Thursday, April 24, 2014

Ballard News Tribune story about Goodman's retaliatory evictions

Great write up in the Ballard Tribune about the evictions of Michelle Kinnucan and two other members of the LTU. Shame on you, John Goodman. Your disgraceful actions are not going unnoticed. Each act against your own community, the community in which you grew up and enabled you to become so prosperous, becomes another part of your legacy. Seattle will not forget what you've done.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Goodman Real Estate lies again: eviction times radically accelerated

Josh Obendorf: Lying, or merely making another "mistake"?

In a letter on Goodman Real Estate letterhead dated October 31, 2013, one of the new owners of the Lockhaven Apartments, Josh Obendorf, admits, without ever actually apologizing, that their sudden, unexpected eviction of 22 residents in September 2013 was illegal (in corporate-speak this comes out as "not in accordance with the City of Seattle's Tenant Relocation Program"). Elsewhere, Obendorf calls the evictions "a mistake."

Nowhere in the letter will you find any evidence of any ethical qualms with springing 20-day evictions on so many people. However, you do find this pledge in Obendorf's letter: "As we move slowly forward, we are committed to deliberate and thoughtful communication with you to insure there are no surprises during these changes" (emphasis added).

Well, residents of two Lockhaven buildings were very surprised to learn recently that John Goodman, George Petrie, and the gang had lopped months off the relocation schedule. Since November, residents of 3053 and 3044 have been told repeatedly and in writing that they did not have to expect to leave their homes until the ends of October and September, respectively, and that Lockhaven buildings would be vacated and renovated in their entirety. As of now, half of 3053 is to be vacated by the end of April, shortening the relocation schedule by a full six months, and the residents of 3044 have to be out by the end of May, robbing them of four months to find new homes.

It appears that the "no surprises" pledge of Mr. Obendorf and the schedules given to tenants by Mr. John Goodman and his associates aren't worth the paper they were written on. But perhaps this is just another "mistake." Please help Lockhaven tenants get to the bottom of this matter by calling or emailing John Goodman (206.448.0259;, George Petrie (206.215.9789;, and Josh Obendorf (206.215.9893; Faxes can be sent to: 206.682.8996. Ask them what happened to "no surprises" and what good is a schedule that can change so dramatically on such short notice?

If you're a Lockhaven tenant in another building and have also been surprised to learn that Goodman Real Estate Lockhaven is breaking their pledges to you regarding the eviction schedule (or even if you're not surprised) then please reply to this email with more details so we can spread the word.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Rally against Goodman on Pier 70

Yesterday's rally on Pier 70, held in conjunction with our allies at the Theodora Apartments, was a smashing success. From My Ballard's account:

At 12 p.m. today tenants from across Seattle picketed the offices of Goodman Real Estate at Pier 70 downtown. The picket was organized by Ballard organization Lockhaven Tenants Union and Ravenna organization Theodora Rescue Committee.
Since hosting a press conference last month, Lockhaven Tenants Union has been continuing their ongoing battle against owners Goodman Real Estate to stay in their homes after being served with eviction notices last September.
This event was also covered by KUOW, the Ballard News Tribune and King 5. The King 5 report was especially gratifying, as it finally highlighted John Goodman's pattern of predatory business practices. Lockhaven is not happening in a vacuum. It's part of a business model that is draining our city of diversity and re-making for the benefit of the wealthy few.

The KUOW piece is also worth a listen, as LTU ally Eliana Horn is allowed to speak at length to Marcie Sillman about the reasons for the picket.

This is great news, people. This shows the power of tenant solidarity. We and our friends at the Theodora are telling our story and people are listening. Our voices have been heard on every TV station in town, in the Seattle City Council, and in Olympia. The actions of John Goodman and company will not be without consequences.

One of the comments on the My Ballard story shows how John Goodman's local reputation is deteriorating rapidly:
A local boy with so much potential should pay more attention to the existing urban fabric and social construct rather than pursue profit in a manner that will exclude many old time residents.
Shame on Goodman Real Estate and bravo to those who sacrificed their time to represent the predominant viewpoint.
This is especially despicable in light of donations, etc. (i.e. B & G club) to make the company and Goodman himself look like a respectable member of the community.
We would only add that it's definitely not too late for John Goodman to restore that respectability. We call on him again to do the right thing and not displace tenants from their homes.

Monday, March 10, 2014


 The Lockhaven Tenants Union distributed several hundred copies of our this "Wanted by the LTU" poster to passersby at or near the Bergen Place Park on Sunday, March 9. We plan to go out next Sunday for another round of raising awareness about predatory development in Ballard and hope you will join us.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

YELP against gentrification!

Our friends at the Tenants Union of Washington State have organized this fantastic action you can easily be part of. From their site:
The Lockhaven Tenants Union and Theodora Rescue Committee are asking for your solidarity in their fight against displacement by developer Goodman Real Estate. They are asking supporters to post reviews on the Lockhaven and the Viktoria (another building Goodman Real Estate is trying to fill) that may include points about Goodman Real Estate's practices such as these: 
  • Paying rent to Goodman Real Estate is contributing to the gentrification of Seattle. Goodman Real Estate is gentrifying Seattle by issuing massive rent increases and displacing working people and seniors all over the city
  • John Goodman is worth hundreds of millions of dollars.  Why are you paying so much rent from someone who doesn’t need the money?
  • Goodman Real Estate is making this city increasingly unaffordable by making cosmetic renovations to justify rent hikes in what was once affordable housing. Take a closer look at those renovations--how “luxurious” are they really?

Why YELP? You help tenants organizing to win affordability by shining the light on Goodman Real Estate's predatory habits, such as...

Pushing tenants out of Ballard: Goodman Real Estate purchased the Lockhaven Apartments, a 138 unit building in Ballard, in September 2013. The Lockhaven was market-rate affordable housing for working folks, seniors, and tenants with Section 8 vouchers. After Goodman Real Estate attempted to illegally evict tenants without relocation assistance, tenants have been organizing for five months asking Goodman Real Estate to keep rents affordable for the current tenants that live there. As of this writing, Goodman Real Estate has not put a single proposal forward to keep part or all of Lockhaven affordable, and plans to cosmetically renovate the  building, and raise the rent by as much as $700. In April, 6 buildings of tenants will be displaced.

Pushing tenants out of Ravenna: Goodman Real Estate has entered into a purchase and sale agreement with the Volunteers of America to purchase and redevelop one of the few remaining HUD Section 202 buildings left in Seattle. The tenants have formed the Theodora Rescue Committee to save their building. 

Pushed tenants out of the International District: Goodman Real Estate purchased the Downtowner, a 240-unit building that once had a HUD rent supplement contract. The Tenants Union of WA supported tenants in a campaign to get the federal government to fund vouchers for tenants covered by the rent supplement contract. Goodman Real Estate used low-income housing tax credits to rehabilitate the building, dubbed it the “Addison on Fourth”  and then raised the rents beyond the payment standard for tenants with vouchers. Only a handful of the original tenants at the Downtowner remain in their homes.  

“Goodman’s talents lie in carefully identifying and quickly purchasing distressed, underperforming or mismanaged properties. We reposition them…”
 - Goodman Real Estate Informational Video. "Repositioning" "underperforming" apartments is code for raising the rents in affordable housing!

Post a review on Yelp about Goodman Real Estate's gentrifying practices today! Click HERE to post to the Lockhaven Apartments page, and HERE to post to the Viktoria page. 

Poison at Lockhaven: An update

On February 12, 2014, the Lockhaven Apartment were visited by Will Perry, Health & Environmental Investigator II, of the King County Public Health department. Mr. Perry's visit came the day after a visit by Bob Angeline, a Washington Department of Commerce Lead-based Paint Compliance & Enforcement Specialist, that was reported earlier. As a result of the February 11 visit by Mr. Angeline GRE Lockhaven's contractors began complying with the lead hazard signage and containment standards. There was a noticeable difference in the workers' efforts to contain and clean hazardous materials released by their work. Nevertheless, according to the results I received today, two of the four samples Mr. Perry collected in or near 3053 NW 56th St. tested positive for lead levels exceeding US Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule lead standards.

A surface dust sample collected in the stairwell at the back door of 3053 #1 contained a lead level of 62.0 µg/ft2, more than 50% higher than the EPA standard of 40 µg/ft2. A second dust sample collected from the opposite side stairwell also contained measurable lead, 26.0 µg/ft2.  A paint chip sample collected outside near the front, courtyard entrance tested positive for lead 1.1%, more than 100% higher than the EPA standard of 0.5%. The only sample that did not contain measurable lead was a dust sample collected from the kitchen floor of one of the occupied apartments.

Now, don't forget, these results came from samples collected only after GRE Lockhaven's contractors started doing their job properly and complying with the law following a visit by Mr. Angeline. Renovation work has been going on at Lockhaven for months with no regulatory oversight and inquiring minds want to know what kinds of toxic exposures resulted from that?

If you are concerned about your exposure to lead as a result of work at Lockhaven and wonder whether you or your family need lead blood testing you may call Will Perry at 206-263-8477. There is no safe lead level for anyone but lead is especially hazardous to children. If you see ongoing work that you think may be resulting in the release of lead or asbestos then please contact one or more of the following agencies:

Washington State Department of Commerce
Tel.: (360) 586-5323
See also:

Puget Sound Clean Air Agency
Tel.: (206) 689-4058
You can also make a complaint online.
See also:

Lead and Asbestos
King County Public Health Department
Tel.: 206-263-8899
See also: and