Saturday, September 25, 2010

Google is My Friend in Searching for Slumlord Data

Post and photo of a Bashir Moghul vacant lot by the Hawthorne Hawkman

I'm going for a Guinness World Record here.  Can I make someone fall asleep using fewer words in one sentence than ever before?  Here goes: In a Google search for a certain slumlord, a rather interesting spreadsheet with housing data came my way.

No, wait!  This really IS important for NoMi and even for all of Minneapolis.   Don't lose consciousness just yet, please.  The document in question is the 2009 Board of Appeal and Equalization list of applications for reductions in assessed property values.  Look, I'm sorry.  No matter how I try and present this stuff, it just comes off as verbal Ambien.  So let's jump right to the juicy stuff, shall we?

Bashir Moghul.  Quite a few Moghuls, actually.  Danna D III.  Property owners we haven't covered on NoMi blogs yet, such as My Truong, Steven Meldahl, and Patrick C. Burns come up quite a bit here too.  It's not known if any of those last four are problematic landlords, but in my experience, very few people or businesses seem to manage that many properties well.

Furthermore, until regular citizens are able to search property records with the name of the owner as a search criteria, lists like this may be the best way to determine something close to the full list of properties owned by a particular person.  Why?  Well, I'm glad you asked. It's because...
...if you owned fifty properties, let's say all or mostly in NoMi, where the foreclosure crisis and a dearth of slummy owners and predatory investors have driven down values, let's just say that you think the value at which your taxes are assessed is high on forty of those fifty properties.  Well, you're already going to be downtown contesting forty anyway.  May as well toss those other ten on the pile and see if you can't get a reduction on them too.

This notion plays out with a fair degree of accuracy on a (you guessed it) Bashir Moghul vacant lot.  The building at 2118 Aldrich Avenue North was demolished, and the assessed value went down from $32,100 to a measly $7,500.  The $133 in taxes was still too much for Moghul to pay.  (Okay, given his history of not wanting to pay property taxes pretty much anywhere, this is maybe not the perfect example, but you get my point.)

To further prove the need for a better city website, there are at least forty-two properties owned by Moghuls on this list, and most of those are in north Minneapolis.  The one referenced above was not on the supposedly comprehensive post done on JNS about Bashir Moghul's Minneapolis properties.

My Truong has, on this list at least, the Moghuls beat.  This person owns, by my count, sixty-one properties in Minneapolis, most of them in NoMi.  Readers are encouraged to share what they know about Truong, and I'm sure a drive by at least some of those properties is in order.  Here's hoping the properties are in good order too.

Highland Bank contested the assessed value on twenty-seven of its properties it was stuck with after the Danna D III fiasco.  You've got to wonder how many reductions in property values would have been necessary if it weren't for slumlords and scammers like Julia Rozhansky and Zack Dyab of Danna D III.

Longtime JNS readers who peruse this list with an eagle eye might pick up the name James Lang - the mysterious business partner of Keith Reitman on the infamous 1564 Hillside transaction.  Well, James contested the value of two properties - 3204/6 Bryant Ave S, which he no longer is listed as the owner, and 759 Pierce St NE, where he is significantly behind on taxes.

The person with far and beyond the MOST properties on this list is Steven Meldahl.  He's got a grand total of eighty-two shown, most in our neighborhoods.  And I have heard less than flattering things about how he manages at least his NoMi houses.

And although he doesn't own anything in NoMi on this document, Patrick C. Burns gets an honorable mention as a potential slumlord here.  First, he owns seventy-two properties, putting him behind only Meldahl.  And second, he has a different LLC name for pretty much every single one he owns.  Coming up with unique names for that many properties can get difficult after a fashion.  After a while, one apparently is left with the only option of naming a business after whatever spirit animal guided you through the last acid trip.  To wit:

Wombat LLC
Woolly Mammoth LLC
Water Moccasin LLC
Vampire Bat LLC (this may have been Burns's dark period)
Spotted Turtle LLC
Pop Goes the Weasel
Red Hot Summer (I am not making these up)
A series of "Musk" LLC's - rat, oxen, duck, and melon.
Fruit Fly LLC
Little Wolverine LLC
Chinchilla LLC (really, do YOU want to live in a property named after a Chinchilla?  Do a Google image search)
and if you want to give your children scarring nightmares, there's always 2082 11th Ave SE, where you can live in Black Widow Spider LLC

If any readers have info on the owners or properties on this list, feel free to share.


  1. fascinating --- love seeing that old fraudster Jim Swartwood on the list - just joking....

  2. I believe James Lang has passed on to slumlord heaven, where there's no such thing as property taxes, inspectors, 3-1-1 or revitalization bloggers. I believe this is why the transaction at the infamous "1564" reads something like Peter Lang, on behalf of James Lang.

    Also, yes, Meldahl is right up there with Reitman, Gregge Johnson and all the other crusty old white dudes who prey on our neighborhood.

    I remember being at the scene of a minor bus vs. suv crash on 26th and Meldahl was also a witness. Weird does not begin to describe him. Crusty and weird. Think Spanky Pete but with lots and lots of keys to peoples homes. Yuck.

  3. Ah yes, that's who I forgot to mention, anon 8:23. I don't know much about Swartwood's properties either. But since he hangs around with the Bill McGaughey "property rights" (read: landlords shouldn't be held accountable) political group, he at least bears looking into.

    And hey, if his properties are well-run, that could actually give credence to his views. Swartwood does have a fair amount in NoMi as well.

  4. City Boy,

    Care to provide a link to "your copy" of the list? My landlord is not on this copy, which isn't technically even my copy to begin with. I'll give you a few days while I consider removing a false comment.

    For the record, there's nothing wrong with contesting an incorrectly assessed property value. In fact, if my landlord needs to choose between raising my rent and contesting an assessed value (provide the assessment is wrong), of course I want him to keep my rent the same.

    This list shows quite a few properties owned by known slumlords, and identifies other possible slumlords that haven't been fully exposed just yet. That's what the point of the post is.

  5. Also, "Stephen Meldahl" was spelled incorrectly initially. It's Steven Meldahl, and the post has been changed to reflect that.

  6. City Boy,

    In case you haven't read each and every post, here's a post I wrote about why I would be very limited in what comments I published about my landlord. You claim to have a list that's different from mine and you mention my landlord.

    You have until noon on Wednesday to either publish a link to that list or send me a copy that will substantiate your claim. (I will not reveal the source of the list if you send it to me privately.) If you fail to do so, or if in doing so you reveal yourself to be a blog troll, your comment will be deleted.

  7. How anonymous is this if I leave a LONG comment on some of your Emperor Slumlords? I have background information that would inflame the Emporor slumlords. They'll come out swinging but they will be exposed. Best way to get a nacissitic person in the open is to expose him in public and watch him self destruct in blame and rage....besides, once it's on the Internet it's no longer in point, I was perusing Google for info on a couple slummier slumlords and I came across your sight and the I.I. both using his name. Can you be reached privately? I assume you review these before they post.

  8. Housecleaning item: a commenter named "City Boy" left a somewhat substantive comment that also mentioned my landlord. Given the personal connection he made to me, I informed him that he would have to verify the claim or the comment would be deleted. It's been quite some time and no verification was presented privately or on this blog. Therefore, the comment has been removed. I will publish it again if it is submitted with verification of the claims it made.

  9. Anon 11:03, since you left no other way to communicate, I'll have to respond openly here.

    I will of course keep your identity secret. I won't hide the fact that there are people on several other blogs that will attempt to guess where I get my information from. They aren't very good at it, but you should be aware that someone will likely guess at the origin of information if it's damaging enough.

    I can be reached at, or my cell is 952-210-1086.

  10. Blogger comments are completely anonymous. There is no tracing mechanism, no ip address indicators, completely anonymous. The angry folks you write about will try to use your info, your words, your writing style and take stabs in the dark, but that's all it is, random guesses mostly based on the people they are most obsessed with. Rest assured blogger comments are 100% anon.

  11. I just did a google search for My Troung who is the new Regional Property Mgr for Pro1 Mgmt. He fits right on in with Pro1 Mgmt. They have a bldg in Burnsville that is terrible and no one cares about what happens here in Burnsville. We got mold, water leaking everywhere, roaches, drug dealers, a joke of a staff (office & maint), mice, broken washer & dryers, broken security doors, broken down elevators, no emergency contact personal & this could go on.


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