Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Gregge Johnson Properties - A Photo Tour
Guest post and photos by the Hawthorne Hawkman
As previously reported, the city of Minneapolis is set to revoke Gregge Johnson's rental licenses as early as this Friday. After a previous photo tour of a slumlord's properties, I set out to compare Gregge Johnson's properties with others owned by slumlords.
During my walkabout, I ran into one resident who said that he was told by a city inspector that Johnson had as many as 58 properties and was losing 48 of them to foreclosure. This bit of information is unconfirmed but blog-worthy. The city council is reviewing licenses on only the properties previously mentioned, so those are the ones shown on this post. As always, JNS readers are encouraged to submit comments here. But since the revocation is coming before the city council on Friday, be aware this blog is independent from the city and comments should also be directed to your city council member.
Pictured above is...
3940 4th Ave S, complete with a close-up of a commonly-placed red placard indicating a rental license revocation. Johnson also seems to follow the Khan model of mismatched siding, although not as often as the first few properties seemed to indicate.
Question: what would you do if you had windows boarded by the city? Would you replace them, or paint the whole house "Castrejon Gray"? It looks like Johnson went with the latter here:
Next up is 3325 5th Ave S. Obvious problems ASIDE, this one initially doesn't look too bad.
Until you get to more window issues.
This gets somewhat confusing when looking at an awning UNDER a deck/porch area. Although I'm no expert it seems to me that SOMETHING wasn't built the way it ought to have been.
But then we come across the scariest garage ever seen. Children and budding young home inspectors with sensitive eyes should skip these photos. This looked seriously creepy, like it could have been a set for a scene in a low-budget horror flick. At best it deserves an entry on thereifixedit.com. I can imagine a prospective buyer asking Johnson, "What's the primary construction material used for this garage?" and he'd have a tough time deciding between plywood, tarpaulin, and old pickup truck.
I especially like the calendar from 2008 on the wall here. It's nice touches like this that make the difference between a squatter's HOUSE and a squatter's HOME.
1518 Park Ave and 2621 Oak Park Ave (the latter is in NoMi) actually look respectable.
We do have siding issues again:
1819 Queen Ave N was your typical vacant property, with a notable exception. The Natalie Johnson Lee flier in the door. This shouldn't be a knock on Natalie personally, but it does show sloppy campaign workers. The flier was most likely left AFTER the notice that the property had no rental license. Another sign on the door indicated the property's been winterized and a moldering phone book was on the front porch.
2222 McNair looks to be occupied. What's interesting here is that the placard indicating rental license revocation has been stripped away. Click on the picture for a closer examination, and you can see that it is indeed the same one posted on other properties. One wonders if anything was ever brought into compliance here, or did Johnson or someone else take this off without permission?
Nothing jumped out as noteworthy regarding 1639 Washburn ave N or 2911 Sheridan Ave N, but photos are posted here so that residents might recognize them and share information:
3459 Oliver Ave N looks gorgeous and had a curious notice on the back door:
3811 Humboldt Ave N is an odd one. It's included in the list of properties Johnson owns and will have a rental license revoked from. However, everything on the odd side of the 3800 block of Humboldt Ave N is, technically, a cemetery. Now who would live there? Either the address is wrong or Johnson tried to rent out a cemetery plot.
Finally, we have 3607 Bryant Ave N. This house was open to trespass in several ways, it had already been boarded at least once, and it appears as if Johnson used some city boards to shore up the front porch. And by "shore up," I mean "make only slightly less spongy." Visible from one window are blankets set up in a way that clearly indicate squatters--or worse--are spending the night.
And so ends another slummy fantastic voyage. Surprisingly, many of these houses look salvageable and even immediately habitable. One wonders how bad the other several dozen properties Johnson reportedly has lost or will lose are. It would also be terrific if the better properties could be (legally) lived in, while keeping rental income from Gregge Johnson. This is most likely a pipe dream, however. Any outrage over this situation should be directed at Johnson for his outright disregard for his own properties, his tenants, and the community as a whole. Let's create a culture in NoMi and throughout Minneapolis where we say that behavior of this nature by landlords will simply not be tolerated. Goodbye Gregge Johnson, and good riddance.