Thursday, March 27, 2008

Makin' It Rain

I realized that it’s been awhile since I’ve reported on the antics of my favorite developer, Carlton Knight.

Last September, I wrote a post about a building that’s being converted by Mr. Knight needed major corrective work, despite the fact it was currently on the market.

According to DCAP an application was submitted to replace an existing porch.

I think any rational person can agree that it was a step in the right direction.

But that little voice inside my head told me there had to be more to this story. So I took a little trip down the Clerk of the Circuit Court’s office to dig up any possible paperwork.

Let me tell you folks, that was the best $1.75 I ever spent on a bus ride. The court papers did not disappoint.

So I don’t bore you I’ll cite a few samplings from the 27 page filing:

“Defendants Carlton Knight and the 1512-1514 E. Marquette LLC (‘The LLC’) are the developers of the subject property.”

“Beginning on or about January 2006, Defendants Carlton Knight and 1512-1514 E. Marquette converted the 6 unit apartment building that is the subject property to condominiums. That conversion required extensive renovations.”

“Defendants Carlton Knight, the Trust, and the LLC financed the renovations with a construction loan valued at $1,202,000, which included approximately $600,000 for the acquisition of the property.”

“Defendant Carlton Knight applied for several permits for the property. Defendant Carlton Knight failed to secure a certificate of occupancy for the property.”

The best part comes in the following eight counts the city alleges against Mr. Knight:

1. Failure to obtain a Certificate of Occupancy.
2. 56 separate building code violations.
3. Fines aren’t enough motivation to correct these issues, the city wants to building put into a receivership.
4. Making false statements of material fact.
5. Failure to obtain a general contractor’s license.
6. Failure to obtain a residential real estate developer’s license.
7. Failure to obtain a business license as a general contractor.
8. Failure to obtain a business license as a residential real estate developer.

My particular favorite is in count 4 (false statements of material fact) the city alleges:

“On August 18th, 2006, Carlton Knight applied for a permit for work being done on the subject property with the Department of Construction and Permits.”

“The application stated that the project was valued at under $10,000. The true value of the project was over $400,000.”

“Carlton Knight failed to disclose the true costs of work undertaken to rehabilitate the property when he falsified the amount of the rehabilitation project, and as a result violated 1-21-010 (2006).”

“Carlton Knight has violated and continues to violate section 1-21-010 of the general provisions of the municipal code by his continued failure to disclose the true costs of the work undertaken as required by DCAP and his knowingly falsifying his original application for a permit.”

I know each and every one of your are shocked by all of these allegations.

And just so you don’t die of curiosity, a few of the 56 separate building code violations range from the condition of the back porch, to inadequate lighting at an exterior entrance to the basement.

I cant imagine why the city would have a problem with various electrical code issues and failure to arrange mechanical ventilation or warm air heating system final inspection when the work was completed---do you?

I have to give the Department of Buildings and the Coporation Counsel mad props as they just seemed to finally inspect and document everything I’ve been writing about for the past two and a half years.

Only time will tell if the repairs are made or if Mr. Knight squeaks through another loophole.

Methinks the city just “made it rain” all over shady bootleg developers.

'Bout time.

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