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HUD rejects N.Y. landlord's bid for senior apartments in Granite Falls

GRANITE FALLS -- The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has rejected the bid of a New York City landlord for a 40-unit apartment building in Granite Falls.

The Granite Falls Economic Development Agency learned Monday that HUD rejected the $469,500 bid by Emmanuel Ku for the Riverview Apartments. Doing business as Genghis Khan, LLC, Ku had offered the high bid at a foreclosure sale for the section 8 apartment building.

The decision by HUD was met with relief in Granite Falls, according to Mayor Dave Smiglewski. The city and the non-profit organization that operates the apartment building had sent letters urging HUD to reject the bid.

Smiglewski said the city was concerned about Ku's track record as a landlord in New York City. He owns 13 buildings with 223 apartments there, and has been issued hundreds of citations for code violations.

In rejecting Ku's bid, HUD noted that it requires the high bidder "to submit evidence that it has the demonstrated experience and the financial capacity to transform a troubled property into a long-term, affordable rental housing resource.''

HUD is now expected to review the second high bid offered for the property by Jose Camacho of Republic First Inc., of Orlando, Fla. If it also rejects that bid, it is the city's belief that the property would be placed for sale a second time.

The Granite Falls Economic Development was planning to review the record of the second high bidder and make a recommendation to the city council, according to EDA director Dennis Van Hoof.

Last month, HUD had also rejected a high bid by Emmanuel Ku for Shingle Creek Towers in Brooklyn Center.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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