Thursday, May 04, 2006


You see my friends; my developer had greater plans in mind than just developing our building.

He also went ahead and developed an abandoned six flat down the block.

I can’t speak to the quality of work or the astuteness of the association.

What I can tell you is that a little over three years after its renovation & sale all six units have been foreclosed upon. The yard and the parkway are a weed choked mess and the lights in the hallways and foyers aren’t working.

Then of course, all of the light bulbs could have blown at the same time.

The association and the building didn’t stand a chance for survival as four out of the six units we owned by Ryan Hudson and Jamael Sanford.

Those names sound familiar?

Those are two of the four deadbeats who owned in our association. If their track record with us severs as any indication, it would stand to reason that the assessments weren’t getting paid at the six flat down the street as well.

As a matter of fact, the new owners didn’t even have the presence of mind to get their tax bills taken out of the name of the original trust that they bought the units from. So all of the tax bills were being mailed to the incorrect address---brilliant, huh?

Seeing that the building was a vacant wreck prior to it’s development and that it will further deteriorate into a vacant wreck now that all six units have been foreclosed upon, smart money says that for all of the “development” that happened it should have been left alone.

Despite the fact it’s a smidge easier on the eye, the circumstances of both the building and neighborhood are still the same.

The only thing that happened is that my developer and a whole bunch of “investors” got paid.

My developer got paid when the units sold; the investors more than likely got paid courtesy of CHAC and the housing voucher program as I suspect that the building was 100% rentals.

Then of course I could be wrong.

The only thing the neighborhood got was an eyesore and more foreclosure stats to add to our zip code.

Do you know how difficult it will be to attract good quality neighbors in a high foreclosure zip code? No matter how much you like the neighborhood, if a bank won’t loan to you because of the foreclosure numbers you have no other choice but to look elsewhere.

Without solid demographics, retailers won’t relocate stores to the area.

Without stores, yours truly has to continue to schlep 22 blocks south and 19 blocks west on public transportation for groceries.

I think that’s roughly about five miles for food and personal care items.

Did I happen to mention that I don’t have a car? It’s either lefty and righty, the CTA or sympathetic friends who provide the bulk of my transportation.

I’ve become a wiz on what you can put in a backpack or wheeled shopping cart.

What I have to do to have a garden each year no person should have to go through.

Nonetheless I’m sure you get my point.

That’s why I was so upset when I heard that my developer was taking on another project in the neighborhood.

While I fully realize that he cannot be held responsible for the actions of the unit owners once he sells his inventory, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Ryan Hudson and Jamael Sanford wound up owning down the street in another building rehabbed by my developer.

Then of course, fate does work in mysterious ways.

Anything’s possible.

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