Monday, September 14, 2009

Cuyler Problem Building Getting Some T.L.C.

A reader sends in the following pic and info:
"Several weeks ago I noticed that this building looked to be vacant and serious rehab seemed to be going on. Yesterday I saw this sign and took a photo of it. This is the apartment building in the 800 block of Cuyler that a murder took place in last year. Several shootings took place in front of this building and due to the gang and drug issues taking place around this property the City of Chicago took the neighborhood's complaints and got the owner into housing court several times. (Yet another reason to go to CAPS meetings!) The police were terrific about getting both our concerns and the arrest data made in and around this building to the people who address problem buildings.

There was talk that the property owner would be forced to sell the property. I can not confirm that this took place, however it was a real dump of a building and there were many problems with the people he allowed to live and loiter there. Over the past few months it has been so much quieter on that block. I think a major rehab of the building is a very positive thing.

We will need to keep an eye on who moves into the building and make sure we do not allow any problem behavior to return to the area."


  1. That building and another on that block of Cuyler have been a (pita) pain in the ass to this community for at least 25 years.

    It's nice to see it being renovated.

    Now the "Cuyler Boys" hispanic street gang will have one less building to operate out of.

    They are affiliated with one of the larger hispanic gangs. I forget which one as to me all bangers seem to be equally stupid.

  2. Applying the power of google to the phone number listed on the banner, the building appears to be managed (owned??) by Slobodan Pavlovic, Hillcrest Real Estate, 5922 N Clark St.

    He appears to be a consistent donor to the RNC

  3. Definitely was a problem building. There was a domestic dispute in the building last year where a person was beat to death with a 2x4. Also, there was drug dealing going on in 2006-2007 in the "alley" between this building and the Uhaul.

  4. I remember passing it when it was a real mess with all the garbage that hung out around it. Hope it will now be a turn for the better and the building management manages the residents they will allow to live there. I am going to get the number and give them a call and remind them that the residents hope it does not turn into what it once was a short time ago.......

  5. I think this building is really example #1 of what people expect Shiller to do. She can't magically clean up crime, but when residents identify a problem building, they expect their alderman to help them rectify the situation.

    I don't know the specifics of this situation, but I would guess that she probably didn't help here.

  6. sorry, the bldg was in Uptown

    Copyright Chicago Tribune
    Feb 13, 1986
    by Maurice Possley

    The former owner of a large apartment building in Uptown, who was convicted of conspiring to burn the structure to collect insurance even though it was still occupied, was sentenced Wednesday to 12 years in prison and fined $41,000.

    Assistant U.S. Atty. Joan Safford urged a lengthy prison term for Ivan Buljubasic, 35, and, comparing him to a terrorist, said the act of arson was "overwhelming to me . . . you don't know who will be hurt."

    U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb, a Milwaukee judge who sat as a visiting judge in the case, also ordered Buljubasic to make restitution of $4,200 to the previous owner of the building, who was forced to pay demolition costs of the damaged structure.

    "For reasons of personal greed, expediency and lack of concern for tenants, he hired and arranged for the building to be burned," Crabb said.

    Buljubasic, of 5036 N. Sheridan Rd., was convicted in December of conspiracy to burn the 43-unit building at 4417-29 N. Clifton Ave. Three fires, each fueled by gasoline poured in stairwells, struck the building in 1981 between Jan. 20 and Jan. 26.

    In a detailed explanation of the prosecution case, Safford said Buljubasic and two partners acquired the building in November, 1980, for $126,500. The building was home for 30 families and some "squatters," Safford said.

    Buljubasic had not invested any funds in the down payment and was to pay $1,000 a month interest for three years. A $350,000 fire insurance policy was being carried by the previous owner, she said.

    Safford said the defendant held the tenants in contempt and described them as "animals." He turned down the heat, kicked some tenants out and refused rent from others so he could serve eviction notices, she said.

    By Jan. 5, 1981, Buljubasic's partners had withdrawn, forfeiting their $25,000 down payment. He began looking for someone to torch the structure, she said.

    Three other individuals have been convicted previously for their roles in the arson.

    Robert Samuelson, then 18, was sentenced to four years in prison for setting the fires. Two middlemen, who negotiated with Samuelson on behalf of Buljubasic--Ilija Zabic, of Cicero, and Ivan Siprak, of Chicago--were sentenced to 10 years and eight years in prison, respectively.

    The sentencing culminated a four-year investigation by the arson division of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the bomb and arson squad of the Chicago Police Department.

  7. contributing to the GOP is the least of Pavlovic's sins

    we remember him up here, UU commentators need a course in remedial Googling

    Pavlovic testified he paid Robert Samuelson $9K to torch a Uptown building, with people in it.

    Pavlovic tried to defend himself by saying he had too because he was in fear of his life, his client the new owner of the bldg Ivan Buljubasic was crazy violent.


    US v. Ivan Buljubasic and Slobodan Pavlovic

    only in Chicago can a RE agent admit arson and resume his career as an apt bldg mgr

    what a country

  8. Hugh:
    Thanks for the links. I was in a bit of a rush when I initially posted and didn't make it to my second page on google. I see those links now. However, I knew once I got the name a long-time Uptown resident would have a better scoop.

    This is quite crazy/scary/disturbing

  9. PK - you sure you want to spin the partisan donation thing to make a point?

    Please don't.

    It matters not in this scenario.

  10. Thanks for posting the link, Hugh.

  11. Yo - I wasn't being partisan, just posting what first popped up when I searched the name. (If you don't believe me type "Slobodan Pavlovic" into google. My link should be 5th on the page and the first that has the address associated with Hillcrest Real Estate.)

    Personally I don't care who you donate money to so long as you (and those you contribute to) act like a responsible citizen.

  12. I remember that story. That was some nasty business.

    Arson is dangerous even in vacant buildings. To do it in an occupied building.............well let's just say these gentlemen are lucky this isn't "frontier justice" town.

  13. The campaign donations should be irrelevant. Although, in fairness the entity receiving the donations might want to return them rather than be associated with the gentleman in question.

  14. Personally I don't care who you donate money to so long as you (and those you contribute to) act like a responsible citizen.


    Heh. If the biggest accomplishment of this guy is having made a political donation ...


    IP - dead on re: returning the $.

  15. I dream of the day when we see this type of activity all over Uptown. And I would like to see this type of rennovated housing open to a mixed group of citizens that are all committed to a safe, vibrant, and diverse community.

  16. Pavlovic served as a RE agent in the sale of the bldg at 4417-29 N. Clifton to Ivan Buljubasic, and then served as his middle-man in hiring a arsonist to torch it for the insurance.

  17. Maybe if more of us put this kind of pressure on other problem buildings, we could see this type of transformation happening all over Uptown.

  18. Well, I hope the neighbors on Cuyler will call the CFD if they smell smoke.

    I initially thought this was a promising development, but that Pavlovic guy sounds like trouble.

  19. Pavlovic is a full-service realtor.

  20. Neighbors - Be on watch. Remember, Uptown was a wasteland of neglect for many years. I think we all have too much personally invested (i.e. too much to lose) to willingly allow that to happen again.

  21. I just decided to rent an apartment in the building at 820 W Cuyler. After reading all of this, I'm feeling extremely nervous. I never knew what happened at this building until right now. How are things over there now?