Sunday, November 15, 2009

Court Advocates Call: Mosa Building

If you have the time and inclination to make it to the Daley Center Monday morning, the case involving the Mosa Building (1014-1036 West Leland) is on the docket at 9:30am. The presence of the court advocates shows community concern; although they are silent representatives, occasionally housing court judges enter their presence into the court records.

At the court hearing a month ago, the residential units were placed into receivership, which not only resulted in the building being secured, it also prevented unknowing home buyers from being able to purchase the units and continuing the cycle of throwing good money after bad. (Click on the link for a short history of the problems with this building.)

The hearing will be on the 11th floor of the Daley Center, in Courtoom 1109 or 1107 (we're getting conflicting reports). If you attend, just check the docket of cases posted on the bulletin board for the property courtroom.

Update: See the comments for a lengthy account of what happened at housing court today.


  1. Hey Court Advocates, Thank you for attending this hearing today!! I'm curious to know what the outcome was and what we can expect of this property in the months to come?

  2. Did anyone attend and know what happen with the Mosa building today?

  3. One of the court advocates who attended today sent this to the UU mailbox and asked for it to be posted in the comments.

    "There was a full roster of interested parties in Housing Court today for the Mosa case: some potential buyers; representatives from banks who now own the foreclosed units; a very good city attorney; a representative of the agency which was appointed as receiver; city inspectors; and neighbors who showed up to serve as court advocates. The judge asked if anyone was there from the alderman's office, and ... silence. As usual, the neighbors were the only ones present to represent the community's interests. So, Ald. Shiller, I hope you're reading this so you can find out what's going on with a long-time problem building in your ward.

    The 12 residential units are now all in foreclosure and under the care of a receiver. The owner of the 6 commercial units (Mr. Mosa) cannot be found and the city attorney said he had returned to India. So now the commercial units are all about to go into foreclosure as well. I think they said that the same receiver would take charge of them, so one agency will soon have control of the entire building.

    The thing that surprised me the most was the city attorney saying that the condo conversion was illegal from Day One. The residential units don't have basement access, so they could never be legal condos. The attorney said that the building had consisted of residential rentals over commercial storefronts "forever" but "Mr. Mosa got greedy" and illegally converted the apartments to condos and sold them. The city will be restoring it to a single-owner building.

    Several of the potential buyers were interested in buying one or two units, and the attorney said no way -- it was all one building now. He suggested they form partnerships if they were interested in buying the building, but no individual units would, or could, be for sale.

    The judge asked the city inspectors about the condition of the building and if it was safe for winter. He also asked if the empty commercial units were able to be rented and start bringing in money. The inspectors said there's damage to one outer wall (on the Kenmore side) that needs to be addressed because it's a structural wall. The building is safe for winter because there's heat and the water pipes can't burst, like they did last winter.

    The receiver cleaned up the debris inside the commercial units, as ordered by the court, but says the floors are still warped and the ceilings have collapsed, so work will be needed before they can be rented. The water still hasn't been fixed because it's in the commercial units (owned by Mr. Mosa), but once receivership of those units is granted, they can go in and fix it.

    The judge asked the neighbors about the security of the building (much better now that it's been boarded up - thank you very much!) and thanked them for showing up as court advocates. He seemed satisfied with what's been done to the building in the month since the receiver took it over. The next court date is in March, and by then I imagine the commercial units will have been foreclosed on and will be under the care of the receiver. It'll be interesting to see what the receiver can accomplish as far as fixing the building, and if a buyer who might be interested in purchasing the entire building can be found.

    It will be a great day for this building and neighborhood if a responsible buyer comes in and ends this nightmare of neglect and hundreds of code violations. Oh, by the way, the previous owner of the building who sold it to Mr. Mosa? None other than Sam Alexander, whose building across the street (1001-1017 West Leland) is its own Housing Court nightmare. Awesome how a slumlord and his buddy can ruin an entire block in Uptown."

  4. Thanks CN and whoever sent the e-mail to UU! I appreciate the update!

  5. Thank you again to all who advocated for us in court, and for this great follow-up :-)

    Another question comes to mind when it is said that "Mr. Mosa cannot be found..." :: Who is that Afro Root restaurant paying rent to? Are they in that space free of charge (with no one to send rent to)? Might they know where he is?? Hmmm.....

  6. They're probably mailing their rent in like they always did and no one is cashing the checks. Another good reason for a receiver to take over the commercial aspects of the building. I bet the reason the judge wanted to know if the storefronts were ready to rent was to see if the building could start generating money for the receiver to use.