If you live in Washington Village, then you know Dr. Mumtaz, at least indirectly. He is the registered agent for Raj LLC, the company that owns 701 Washington Boulevard (aka “The Sav-A-Lot Property”). After reading about himself and the property on this blog, he responded to our post:
this property was under contract up until 2 weeks ago and the buyers backed out after 3 months holding the contract. WE have contacted police and city 100’s of time to kick out the homeless and loiterers. community people and graffity hoodlums try to trash the property as soon as we clean it up. This reflects on the community also. If you see anyone dumping trash there we are willing to go after them. we have tried to get the community invloved and if the neibourhood association is willing we can prevent city drug dealers and homeless people from dumping the place. We have tried with police and city. this place is under negotiation again and will be fixed or rented again. It was because one of the previous buyers and developers who happened to be from this community who wasted our 3 precios months to delay for further development.
We responded as follows:
This situation didn’t come about in two weeks, three months, or even a year. This situation has been an ongoing problem in this neighborhood, and we have a hard time believing that you’ve done much to alleviate the problem. How exactly have you tried to get the community involved? Most of the people in that community had no idea you existed until this blog started, just a few weeks ago. The problems with this property didn’t begin “because one of the previous buyers and developers who happened to be from this community who wasted our 3 precios months to delay for further development”. It began when you purchased the property and refused to fix it up or sell it for a reasonable amount of money. You’ve owned it since 2005, and it’s been nothing short of a disgrace and an eyesore. YOU own the property, so therefore YOU are responsible for its upkeep and appearance. YOU are also responsible for the tenants, their trash, and the type of customers they attract. Shoving that responsibility onto a previous buyer or developer isn’t going to cut it. Until that property is sold, YOU are the one who is held accountable.
You can revisit the original post here and scroll down to the end for the comments. Do we know if the comment really came from Dr. Mumtaz? No, there’s really no way to verify it. After careful consideration, however, we do believe the comment is from Dr. Mumtaz or at least one of his associates. Considering the state the property is in and has been for years, it’s not surprising that he’s trying to blame everyone — the community, a developer, previous buyers, etc. — for the issues surrounding the property. It’s been our experience that slumlords don’t like to accept responsibility for their neglect.
We wish Dr. Mumtaz and his associates luck with selling the property. Hopefully they will sell to someone who understands that the community will not accept this kind of behavior from the new owners, and will hold the new owners to the same scrutiny.