The property manager of condos at 15 and 21 Staples Ave. failed to appear at a meeting of the City Council’s Committee on Community and Business Development on Monday, February 24.
Council President Rosa DiFlorio expected Kevin C. Kelliher of the Lundgren Management Group, Inc. to address the ongoing police activity at the properties in her ward, which each contain around 20 units that are all individually owned and rented out to long-term tenants. Condo owners do not live on site and are often not Everett residents.
The Independent obtained a list of all of the emergency service calls associated with the two properties dating back to 2018. This included calls to the Police Department, Fire Department, Emergency Medical Services and Animal Control. In 2018 and 2019, services responded to no fewer than 88 separate calls between the two properties, an average of almost one per week.
In 2018, 15 Staples Ave. received 19 calls. This increased to 22 in 2019. Law enforcement was dispatched to investigate reports of domestic violence, breaking and entering, threats, vandalism, trespassing, suspicious activity and disturbances. Already in 2020, there have been two reports of general disturbance from the property, the same number it experienced in the whole of 2019.
The 21 Staples Ave. property also saw an uptick in calls between 2018 and 2019, jumping from 17 to 30. Law enforcement was sent to the address for reports of assault and battery with a deadly weapon, assault with a knife, disturbances including fights and unwanted guests, suspicious activity and domestic violence. As of February 11 of this year, no service calls had been placed from that location.
The councilwoman was incensed when Kelliher failed to show.
“It’s getting very irritating. The company needs to be here,” she said. “The summer is coming and that’s when all the issues are. Someone needs to take responsibility.”
Council President DiFlorio first became aware of the issues at the Staples Avenue properties when residents complained of disturbances. She started surveilling the premises herself around a year ago.
“They’re the rowdy, drinking crowd,” she told Independent. “You know, the crowd that doesn’t work and just sits there all day.”
Councilwoman DiFlorio added that the police log didn’t reflect the full scope of the problem, as some renters have told her they are afraid to file reports. Those who do call are “given the runaround.” The condo association tells them to call the police, and the police tell them to call the condo association.
She shared that one tenant has taken to wedging a chair behind the front door to prevent fights in the hallway from spilling over into their unit.
The Council President said that the stretch of Staples Avenue is not considered a high-crime area, making these two properties outliers.
“You wouldn’t be afraid to walk there at night,” she said.
The Independent later reached Kelliher, who said he received the call list, but that he needed to know the individual units involved in order to take action.
“Once we have the specific unit numbers, we will then place the owners of the offending units on notice and request that they evict their tenants,” he said. Kelliher added that the condo association is working with the City and wants to solve the problem as soon as possible.