We were intrigued by reporter Emily Akin's story on a long-vacant Sherwood Oaks strip mall that residents say is an unwelcome hangout for vandals and crackheads -- intrigued mostly because her story stated that "it's unclear who owns the property since the owner on record is no longer alive."
And that's true; the owner listed on the Harris County Appraisal District is J.E. Eisemann III, who died in 1981. Interestingly, he seems to have purchased the property in 1988. Apparently, HCAD inherited this information from the Harris County Tax Assessor's Office, which never had any problem with a dead owner, because the dude, while dead, was paying his taxes. But in 2010, death caught up with Eisemann, and he missed some payments to a few taxing districts, including Spring Branch ISD.
When that district sued, it listed Eisemann's kin as defendants. Specifically, Roder Dean Eisemann of Houston, J.E. Eisemann IV of Trinidad, Colorado; and Nancy E. Eisemann Osborn Blackburn of Austin were all named as trustees of the estates of Catherine and J.E. Eisemann III. The estate promptly paid more than $20,000 in back taxes, and now appears to be current.
For some reason -- maybe nostalgia -- the Eisemanns haven't wanted to sell the festering piece of concrete detritus that's pissing off an entire neighborhood. And since they don't have to drive by it every day, there's no good reason, other than common decency, that they should want to unload it. (The Eisemanns haven't returned our calls).
According to state and federal records, Eisemann the IV and his brother, Roger, appear to have been directors of the West University-based Republic Trinidad Corporation, a holding company for First National Bank of Trinidad, Colorado. (A phone number listed for the Corporation goes directly to a voice mailbox that is not accepting messages. But we were able to leave a voicemail for Eisemann the IV at the bank in Trinidad).
it's possible the Eisemanns have been trying to sell the property for some time -- we don't know because they won't talk to us. And they apparently won't talk to the people who have to drive by their property every day. It must be like having a complete turd for a neighbor, except the turd isn't even there for you to flip off. How unsatisfying.