Monday, February 05, 2007

Getting the North End's 'Bad Boys' in Order

As stakeholders struggle to stem public disorder in the Theater District, two major sources of trouble are--quite literally--cleaning house. Owners of the north end's two "bad boys"--the Winthrop Hotel and the Olympus Hotel--are working hard to clean up the reputations of their facilities.

New management at the Winthrop Hotel--Quantum Management President Doug Repman and new Resident Manager, Erica Valley, have aggressively implemented these steps since November:
  • Conducted nighttime surveillance of tenant and guest traffic at the property to identify potential illegal activity and individuals involved;

  • Reviewed all files, employees, and tenancy of the Winthrop to establish control of day-to-day operations;

  • Followed up with eviction and removal of two tenants that had been arrested by the police for drug activities following raids conducted under the previous management;

  • Met personally with Winthrop tenants that had been identified as potentially associated with illegal activities or questionable traffic into the building and provided verbal warning that they would be evicted if they continued to participate in bringing a criminal element into the building;

  • Replaced the security guard, improved security surveillance, and instituted a guest sign-in process in the lobby while the guard is on duty during evening hours, which has significantly reduced visitor traffic into the Winthrop;

  • Issued 3-day nuisance notices, which began the eviction process of identified tenants for association with illegal activity;

  • Established an effective working relationship with the police and the BIA.
In response to cooperative discussions with the police and the BIA, several steps were taken to improve effectiveness:
  • Established a cooperative system to trespass and remove unauthorized people from the building, documented to show cause for subsequent eviction of any associated tenant;

  • Provided security access cards and keys to the police so that officers may get into the building at any time;

  • Established a security guard desk in the lobby and required sign-in of guests to the building when the security guard is on duty;

  • Increased direct communication with and involvement of police officers in interactions with problem tenants, including conducting “knock and talks” of apartments in the building.

With the active engagement of TPD Officers Pincham and Price, these actions directly resulted in 11 removals of suspects for trespass, 3 arrests, and the initiation of 3 evictions during the first two weeks of January alone.

Repman and Valley have been participating in BIA-organized efforts to coordinate business owners and residents in the area of 9th & Commerce to combat the crime and problem street activity. They are in direct and active communication with the police and BIA officers, and with neighboring business owners to track and combat issues on a daily basis.

The Olympus Hotel, too, is getting a management face-lift. Property owner Stephen Morrison and Allied Management have begun working with TPD to address neighborhood complaints and institute stronger management controls.


  1. The Winthrop and the Olympus suffered two problems.

    With a labyrinth of internal staircases, hallways and multiple entrances (at least with the Winthrop), the buildings were a poor design for low income housing. See Defensible Space by HUD.

    People were victimized in and around the building and trespassers could easily access it.

    Worse, the properties were run poorly which added to the problems.

    From what I hear though, the new management company Quantum Management has made some good progress.

    However, there is still a ways to go.

    Hopefully, the Winthrop can be brought under control in the interim until it is restored as a hotel.

  2. I called 911 three times last night between 9 and 10 pm and sent photographs to Sector Commander Lt Corey Darlington of drug dealing that continues at the Olympus Hotel.

  3. I saw a letter on the Olympus door that they are hiring a security guard to try to get a handle on the traffic coming in and out of the building.

    Good news.

    Also shows that when a low income housing project is designed poorly, it takes alot extra effort, personnel and money to keep it under control, and even then it is difficult.