Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Cooper Lofts - Lies, Damn Lies and Paper Trails

Here is one of the responses I got from my recent blog post:

Hey Cory...
I'm sorry you're not happy here at Cooper Lofts. It sounds like you have a specific complaint. Could you let me know what that complaint is? I'm on the board and might be able to help you resolve it...
Drop me a line or call me when you get a chance. My contact numbers are posted on our website.
Michael #205

I contacted Miachael about the terrible problems I was having at Cooper Lofts. His offer of board-supported assistance was a total lie.

The end result of my complaints? Renters are no longer allowed to petition the board with problems, no matter how terrible.

My downstairs neighbor smoked cigarettes constantly in her #302 unit downstairs from mine. Due to the shoddy construction work done at Cooper Lofts, this resulted in all of the smoke from #302 being vented into #402 -- so Sarah's unit did not smell of smoke at all but my unit did.

I guess I should clarify, "smell" is not really a fair description of how much smoke they created -- at some times it was so powerful that you could see it in the air and it eventually caused both Allison and I to develop asthmatic conditions. To be fair, my doctor did note that the breathing issue may have been compounded by Dayton's terrible air quality and the dangerous quantities of silica brick dust in the air in Cooper (we had an air quality specialist do a test for us.)

Her husband repeatedly threatened and harassed myself and my girlfriend after we complained to our (absentee) landlord, Timothy Anderson.

I lived at 111 Harries Street #402 Dayton Ohio, 45402

Cooper Lofts Dayton Ohio

First, some background. I am a resident at the Cooper Lofts in Dayton Ohio. These lofts were design and built by the same company, or companies using similar methods, to the Cannery Lofts, The Ice Lofts and the Merc Lofts.

These places are beautiful (at first glance) warehouse conversions in central downtown Dayton. The Ice and Cooper Lofts are conversions and extensions of existing Dayton buildings and the Merc is actually a renovation of an old DP&L power plant on Third Street.

If you are considering purchasing a unit in one of the buildings I would strongly caution you to think twice about the inherent problems. You may deeply regret your decision.

The thing about loft living is that you are faced with the worst of both a stand-alone house and an apartment building:

  • In an apartment building you are protected by a lease and supported by an arbitrating party that is bound to all by legal requirements of reasonable action and protection from harassment and nuisance. In a loft you are protected by the bylaws, which the "condo association" is, by all appearances, able to change at a whim with little or no regard for non-owner resident's protection.
  • In an apartment building no one can make claims of ownership and declare, from a self-righteous platform, that they do what they like on the property they own. In an apartment, ownership is centralized and all are bound to reasonable requirements of respect by that central party. In a loft all residents (or most at least) are owners and are therefore afforded a feeling that they can do whatever they want regardless of the negative impact on the quality of life of other residents.

In short, you have all the problems of an apartment (close proximity, lack of privacy) and all the problems with a house (bad neighbors, property ownership issues) without any of the advantages of an apartment (central authority, neutral party to provide arbitration) or of owning your own house (personal space, privacy.)

The so-called "Condo Association Board" exists only to protect the offices of the board and the friends they keep among the property owners. The members of the board will take whatever steps required to retain control -- including voting in modifications to the bylaws to make protest illegal.

Be very careful dealing with Cooper Lofts, you may be fooled initially but once the honeymoon wears off you will be sorry you got involved.