A north Minneapolis house owned by reality-TV home rehabber Nicole Curtis may be taken back by the city because of slow progress on the home’s renovations.
Curtis, star of the HGTV show “Rehab Addict,” bought the dilapidated house in the Jordan neighborhood from the city in November 2012. The deal came with a low sale price — $2 — but some specific requirements about when Curtis would need to complete major repairs. A contract she signed with the city required that Curtis would “substantially complete construction” of improvements on the house within a year of the sale, along with delivering regular progress reports to the city.
Now, 2 ½ years after that deadline passed — and following months of complaints from neighbors about safety issues related to the property — the city is considering taking legal action against Curtis to take back the house. Council Member Blong Yang, along with city staff members and an appraiser, toured the building in late June, and the city is now awaiting a formal appraisal. City spokesman Casper Hill said Curtis has performed some work on the house, but “the issue is the time of performance, as she was given a year to complete improvements.”
Curtis met with Yang and others from the city on June 25. The next day, Curtis hosted an event at the property, offering $5 tours of the condemned house as a fundraiser for a friend with cancer.
Yang said the meeting did not yield a specific timeline for the remaining renovation work on the house.
“She didn’t say much,” he said. “I don’t know what the plan is. I think we as a city have to figure out what to do at this point, because it has been a burden on the neighbors who live there.”
A representative from the talent agency that represents Curtis did not respond to a request for comment. But on her Facebook page, Curtis made multiple posts on the issue, writing that the contractor she hired to complete work by December 2014 “kept pushing back and then left two of our sites in shambles.”
Curtis battled with contractors last year; two separate companies filed liens totaling $36,000 for unpaid work. The property also has delinquent taxes from 2015. One commenter on Facebook asked Curtis if she could have pushed the contractor to get done sooner.
“I most definitely have recourse with the contractor — but honestly, it’s not worth my time,” Curtis responded.
Curtis’ post noted that city officials have her phone number and that she is in “constant contact” with them, and dismissed questions about why she hadn’t met the deadlines required in the contract. She wrote that reporters should instead focus on the fundraiser held on the day the city turned up to appraise the house.
“Here’s the story that was true — Nicole Curtis and her crew of volunteers threw together a last minute event to raise money for Sean Boeckmann — a couple hundred people raised a lot of $ and brought positive energy to support a great guy fighting cancer … done,” she wrote.