Reader Justin James Anderson responds to In Minneapolis, Whittier residents revolt over massive rent hike and -- surprise! -- may have won:
Once again I have to comment on here about the lack of journalistic skills by Cory Zurowski.
I have written to the editor about this type of biased, partially-researched hit pieces Cory likes to write to get attention by casting shade. In this case, accusing an elected official of having no interest in her constituents by innuendo.
If this "paper," which is owned by the Star Tribune, still had an ombudsmen, I would surely write to them.
The fact of the matter is that is how things work in real estate development. Mr. Oberpriller purchases property from former slumlord with plans of making property in an amazing location into a nicer building that will attract renters and make him a profit.
The article states that building is not in the best of condition, so this means Mr. Oberpriller needs to make improvements to the property so he can make profit on his investment. It's not even alluded to in the article, the fact that the apartments will all be remodeled and renovated to modern standards.
Unfortunately, it seems for quite many they can not afford rent in a place other than a subpar building with slumlord conditions in Whittier anymore. But people need to face facts and understand a nice, all-new, updated 2 bedroom across the street from a private college is going to cost $1600.
Now Mr. Oberpriller has been pressured to keep the rents low and deal with a building in less than perfect condition, which the tenant seems to be complaining about. Who is the winner in the long run? No one.
People can complain about gentrification that's inevitable as much as they want, but it's how things work.
My great great great grandparents farmed where Lake of the Isles is, and they decided to sell because of the city expanding their way 160 years ago. My great grandmother sold her house on 22nd and Grand and moved to Prospect Park 50 years ago.
I left Whittier and the high rents five years ago and moved to Lake Hiawatha because my mortgage was cheaper than rent. My house has doubled in value in last five years and now can put a hundred grand downpayment on a condo in Whittier. All this from a $4500 first-time homebuyer down payment given to me by the state of Minnesota.
Gentrification has always happened and will continue to happen. I'm a very progressive socialist and believe we need much more affordable housing. But facts are facts and Cory Zukowski and his editors don't seem to care about that. Once again salacious writing and biased reporting seems to be the way of the walk.