After two fires in buildings owned by C. David George, a resident living next to another vacant building owned by George is concerned that the City hasn’t done more to secure the building.
A neighbor to George’s 2621 Pillsbury property has been calling 311 “multiple times a week” to report people living in 2621 Pillsbury, and they are frustrated with the City’s response.
`“Someone is clearly living in there,” the neighbor told Southwest Voices. “The busted window has a deflated air mattress against it now to keep out some draft.”
The landlord of 2619 Pillsbury, Brad Schaeppi, connected Southwest Voices with a neighbor, who reached out to Southwest Voices Monday afternoon. The resident has asked to remain anonymous.
“I’ve really struggled to get the city to come back and board up the property again,” the neighbor texted Southwest Voices Monday night. “Folks are clearly living in there, have broken down the boards, using trash cans to jump in via the second floor, etc. It's all a huge safety hazard.”
“It's really a shame,” the resident said, regarding the City’s slow response time to secure the building.
Two weeks ago, Southwest Voices confirmed that a first-floor window at the back of the 2621 Pillsbury building was wide open with a dumpster below it.
“City must have removed the dumpster when I told them they were being used to access the second floor,” the neighbor told Southwest Voices. “Now they're using a recycling bin.”
Early this morning, Southwest Voices confirmed that the back of the building is still open and accessible via the first-floor windows.
The City sent a statement from Regulatory Services to Southwest Voices yesterday at 5 p.m., which reads:
“Minneapolis Police authorized an emergency board-up of 2621 Pillsbury Ave on November 28 in response to unauthorized persons gaining access to the building. Regulatory Services has received confirmation from both the area fire inspector and Mr. George’s representative last week that the property was boarded.
The City inspects periodically to ensure that the property remains secured; notifying the property owner at the first sign that the premises are open to trespass so that he may take corrective action as quickly as possible.”
Most of the first floor of 2621 Pillsbury is boarded up, except in the back alley.
"Folks have clear entry into the basement. Literally anyone can go in there right now, the door is busted wide open," the neighbor said in reaction to the City's statement. "None of the second floor is boarded up, and that's what I've repeatedly been calling in about."
On December 6, Southwest Voices observed that a first-floor window at the back of the 2621 Pillsbury building was wide open with a dumpster below it.
People living in George’s vacant buildings are suspected of setting fires at 200 Oak Grove and 2312 Lyndale Ave. S. This week a blizzard and subzero temperatures are forecasted. Numerous encampments filled with unsheltered people have been cleared by the City in the last few months.
“Really can’t imagine living in there in these temps,” the neighbor said over text.