|3111 Upton Ave N, where Meldahl lost a license|
|2714 4th St N, Khan's former rental|
In my research for the equity blog post, I came across interesting information, and the Johnny Northside blog beat me to the punch by publishing news of Stephen Meldahl's rental license revocation before I could. What he missed, however, was a loss of a license by one of the few slumlords worse than Meldahl, Mahmood Khan.
The good--nay, great--news is that with the revocation of one license, a second revocation could lead to the loss of all of Khan's or Meldahl's licenses for up to five years. The Johnny Northside blog calls this "teeter[ing] on the verge of collapse." While I certainly hope that's the case, I believe that's grossly exaggerating the anticipated demise of these rental slumpires. There are several reasons why...
...First, the bottom line is that these two have too much skin in the game. Well, less so now that Meldahl has declared bankruptcy, but they are still too heavily invested in north Minneapolis to just walk away. (I use the phrase "invested in north Mineapolis" VERY loosely with these two.) Just over a year ago, Khan attempted to sell his properties in one fell swoop via Craigslist, and he wanted the princely sum of $4.5 million. While I highly doubt his collective property value is worth that, it is what HE thinks that will drive his reaction to having his licenses completely revoked.
In a recent puff piece on Khan, The Spokesman Recorder via the Twin Cities Daily Planet quoted Khan as saying he's already sold 2714 4th St N on contract for deed. Which is odd because the Hennepin County website currently lists the place as tax-forfeited land. (Link may contain different information as ownership is updated there.) The city of Minneapolis has "3238 Bryant LLC" as the proud new owner here. As far as Centerpoint Energy is concerned, they already shut off the gas because Khan didn't pay that bill.
|An envelope left open on the front porch of the property.|
Secondly, Khan at least has extensive experience in reversing rental license revocations. I remember a specific case where that happened at 2906 Emerson Avenue North. If he employs the same tactics here, we could see the revocation lifted. The license presumably wouldn't be restored, as Khan is no longer the owner. But a reversed revocation wouldn't count against him in attempts to eliminate all Minneapolis Mahmood Khan rental licenses. And Khan has been known to keep adverse actions against him tied up in court for years. (See 2222 4th Street North and 2639 Oliver Ave N as examples there.)
So it's a good thing to see our previous and current council actions (many of the steps taken here were done by the last council and signed off on by the new group) cracking down on some of the worst slumlords our city has. But we are nowhere near out of the woods yet.
As an example of how hard it is to make progress against these owners and turn these properties around, let's take a look at who Khan apparently sold 2714 4th St N to. That's a mysterious entity by the name of 3238 Bryant LLC. The LLC owns the eponymous address of 3238 Bryant Avenue North as well. If we could search city or county website by property owner, we could know how far the 3238 Bryant LLC's tentacles reach. Alas, such yeoman's work is left to the northside blogosphere.
The Secretary of State's website lists the mailing address of 3238 Bryant as 5037 Fremont Avenue North. That property is homesteaded by a Riaz Shad. Assuming this is the same Riaz Shad, the name is familiar to this blogger, as Riaz Shad was an owner of one of the several problematic duplexes on the 2600 block of Emerson Avenue North--2634 Emerson, to be exact.
I used "was" because Mr. Shad is no longer listed as an owner of 2634 Emerson. Instead, an entity called AHR Construction appears to be the owner. The registered office address for AHR is 10821 Zopfi Way in Maple Grove, a homestead of Scott Markquart. Not much is known yet about Markquart. But the mailing address goes to the 11916 Davenport Court NE in Blaine, the home of (cue "Jaws" music) Roberto Rodriguez, of Proton Investment fame.
So here we are. Just when we think we're making progress against one notorious property owner, we play the "six degrees of slumlord separation" game and find out that the property in question is connected to even more bad actors. Chipping away at one is indeed progress. But it's slow, arduous work that won't get easier anytime soon.