Sorry to have gone silent for so long. The flu and life in general conspired against regular updates to this blog, but we're back and will try to do a better job keeping you informed about Lockhaven developments.
As you know, residents received two letters from Josh Obendorf of GRE, the first dated October 31 and the second November 6. The first letter attempted to explain away as a mistake Goodman Real Estate's illegal attempt to drive residents from their homes with 20-day vacate notices in September, described some of the repairs they're doing, and introduced us to a "relocation specialist." The second letter is an invitation to an open house at the Senior Center on Thursday, 11/14 from 6-8 pm.
A few things about the first letter:
- Their admission of wrong-doing expresses regret only that what they did was illegal ("Not in accordance with the City of Seattle's Tenant Relocation Program").
- This admission totally leaves aside the fact that they intentionally tried to dislocate tenants with 20-day notices. There was no mistake in this intention. What they did, and continue to do, is not only illegal in some cases, it's wrong.
- Is it believable that a multi-billion real estate company was unaware of the law?
- This sentence is truly extraordinary: "As a company with deep roots with Ballard, we believe that Lockhaven is a unique, irreplaceable series of buildings that should be part of the neighborhood fabric for decades to come." This is about as flimsy and hollow as spin gets. You don't show appreciation for a community by driving them from their homes.
- It's amazing how shamelessly Orwellian they are in their appropriation of the language that's been used on this blog and in the media to describe the damage they're doing: "Neighborhood fabric," "unique," "deep roots in Ballard."
- Why would we care about the renovations they're doing when these renovations for the benefit of the newer, richer tenants they want to put in our place? Other than the fact that we are still living in conditions like this:
|Ladder blocking the entrance to 3026|
- It is clear that their plan to get rid of us is very much in place: "Unfortunately, most tenants must relocate slowly and in phases over the next 5-15 months."
- The reference to "most" tenants implies the existence of a so-called "protected list" of tenants who will not be forced out of their homes. I left a voicemail for our relocation specialist about this, and got a voicemail back assuring me that all will be made clear at the Nov. 14 meeting.
- They want us to know they totally understand our pain: "Relocation is not easy."
- There is no return address or phone number. Instead we are directed to talk to relocation specialist Kerry Lynch at a "24/7 hotline." The 24/7 part seems to refer to the fact that you can get to her voicemail whenever you want.
Still, the letter is positive in the sense that John Goodman is more fully showing us his hand. His admission of wrong-doing gives us hope that he will realize his entire plan for the destruction of our community is wrong.