Author Topic: Cincinnati: Middle Earth Developers (MED)  (Read 25899 times)

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Offline mark

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Cincinnati: Middle Earth Developers (MED)
« on: July 09, 2006, 01:15:10 PM »
Quote
Still pissed at MED.  MED never finished our building and we're 3 years in.  Best of luck to those purchasing, however. It looks like a cool project.

Please explain further, what didn't they finish and in which building?

I've been over it a few times, so I'll keep it short.  Thus far:

Graydon place:

None of the stairwells have been finished (painted, etc) 
The hallways were never finished in a quality fashion (the COA has to pay for them to be redone now)

Alarm wiring is exposed in the hallway
The parking garage is still not complete and is unusable 2 years after the first resident moved in. 
Lobby looks terrible
Elevator looks terrible
Roof was finished with poor, flammable materials (which, yes, eventually caught on fire).

I wouldn't have MED clean my bathroom, much less rehab a building.  They are crooks.  The good news is that they aren't actually handling construction on Parker Flats.

*edit* I feel it's in the best interest of potential buyers to know what sort of quality they may expect, so I am going to post a few photos of the common areas:

We'll just stain up that construction damaged door - no one will notice!


The current state of our secondary stairwell:







Repairing and painting the pipes would be a lot of work... that's why they decided to leave it to someone else:


Want to break into this guys apartment?  Just snip the conveniently located cable hanging from the ceiling:


An example of the awesome finish work done in one of our elevators:


The elevator.  Brand new doors scratched from improper installation.  Will it be fixed?  Only if the COA pays for it, more than likely:


Our main stairwell:


Water damage caused by construction after they put in the ceiling tiles.  We were told these hallways would have sconce lighting and high ceilings.  Instead we got can lights, water based industrial paint and dropped office-style ceilings in the name of cost savings:


They'll finish this item - but it'll be a 4 year struggle:


Their handling of the individual units was terrible.  Their handling of the common areas borders on criminal.  This only scratches the surface - these pictures are only from 1 floor.  Perhaps they'll get this all fixed up and done - but after being here for more than a year and seeing almost no progress, my gut tells me they've left us hanging.  So, when I see them starting a new project, it kinda makes me sick to my stomach just a bit, because I fear others will be going through the same issues.

Our COA will end up taking ownership of all this - and it *will* get fixed, and our building is wonderful... but I, and the other owners, are getting stuck with the bill.

Just be aware....  It pains me to warn people against a company developing downtown - but they are *truly* that terrible. 

Thanks,
Mark
« Last Edit: July 08, 2015, 09:01:06 PM by Cygnus »

Offline The_Cincinnati_Kid

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Cincinnati: Middle Earth Developers (MED)- Buyers Be Warned!
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2006, 07:42:50 PM »
Wow, that work does suck.  I can't believe a developer would leave such things undone.  Have you tried going through the City, the BBB, or an attorney?
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Offline mark

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Re: Cincinnati: Middle Earth Developers (MED)- Buyers Be Warned!
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2006, 08:27:11 PM »
Not sure how I'd pursue it with the City - the don't care about the BBB and are not members, and I've already sued them once due to them reducing my condo unit from 1400 sq feet to 1240.  Can't afford to do it again over the common areas... 

However, if someone can think of a good plan to put some pressure on them to make this right, I'm all ears. 

Offline moonloop

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Re: Cincinnati: Middle Earth Developers (MED)- Buyers Be Warned!
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2006, 08:34:12 PM »
If you don't mind me asking, what happen when you sued them regarding the sq. foot issue? I don't think I would be comfortable buying a condo/house that hasn't been built yet. It sounds like too many things can go wrong. Buying a place is hard enough.

Offline SSSCincy

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Re: Cincinnati: Middle Earth Developers (MED)- Buyers Be Warned!
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2006, 08:45:33 PM »
I lived in Kinsey Flats for a while (MED Rehab).  Crapiest construction I have ever seen.  The building was falling apart, poor insulation between units (I could hear the alarm clock of the person in the next unit), lots of punch list items years after the building is complete.  I think they are absolutley terrible and would never buy anything from them. I know a lot of people who have had problems with them as well.
In Downtown Cincinnati

Offline mark

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Re: Cincinnati: Middle Earth Developers (MED)- Buyers Be Warned!
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2006, 09:17:04 PM »
If you don't mind me asking, what happen when you sued them regarding the sq. foot issue? I don't think I would be comfortable buying a condo/house that hasn't been built yet. It sounds like too many things can go wrong. Buying a place is hard enough.

Before doing anything, I gave them many chances to make the situation right.  My lawyer and I had a face to face with Tim Voss (one of the owners) before I filed the suit.  Keep in mind it took weeks to setup this meeting, that all marketing material and blueprints up till that point stated that the sq. footage was 1400.  This is what he had to say in response after he met with his people (he claimed he was going back to have a meeting to see what he could do for me):

Dear Mark,

Thank you for meeting with me last week. I apologize for being so busy
recently. We are all working to finish the Graydon place project

I understand your concerns regarding the square footage of your unit. In
renovating buildings some variations present themselves that can not be
predicted. In part that is why, in paragraph 5 of our contract, we
reserve the right to make changes. Additionally the price per square
foot we charged you, and other buyers in the building, is significantly
below the market. The result is you are getting a very good deal!
Therefore we will not be offering a price reduction on the unit.

If the square footage issue is something you can't deal with then Middle
Earth will re-list your unit and find a successor buyer. We, of course
would be entitled to any additional profit after reimbursing your
deposits. If we were to get less than the current sales price the amount
of your deposit being returned would be reduced by the difference in
sales prices.

We are very excited about how the condos are turning out, and are sure
yours will also be beautiful.

Tim Voss

---

I would have been happy with a free upgrade, and an apology - but instead I received a condescending email.  Also - they didn't volunteer the error (in fact they lied a few times to try to hide it).  The only way I found out about it was after reviewing revised condo documents that they updated.  The clause he references about making changes was in reference to a statement allowing them to make necessary 'minor' changes.  Reduction of 160 sq. ft. was not minor to me. 

Normally, when you come to a table with your lawyer, the company will try to make things right.  Not in this case.  The case went on for months.  They finally decided to settle after I filed for a default judgment hearing.  I had to settle simply because I couldn't afford to go to trial.  I didn't come out ahead, but I would have felt worse had I not done anything. 

Strangely, right before settling they told their lawyer that they had offered to give all of my deposit back and allow me out of the contract... as the email shows above, that wasn't the case.  In their mind, it was my fault and my problem and I was getting a great deal... no matter that they were in breach of contract.   

Bottom line - if they had come to me and said "Hey Mark, we made a mistake, what can we do to make it right?", I would have totally been willing to work with them.  Their response was basically "screw you", which is always a great way to treat your customer. 

Now... after all of that, I'm stuck with common areas that are completed in a half-a$$ fashion and a parking garage that isn't complete.  It seems like they must be breaking the law somewhere.  Unfortunately, that's tough and expensive to prove.

Oh, and BTW I'm really enjoying our non-existant 'rooftop garden'.  Sigh. 
« Last Edit: July 09, 2006, 09:25:28 PM by mark »

Offline mark

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Re: Cincinnati: Middle Earth Developers (MED)- Buyers Be Warned!
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2006, 09:27:20 PM »
I lived in Kinsey Flats for a while (MED Rehab).  Crapiest construction I have ever seen.  The building was falling apart, poor insulation between units (I could hear the alarm clock of the person in the next unit), lots of punch list items years after the building is complete.  I think they are absolutley terrible and would never buy anything from them. I know a lot of people who have had problems with them as well.

Yup.  That piece of exposed particle board on the eastern most building of the stretch pretty much sums up their company.  They can't finish job, and quality is not a concern.  However, if you tell them that they get really defensive and offended.  It's unreal. 

Offline Alabama ExPat

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Re: Cincinnati: Middle Earth Developers (MED)- Buyers Be Warned!
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2006, 09:29:16 PM »
I'm far from an expert, but it seems like it is time for the owners association to find an attorney and file a law suit.

Offline mark

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Re: Cincinnati: Middle Earth Developers (MED)- Buyers Be Warned!
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2006, 09:35:34 PM »
I'm far from an expert, but it seems like it is time for the owners association to find an attorney and file a law suit.

If it was up to me, we'd do so... but honestly, it's like we are nearing the end of a war, and I think people just want them out and far away as possible.  My hope at this point is that people back out of their deals and tell them it was due to their poor workmanship and how they've treated their previous customers.  Maybe then they'll be forced to change.   In the meantime I suggest that everyone who is thinking about buying a unit downtown to steer clear of MED.  It sounds like your experience at the Polk Building was excellent, and it also seems like Urban Sites generally does a good job. 

Sidenote: no fewer than 4 suits were filed by Graydon Owners.  Go here:  http://www.courtclerk.org and perform a search for 'Middle Earth' for more detail.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2006, 09:40:41 PM by mark »

Offline prolix

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Re: Cincinnati: Middle Earth Developers (MED)- Buyers Be Warned!
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2006, 10:36:44 PM »
not to hijack mark's thread, but i'm with him on the experiences thus far with middle earth. while mark's problems are much more severe, renting from middle earth has just as many problems. kinsey flats was a pretty prime spot when it opened, and they took care of it for a short while, until the cleaning of the common spaces more or less stopped and the building began to (literally) fall apart. punch list items never finished, etc.

i've been faced with water POURING into my apartment from a yet undetermined location upstairs twice (a waterfall of water coming off the exposed beams). gutters fell off the building about a year ago, and this was only fixed maybe a month ago. over that year of no gutters a section of my exterior wall became a sponge and created a nice piece of abstract art on my wall. also related to that gutter issue, bricks began to fall out of the exterior of the building. they are now in the process of attempting to fix my wall, but they never show up when they are scheduled and then enter to do work without telling me. friday i was greeted by an apartment COVERED in drywall dust b/c they failed to notify me of entry so i could take precautions against the mess. i've now put furniture in front of hte patch so they can't come trash my place anymore.

the overall construction of kinsey is pretty lacking, as you can hear more or less everything that goes on in the apartments around you. the common spaces are a total mess, and now b/c of another leak in the roof, it rains in sections of the garage. the laundry area is probably the most un-sanitary thing i've ever seen, and they never did finish the rec room or the storage areas of the basement.

i think our building manager does what she cans, but i don't think the powers that be give her what is needed to maintain the building (or that the owners even give a rats a$$), as it continues to deteriorate. all the good tennants left, so now we've got a bunch of people who have no interest in keeping htis place nice, and leave burning cigarette butts everywhere.

i'll be out of here in about 30 days, i've grown tired of it all

mark, sorry to hear the situation at your place never improved, those pic's are indeed criminal. perhaps the association could get the work done, then sue to recover costs? is going after the realtor an option? you'd think if enough of the owners got on the realtor they would in turn go after MED? maybe someone like the real estate company would have more leverage to get them to finish the job. file BBB complaints against anyone involved, etc.

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Offline xumelanie

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Re: Cincinnati: Middle Earth Developers (MED)- Buyers Be Warned!
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2006, 10:57:23 PM »
^ things like gutters and bricks falling off a building are code violations.  You can file a complaint with the city's zoning department, and they will send an inspector.   

Offline aweeks

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Re: Cincinnati: Middle Earth Developers (MED)- Buyers Be Warned!
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2006, 11:17:57 PM »
Wow.  I am always amazed at how incompetent and/or shady some people can be in the real estate business.  I don't mean to offend anybody, but it sucks when it only takes one person or one company to ruin the experiences of many and give the business a bad name in general.  Trust me, I'm soon to be a lawyer and hear it all the time about my profession  :-D.

Offline mark

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Re: Cincinnati: Middle Earth Developers (MED)- Buyers Be Warned!
« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2006, 11:22:22 PM »
Prolix - sorry to see you've had a rough time of it too. 

I fully believe you are correct... they simply don't give a rats a$$. 

I've emailed the realtor, Christine Schoonover, however she has been no help.  I seriously considered going to down to the Parker Flats ground breaking ceremony and protesting... but that would've made me look kinda silly. 

I can't get the COA to do much, I think they (and myself as well) are just sick and tired of the whole thing and it simply costs too much to hire a lawyer and go after them since we're stuck paying all the bills to, in essence, complete the building. 

How they can sleep at night, I'm not sure.   Strangely, their attitude seems to be that they are doing us a favor by providing such an amazing product at a great price.  Reasonably priced my place may be - however I have never dealt with a worse group of people in my life.   

Kinsey was an awesome place when it opened... too bad it's gone downhill so quickly.  It's not suprising, though.  For example, they had a gentleman working on 'post completion' issues (hah!).  He was arrested for some sort of offense, more than likely DUI (I've found bottles of booze in the hall closet that he used to drink).  He was in jail for about a month since he had previous outstand warrents.  Did they replace him?  Nope.  Nothing got done for a month while he was in jail... and now he's back, doing his usual terrible job when he is actually on-site. 

All they need to do is hire about 5 people to work for a couple of weeks to finish this off and make us happy.  Hell, even returning emails would be an improvement.  Will that happen?  No.  They'd prefer to be sued - it must be cheaper. 

Offline mark

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Re: Cincinnati: Middle Earth Developers (MED)- Buyers Be Warned!
« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2006, 11:24:27 PM »
Wow.  I am always amazed at how incompetent and/or shady some people can be in the real estate business.  I don't mean to offend anybody, but it sucks when it only takes one person or one company to ruin the experiences of many and give the business a bad name in general.  Trust me, I'm soon to be a lawyer and hear it all the time about my profession  :-D.

Feel like taking on a case? :)

Offline mark

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Re: Cincinnati: Middle Earth Developers (MED)- Buyers Be Warned!
« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2006, 11:27:16 PM »
^ things like gutters and bricks falling off a building are code violations.  You can file a complaint with the city's zoning department, and they will send an inspector.  

The awesome part of this is that now that the condo association (ie me and the other owners) now own the building, we're responsible for their poor workmanship.  It never ends :)

Offline aweeks

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Re: Cincinnati: Middle Earth Developers (MED)- Buyers Be Warned!
« Reply #15 on: July 09, 2006, 11:54:57 PM »
Wow.  I am always amazed at how incompetent and/or shady some people can be in the real estate business.  I don't mean to offend anybody, but it sucks when it only takes one person or one company to ruin the experiences of many and give the business a bad name in general.  Trust me, I'm soon to be a lawyer and hear it all the time about my profession  :-D.

Feel like taking on a case? :)

I recommend Haynes007.  With him being a future resident of Parker Flats, I'm sure MED would love it. ;)

Offline mark

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Re: Cincinnati: Middle Earth Developers (MED)- Buyers Be Warned!
« Reply #16 on: July 10, 2006, 12:18:15 AM »
Wow.  I am always amazed at how incompetent and/or shady some people can be in the real estate business.  I don't mean to offend anybody, but it sucks when it only takes one person or one company to ruin the experiences of many and give the business a bad name in general.  Trust me, I'm soon to be a lawyer and hear it all the time about my profession  :-D.

Feel like taking on a case? :)

I recommend Haynes007.  With him being a future resident of Parker Flats, I'm sure MED would love it. ;)

That would be amusing.  I'm hopeful that everything works out well for him. 

Offline Haynesm007

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Re: Cincinnati: Middle Earth Developers (MED)- Buyers Be Warned!
« Reply #17 on: July 10, 2006, 07:11:55 AM »
I've had my own experience with the famous (or infamous) Tim Voss.  I don't want to get into details but his response to me was unsurprisingly similar to the email you received, mark.  After that, I began investigating their prior dealings and found out that our firm had previously represented two clients against MED.  That, needless to say, doesn't do much to build my confidence in MED but I'm really hoping that using an outside construction company will really cut down on the issues you and prolix have faced.   

Offline xumelanie

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Re: Cincinnati: Middle Earth Developers (MED)- Buyers Be Warned!
« Reply #18 on: July 10, 2006, 07:24:41 AM »
^ things like gutters and bricks falling off a building are code violations.  You can file a complaint with the city's zoning department, and they will send an inspector.  

The awesome part of this is that now that the condo association (ie me and the other owners) now own the building, we're responsible for their poor workmanship.  It never ends :)

Unfortunately, this won't help you, but perhaps people in MED's apartments should file complaints against them with the city's zoning board.

I'm really sorry to hear that you and the other owners have to go through all of this.  It's a nightmare, and I, too, wonder how these people sleep at night.

Offline prolix

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Re: Cincinnati: Middle Earth Developers (MED)- Buyers Be Warned!
« Reply #19 on: July 10, 2006, 08:28:01 AM »
I think in terms of the rental property the owners just don't care. They got the glory of the new 'rehab' and then that was about it. I can't fault the employees that are supposed to manage this stuff, since they aren't given what is necessary to do their jobs. Our building manager does the best she can, but in the end the turn-around has to happen with the owners and from everyones dealings with those guys, that's not likely.

It is indeed unfortunate, b/c it really wouldn't take that much more effort to fix the issues we've all had.
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Offline cincyimages

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Re: Cincinnati: Middle Earth Developers (MED)- Buyers Be Warned!
« Reply #20 on: July 10, 2006, 07:04:45 PM »
Wow this thread spread like wild fire.  Surprised to hear so many complaints about this company.  Keep your head up Haynes007.  Have you had to make a mortgage or construction payment to them yet for Parker Flats?

Offline mark

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Re: Cincinnati: Middle Earth Developers (MED)- Buyers Be Warned!
« Reply #21 on: July 10, 2006, 07:07:58 PM »
Wow this thread spread like wild fire.  Surprised to hear so many complaints about this company.  Keep your head up Haynes007.  Have you had to make a mortgage or construction payment to them yet for Parker Flats?

See, I'm not totally crazy :)

Offline Alabama ExPat

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Re: Cincinnati: Middle Earth Developers (MED)- Buyers Be Warned!
« Reply #22 on: July 10, 2006, 09:22:45 PM »
Maybe it's time to call some young, aspiring editor over at City Beat for the big expose.  I'm sure that would get MED's attention.

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Re: Cincinnati: Middle Earth Developers (MED)- Buyers Be Warned!
« Reply #23 on: July 10, 2006, 11:22:18 PM »
Not a bad suggestion...

Offline moonloop

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Re: Cincinnati: Middle Earth Developers (MED)- Buyers Be Warned!
« Reply #24 on: July 11, 2006, 09:37:53 AM »
The most expensive unit is still for sale, right? I would think that potential buyer would contact the COA and that would be your opportunity to explain your concerns. The buyer, I would think, then would bring those concerns to MED and the sales agent. Then maybe the building problems could make or break the sale. Would MED make the fixes if the most expensive unit sold? Would the agent be willing to lose a sale if the building issues aren't taking care of? That could be another angle to look into.

Offline mark

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Re: Cincinnati: Middle Earth Developers (MED)- Buyers Be Warned!
« Reply #25 on: July 11, 2006, 09:51:19 AM »
They'll let it sit there for 10 years before they bend to the will of a buyer.  Either that or they will make empty promises.

Offline SSSCincy

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Re: Cincinnati: Middle Earth Developers (MED)- Buyers Be Warned!
« Reply #26 on: July 11, 2006, 08:33:06 PM »
After my terrible experience with MED at Kinsey, I advised a client (I too am a lawyer) not to purchase one of the expensive downtown condos from MED.  He did not listen and was miserable for a year until he could get out of it.  MED gets sued so much it doesn't even phase them when they get a letter from a lawyer.  They are probably barely hanging on financially.  I have never seen a company operate so unprofessionally and poorly before.  They totally abandoned Kinsey.  We were lied to over and over again.  We ended up exchanging some nasty  letters in which I threatened to sue.  I feel sorry for anyone who gets stuck with a MED property.  Maybe the new contractor will help.  Either they get in over their head and can't get out or they are criminal.
In Downtown Cincinnati

Offline mark

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Re: Cincinnati: Middle Earth Developers (MED)- Buyers Be Warned!
« Reply #27 on: July 11, 2006, 08:43:12 PM »
I sent an email today to Citybeat... not that they probably care what Citybeat says... does anyone happen to have some media contacts that might be interested in writing a line or two in the paper about this?  It drives me crazy to see postive press about MED every couple of weeks in the paper after they've so thorougly screwed over so many people...

On another note, with all these lawyers around I'm surprised they haven't gotten themselves into more trouble... I wish I knew some of you when I went forward with my suit.  What has happened with Kinsey really saddens me. 

Offline Alabama ExPat

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Re: Cincinnati: Middle Earth Developers (MED)- Buyers Be Warned!
« Reply #28 on: July 11, 2006, 10:23:53 PM »
Maybe a few more emails to Citybeat on the subject from others might help.

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Re: Cincinnati: Middle Earth Developers (MED)- Buyers Be Warned!
« Reply #29 on: July 12, 2006, 07:19:43 AM »
Cliff Peale at The Enquirer is a great writer who writes about a lot of downtown issues, try him.
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Offline Cincinnatus

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Re: Cincinnati: Middle Earth Developers (MED)- Buyers Be Warned!
« Reply #30 on: July 12, 2006, 07:39:45 AM »
Not that it's on the same level as CityBeat, but a better chance of it getting published ... why don't you email Doug Taylor from the Downtowner? The newspaper does get around pretty well.

Have you tried calling Tom Sussi? ;) ... I'm serious.

The company I work for was contacted by Tom Sussi (of course then handled by our legal dept. in Seattle), and there was quick action on part of us. The problem was quickly resolved.
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Offline prolix

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Re: Cincinnati: Middle Earth Developers (MED)- Buyers Be Warned!
« Reply #31 on: July 12, 2006, 08:19:06 AM »
It appears both Middle Earth Development and Properties are members of the Cincy BBB

Middle Earth Properties (who manages the rental, ie: Kinsey)
http://search.cincinnati.bbb.org/default3.asp?strTheForm=2&ID=1&strBCode=02920000&ComID=0292000011006428&ComName=Middle+Earth+Properties

Middle Earth DevelopersMark's favorite group)
http://search.cincinnati.bbb.org/default3.asp?strTheForm=2&ID=1&strBCode=02920000&ComID=0292000003005850&ComName=Middle+Earth+Developers+Inc%2E

It is indeed kinda sad how much Kinsey has deteriorated. I moved in right after it opened and it was pretty cool back then (both the blding and the tennants). Now both have gone downhill. Jim Moll already contacted me about showing it

I wonder if anyone from MED reads this stuff, although it seems like the owners are the primary problem. Hard problem to fix.

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Offline mark

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Re: Cincinnati: Middle Earth Developers (MED)- Buyers Be Warned!
« Reply #32 on: July 12, 2006, 04:19:17 PM »
Prolix - thanks for looking that up....  However, though they are listed, they aren't members:

Original Business
Start Date:     1/1/1995
Type of Entity:     Corporation
Principal:     Robyn Thomas, Office Maanger
Local Phone Number:     (513)681-3400
Fax Number:     (513)681-3507
Membership Status: This company is not a member
TOB Classification: Contractors-General
Web Site URL(s): http://www.medevelopers.com


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Re: Cincinnati: Middle Earth Developers (MED)- Buyers Be Warned!
« Reply #33 on: July 12, 2006, 05:00:47 PM »
 Tom Sussi,great idea, I thought the same thing.Why not go for the biggest toughest BAD@$$ in cincy?  Laurie friggin Quinliven and the I-Team.  They could interrupt MED's favorite shows with "breaking news" about their own sorry criminal @$$es.                                                                                             

Offline prolix

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Re: Cincinnati: Middle Earth Developers (MED)- Buyers Be Warned!
« Reply #34 on: July 12, 2006, 08:04:55 PM »
ah, my bad. this part threw me off, should have read more closely

Quote
Customer Experience
 
Based on BBB files, this company has a satisfactory record with the Bureau.
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