“Rust Belt Slumlord” may be a bit harsh

To set the record straight, I have never referred to Huele or Eenhoorn as a “Rustbelt Slumlord” and certainly never in print.  I don’t think I have ever lived in an one of the over 80 apartment complexes he boasts of on the corporate site, so I wouldn’t have any firsthand knowledge of that.  I think “Absentee Landlord” is the politically correct term, right?

Definitely not a slum. Would look nice on the headlands.
Definitely not a slum. Would look nice on the headlands.

Another website following this current debacle, pacifica.city, decided to check me out and see if I was making crackpot claims – I appreciate the journalistic integrity in fact checking.  They determined that of the Eenhoorn properties they identified, there was no indication of anything resembling the quarry plan.  Besides looking for a pilot for the corporate jet (hey, I’d want my own jet if I called Grand Rapids, MI home…anything to get out of town faster) all they are hiring for is apartment management.

But HIS fact checking in turn gave me a nice list of complexes.  If an “Absentee Landlord” is looking to plop a 200+ unit complex in the middle of this beach, it might be good to take a look at his other developments, and moreover, read the reviews that his tenants have posted.

It doesn’t look all that bad, certainly not “Slumlord” level.  I only found occassional mentions of basic building maintainence being neglected, malfunctioning appliances, and only a couple of meth labs mentioned in the reviews.  By Rust Belt standards, pretty standard stuff in a world of $700 3 bedroom apartments.

I think this is the basic disconnect.  Mr. Huele and Eenhorne have become extremely wealthy on the backs of a lot of poor people in an economically devastated region.  If they were putting forth the quarry plan in, say, Kalamazoo, or Flint, or East Troy, it would be a boon to the community.  I am pretty sure there are lots of places – old quarries, tire factories, press mills – that would *gift* the property to Huele for this sort of plan.  But Mr. Huele, for all his real estate acumen in Michigan and the midwest, didn’t do his homework before jumping into this quarry deal.

Pacifica has problems, to be sure – but they aren’t Rust Belt problems.  Instead of taking the time to study his potential investment and understand the completely different challenges of this city, Huele is really just exporting Rust Belt style “Absentee Landlord” management into our city, creating the same sort of environment that people with corporate jets fly away from.

Hope you find that pilot, Mr. Huele.

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