Thursday, December 15, 2005

Mayo Group Article

Here is a link to a recent article in the Boston Globe about Mayo Group and the owner John McGrail.

http://www.boston.com/realestate/articles/2005/11/19/location_actually_it_isnt_everything/

It's essentially about how he went about making his millions and his strategy for reinvigorating rough neighborhoods. He essentially followed the Trumph principal - invests in border-line property and make it work. And he has indeed done well. It's the American principal, seize opportunity. I have no issues with this, who with common sense would. My issue is that McGrail seems incapable or unwilling to exercise good quality control on workmanship resulting in the aggravation that I and every other resident in my building is having. I'm not alone in my problems with the place. All the residents have some serious issues. We like living here. Central Square has a great vibe and it's getting better every day. We like our spaces. We like our location. We just want what was promised us, in writing I might add, and in a prompt manner. I don't believe that's asking too much.

A quote from the article caught my attention:

''You are never going to be able to make everyone happy," he said. ''You look at all the housing we've created and it's a small minority of people who don't agree with the work we've done."

-- John McGrail

Does an entire building constitute a minority? If we are the exception to the rule, well then great. It means Mayo is perfectly capable of doing quality work. Fine, come fix our problems then.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

What Lies Beneath, the Update

That banging in the wall - it was from two large PVC pipes expanding and contracting with temperature change. The two pipes are respectively the air intake and exhaust for the gas furnace in Unit 2C. Second floor units have their HVAC systems inside their units while the 3rd and 4th floors have their HVAC on the roof. The pipes were creaking from the cooling effects of drawing in cold outside air and the expansion of the exhaust pipe from the hot gas. There is only one support along the floor holding the vertical pipes in place. There are no other supports until somewhere in the ceiling. I shimmed in some lubricated backing material to hold the pipes away from the wall as much as possible. Difficult since the tolerance is only about half a centimeter on either side. This mitigated much of the noise, but it still bangs a little bit, but not annoyingly so and not so much as to startle me in the night. Much of the noise is actually coming from inside the ceiling, and I'm not about to cut a hole into the crawlspace anytime soon. So, it'll have to wait until the association is under our control since this is a problem covered by the condo rules. As always, I'll keep you posted on further developments.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Lynn is THE Up and Coming City

My analytical skills are quite advanced, but I must admit there is no science or method behind my statement. What prompted my statement is that I've seen more articles about the gentrification of Lynn, and the subsequent challenges, in the Boston Herald and Boston Globe more often than someplace like Lowell. Every article about Lynn mentions the renovation of downtown with hyperbole such as "renaissance" and "rebirth." These terms are a bit too flowery for my tastes. I like to think of it more as downtown sporting a snazzy new coat. To quote Fernando, "If you look good you feel good. If you feel good you'll look maavelous, dahling." "Renaissance" strikes me as a bit high-brow, and "rebirth" just seems like a down-right-painful experience- imagine pushing a football through a cheerio, twice. Get me?

Walk around Central Square on any clear night and you can see the change. It's palpable. Just look at the cars. Cars say a lot about a neighborhood. We have everything from Hummer H2s to Corollas. Now a street savvy person would say this just means we're in a dealers den. I counter this by pointing out we have a high number of Mini Coopers, S version and standard, as well as a high number of Elements, New Beetles in vapor blue, one very stylish Audi TT coupe with the original German suspension in place, and an alarming high number of Saabs. No self-respecting gangsta would call this block his crib. All the cameras, the police HQ down the block, and high dog population help keep any nefarious persons in check, too.

Speaking of dogs, have you met Cloe (sp?) the great dane in the Keith Building? She is enormous, and beautiful. Such a sweet disposition too. The best resident in the building by any measure. I think she's also the most popular resident downtown. Everybody knows her and says hello, but can't seem to remember her human cohabitant's names. Really funny. Such a sweetie.

Speaking of dogs, nighttime, around 7ish, is a great time to meet dog owning neighbors. Everybody's out walking the family furball. Such a grand procession too. All sizes, all disposition, tailed, tailless, grandiose, and goof balls. Shanna's Chinese pug puppy is the cutest! Hyper, lots of energy, so much that she tires out even little Fenway Jack; until recently the energizer bunny of pups. Scary.

Doughnuuuuuuuts! We have a new Dunkin Doughnuts setting up shop at the corner of Union and the square. Now that's a sure sign of progress! There's also a rumor of a nice Italian restaurant going in somewhere close on Union St. If we could get a little movie rental place on the square, now that would be terrific. Someplace like Mike's Video in South End. A wine shop would be terrific too! I wonder if Deluca's Market would be interested in setting up shop here. Hmmmmmm. We'll see.

I hear Ikea may be coming to town. Email Jamie Marsh, Mayor's chief of staff for more info.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Rear Window -

- Is still leaking. How do I know? Because I awoke to a pool of water on my bedroom window sill and floor. The water is seeping through the divider between the upper and lower window sash. I also have increasingly worse water damage in the kitchen windows. Mayo Group still hasn't caulked the exterior of these windows on the side of the building. They can't use a boom to get to them. They have to use scaffolding.

It appears Mayo Group doesn't care about it's customers once the unit has been sold. They don't honor their warranty, and they are not responsive when there is a problem. It's been 4 months since the absence of the fire door closers was reported and they still haven't fixed it. Especially alarming when you consider it's a firecode violation. The lobby water damage still hasn't been repaired. They don't do their job and maintain the property. There are 3 lightbulbs out in the lobby, and have been for 2 weeks now.

The building is still under their control so I can't have the association repair it even though it's association responsibility. The building was to be handed over back in June according to the condo docs.

Bottom line: Don't buy from Mayo Group. You'll be sorry you did.