What’s making news in Minneapolis, reported by the Star Tribune’s team of city reporters. Send news tips to baird.helgeson@startribune.com.

Under fire, Minneapolis landlord sells all of his properties

Posted by: Randy Furst under People and neighborhoods, Politics and government, Urban living Updated: January 23, 2013 - 5:07 PM

Spiros Zorbalas, one of the city's  biggest landlords, has sold his 38 rental properties, after nearly two years of battling the city of Minneapolis, which voted to yank all his rental licenses because of many housing violations.

An estimated 2,000 people live in the properties, and the city was reluctant to create a housing crisis by shutting down the apartment buildings, so it pressured Zorbalas to sell them.

The buyer is Steve Frenz, a developer, who said he will work hard to respond to  resident complaints, and has been working on resolving problems in the buildings for several months. He said he purchased the property from Zorbalas on Dec. 18.

Zorbalas, in a text message to the Star Tribune, confirmed the sale, but neither he nor Frenz disclosed the terms.

Ninth ward City Council member Gary Schiff announced the sale in a statement sent to media outlets on Wednesday.

City Attorney Susan Segal said Frenz had notified her office of the sale. Frenz has other properties in Minneapolis. "He has been a  responsive landlord and property manager with city regulators in the past," Segal said.

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