Thursday, April 16, 2009

815 Elm condo owners fed up mini mart blight

The 815 Elm Street Condominium Association is fed up with the crime spilling out of its neighbor, Linda's Mini Mart.

In a letter sent to building owner George Pascal of Finneytown and copied to Cincinnati City Council and District One commander Captain Teresa Theetge, the association asks him to join them in improving the safety and appearance of what they call the best residential area of Downtown.

"While I am aware that you have the building up for sale, you still at this time have a vested interest in our neighborhood, and as a concerned neighbor I ask that you hold your first floor commercial space and its tenants to a higher standard than you have showed in the past," the letter says.

The association finds it hard to believe that the business has reopened since the March 2 homicide of 62-year-old store owner Wade Nassar, who was beaten and stabbed to death inside the store.

It was the first homicide in the business district in over a year.

Condo owners also wonder why the business would be allowed to continue following Nassar's earlier attempt at shooting a would-be robber in the middle of the street, charges against Nassar for illegally trafficking food stamps, and his loss of a liquor license because, according to the Ohio Division of Liquor Control, he operated his business in "a manner that demonstrates a disregard for the laws, regulations, or local ordinances of this State".

"These episodes, highlighted of course by Mr. Nassar's killing, suggest a business that has been incredibly detrimental to the interests of the neighborhood and its citizens," the letter says.

Residents also have problems with the general lack of upkeep of the building and its neighboring parking lot, a blight that they believe attracts criminal activity.

"Specific examples include the broken glass, empty cheap liquor bottles, wrappers, and other garbage that litters your parking lot," the letter says. "As neighbors we are constantly cleaning up your parking lot in an effort to make our neighborhood beautiful."

Marcus Hill, 21, has been indicted by a grand jury and faces murder, aggravated robbery, and robbery charges for Nassar's death.

If convicted, prosecutors plan to seek the death penalty.