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Mark Fishman, landlord who has stirred controversy, evicts Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa from ward office

Alderman Carlos Ramirez Rosa (Credit: Facebook and Duettographics)

Landlord Mark Fishman, who some consider the face of gentrification for rehabbing buildings then sharply raising rents on tenants, evicted a North Side alderman and state representative from their Logan Square office.

Fishman evicted Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th) and State Rep. Will Guzzardi after claiming they owed more than $42,000 in unpaid rent, according to Block Club Chicago.

Ramirez-Rosa acknowledged that Fishman and his company, M. Fishman & Co., did not get paid. But the alderman said Fishman refused to fill out paperwork to allow the state to send in payment. According to Ramirez-Rosa, Fishman did that to gain leverage, the news website reported.

Guzzardi was added to Ramirez-Rosa’s lease for the office at 2708 North Sawyer Avenue in July 2015, about six months before Fishman bought the property. The previous owner, FY Property Management, approved an amended lease, but Fishman said the legislator was never formally added to the lease and that he was not in favor of adding him.

Fishman’s practice of buying large multifamily buildings before rehabbing them and raising rents has made him a controversial figure in the historically Hispanic neighborhood. M. Fishman & Co. lists 28 neighborhood properties in its portfolio, but property records suggests he owns many more than that.

The eviction is the latest twist in a longstanding feud between Ramirez-Rosa and Fishman, a major property investor and developer in the gentrifying Northwest Side neighborhood. Ramirez-Rosa largely works to fight gentrification forces in Logan Square, according to Block Club Chicago.

Logan Square’s housing market has been red hot — with the median price rising by 19 percent in 2018 — even as much of the rest of the city’s real estate has cooled. [Block Club Chicago] — Joe Ward

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