire. In fact, no previous owner information is listed AT ALL for this property on city records. Have I mentioned in the last five minutes how inadequate those records are? I think I have.

As for 3950 Bryant Ave. N., it's also vacant and condemned. The owner is listed as Reodec08 LLC (that's a STUPID name) with an address listed at 1070 East 800 North, Orem, Utah. This house was definitely part of the TJ Waconia empire. It was sold by Audrey L. Hoffman to TJ Waconia in 2004 for $105,000. However, until today the address didn't appear on my "definitive list of TJ Waconia linked properties." It's always exciting to turn up another remnant of that empire, which was intimately involved in how I created this blog in the first place.

Here are some more recent pictures of "the vacant twins."

Here's another view, above, of 3954 Bryant Ave. N.

Every time I see a vacant TJ Waconia house, I always seem to walk away with the same impression: That's not such a bad house. What a shame nobody's living in it. Can somebody like GMHC buy this house and make it livable, pleeeeeease?

Notices on the door of 3954, now faded to whiteness. The last occupants of the house were apparently there unlawfully and a little remnant of their residency remains tacked to the door.

Peering in the doorway of 3954 through the screen, I can see a pile of phone books, utility shut off notices, and perhaps some rolled up newspapers.
The door on 3950 is messed up and remains partially open, a sign of neglect. Note the phone book on the step, just behind the branches of the overgrown shrub.

Two or maybe it three unwanted phone books sat on the front step. I removed these from the steps. I wish I could do what Ed Kohler of The Deets did and chuck these books on the front lawn of a major phone book company.

So--in regard to the upset neighbor who "nominated" these two houses in the obsessive blogging contest, your candidate is in the race. Keep the suggestions and complaints coming, folks, I just love writing about problem properties.

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