A number of businesses at a predominantly Somali mall have gone without water and working bathrooms this week because of a negligent landlord.
Two of those businesses at the Riverside Mall, a coffee shop and a hair salon, have been forced to close their doors temporarily as a result. The mall, also known as the African International Mall, is home to about 40 shops that mostly sell clothing, bedding, rugs, spices and dresses.
Bathrooms were in a squalid condition when MPLS visited on Thursday afternoon.
The building is owned by Sherman Associates, but city spokesman Matt Laible said the bill payer is a company called Riverside Mall. The contact listed for that entity is Abdinasir Mohamed.
Laible said the property had an $2,456 unpaid water bill. Owners then paid $1,900 this afternoon and water will be restored sometime today, he added.
Abdi Mohamed, the owner of Banadir Barber Shop, said the people who collect rent (one of whom is Abdinasir Mohamed) are not fulfilling their obligations to the tenants. Abdi Mohamed pays $750 a month for his space to a man he knows only as "the old man," but has no lease.
"These guys, what they’re doing is just taking the money from us, paying Sherman [Associates], the rest they put in their pocket and they go," Mohamed said.
He added that trash pickup has been very unpredictable in the last several weeks, drawing many flies into the building. They have also had to fight throughout the summer to restore air conditioning, which is often turned off on hot days.
Heather Nelson, the commercial property manager for Sherman Associates, said the person who leases the space from them is responsible for the maintenance duties. The city later revealed that to be Abdinasir Mohamed.
MPLS left a voice message with the only Abdinasir Mohamed who has a Minneapolis address, but has not heard back.