Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Demolition Concerns in the Village

Regular readers are referred to an excellent article written by Michael Allen and posted on his blog titled Ecology of Absence. The blog focuses on preservation of the architectural and cultural heritage of St. Louis and on the demolition problem.

The article of interest ( http://ecoabsence.blogspot.com/2009/10/rehab-girls-seek-soulard-demolition.html ) was posted on Oct. 18, 2009 and notes that "Rehab Girls LLC" sought permission from the St. Louis Preservation Board, an arm of the Cultural Resource Office, to demolish 1927-9 S. 10th Street, an old neighborhood structure. The address of Rehab Girls LLC, according to State of Missouri records, is the same address as that of Rothschild Development Ltd, an owner of a large number of rental properties in Soulard, under the name of Rothschild Properties Soulard LLC. Ecology of Absence implied that Rehab Girls LLC was in fact closely linked to Rothschild Development Ltd.

As an aside, it should be noted that Rothschild Properties Soulard LLC does not have a particularly great reputation in Soulard, a reflection of the casual attitude displayed.

One property owner remarked that clean out of newly vacated apartments by Rothschild personnel often completely fills dumpsters, and other tenants, not seeming to know any better, then deposit their trash next to the dumpsters, resulting in a mess. "One time they deposited a recliner in a dumpster," this witness observed. This same person commented that their tenants are frequently noisy, drinking and partying until the police are called, and after, too.

Another property owner actually complained to Rothschild's office about some consistently noisy, disruptive tenants. The response from office personnel was: "It sounds to me that you need to display more neighborliness," which is secret code for "screw you, we really don’t care what our tenants do."

Another manifestation of their casualness is their attitude towards paying their real estate taxes. Rothschild Properties Soulard LLC did not pay 2008 real estate taxes on a number of its properties until sometime after the Dec. 31, 2008 deadline, according to posting dates on the web site of Gregory F. X. Daly, Collector of Revenue. If anybody wants to research this, begin at the Assessor’s Office site at http://stlcin.missouri.org/assessor/lookup.cfm.

Examples of late pays include:
1853 S. 9th (real estate tax payment for 2008 year posted on Collector of Revenue tax site on 10/08/2009),
1851 S. 10th (tax payment posted 10/08/2009),
900 Geyer (tax payment posted 10/08/2009),
1006 Geyer (tax payment posted 12/03/09),
1004 Geyer (tax payment posted 10/08/2009),
1005 Allen (tax payment posted 10/08/1009), etc. In all, as of 10/02/09 there were 22 Rothschild properties in Soulard in arrears. It is believed that all 2008 taxes have been paid by now.

Interestingly, note that real estate taxes on three properties owned by Kraiberg Properties LLC - registered agent: Robert W. Kraiberg, 1832 S. 8th Street - were also paid after the deadline. The tax bills were sent to the same address as that listed for Rothschild Properties Soulard LLC, which implies that Rothschild manages the properties. Examples:
1818 S. 8th (tax payment for 2008 posted on Collector of Revenue tax site on 12/10/2009),
1822 S. 8th (tax payment for 2008 year posted on 12/15/2009),
1824 S. 8th (tax payment for 2008 posted on 12/15/2009).

The Ecology of Absence blog posted the results of the request for the demolition permit in a story titled "Cultural Resources Office Stands Up for House in Soulard" ( http://ecoabsence.blogspot.com/2009/10/cultural-resources-office-stand-up-for.html ). Madame Chouteau certainly hopes that Rothschild, under the cover of Rehab Girls LLC, can do something with the building.


Brenda Starr said...

I work at a research facility in St. Louis County. The reaction from people with whom I work is laughter or sympathy when I tell them that I live is Soulard.

Do anyone in our Soulard neighborhood realize how ridiculous and uninhabitable our neighborhood looks to those who live elsewhere? And the reason form this ridicule is Mardi Gras. That event is ruining the neighborhood. When I first moved to Soulard fifteen years ago renters (of whom there are many in the red zone) were young professionals who lived quiet lives and went to regular jobs. Now those renters have moved elsewhere.

We are left with a young crowd of renters who turn the red zone into a fraternity environment on warm evenings. They sit out on the sidewalk in lawn chairs drinking beer and shouting out.

This kind of an environment is not conducive to a healthy neighborhood. A neighborhood either goes up or down, it is not static. We certainly are not going up.

Anonymous said...

Why am I not surprised about the Rothchild's company attitude toward the neighborhood.

Rothchild had long been considerd a slum landlord in Soulard. One only has to look at the outside condition of his buildings.

Anonymous said...

I rented from Red Brick briefly. Never again will I do business with them. They were rude slumlords.