Last week we mentioned that renters in the Grand Lofts, owned by local mogul Dennis Keffalinos, were worked up over a notice that their building might not have a certificate of occupancy. But their panic was pretty much nothing compared to that of the residents at The Universal Lofts (also owned by Keffalinos). Universal tenants had an outright shit-fit (perhaps rightly so) when they were told they would have to vacate their building thanks to the lack of a certificate of occupancy. They also seem to have stirred up the residents of the other 10 Keffalinos-owned loft buildings (all listed on The Loft Place website). So has anyone sorted out this mess yet?
We spoke to a property manager at Boydell, the management company Keffalinos owns, who said that half of the properties did have certificates of occupancy and that a "clerical error" resulted in the current problem at the Universal Lofts. This unleashed an angry email campaign from a renter/group of renters who emailed Curbed Detroit (and two NYC Curbed employees) with all sorts of ALL CAPS and bold/underlined text explaining that Boydell was lying. The email claims:
Our current documentation for Boydell's lack of COO's is a handwritten list provided by a City Inspector's Office employee. The original reason for trying to obtain information on the COO's - was just to find out the places where tenants could safely relocate - since we were told we had one week to vacate our current homes. Official reports were not printed at that time - as the list was meant only as a guide of which buildings to avoid for displaced residents. All 11 Loft Place buildings were included on the handwritten list of Boydell properties that DID NOT have a valid COO. This morning we filed paperwork with the City to obtain a correct list of the Boydell properties which do not have Certificates of Occupancy. In the meantime, things at the Grand Lofts seem to have gotten worse. We received an "Emergency Correction Order" on city letterhead dated August 2 which suggests that the Grand Lofts cannot be used as a residence (the legal use is for a warehouse). Oh and by-the-by, the building might have bedbugs and a missing manhole cover in the parking lot (watch your step!) The document states the repairs needed to be made... yesterday.
· The Loft Place Explains Missing Certificates of Occupancy [Curbed Detroit]
· Residents of Grand Lofts, Owned by Kefallinos, Alarmed by Notice That Building Has No Certificate of Occupancy [Curbed Detroit]