Karmel Square Somali shopping mall in south Mpls partially collapses [PHOTOS]

karmelCollapse.jpeg
Dylan Thomas (@DthomasJournals) on Twitter
The scene at Karmel Mall this morning.
Around 8:45 this morning, a third-floor addition under construction at the Karmel Square shopping mall at 2910 Pillsbury Ave. in south Minneapolis collapsed, knocking out power in the area and resulting in the evacuation of about 25 people from the building. No injuries were reported.

The shopping mall houses about 150 Somali businesses and is owned by Basim Sabri, a controversial developer who was the subject of our 2007 feature story about his effort to rebuild his reputation after he was released from federal prison.

See also:
Basim Sabri, man behind pro-Abdi Warsame fliers, says he prefers Hitler to Lilligren

Here's an excerpt from that feature illustrating why today's accident raised red flags:
Sabri Properties has also been repeatedly cited for violating city codes and ordinances. Last month, for instance, the company was ordered by the city's regulatory services department to halt renovations of a building on the 3000 block of Pleasant Avenue. An inspector determined that work was being done without the proper permits and by unlicensed contractors. It was the company's third warning on this particular property.

"He just kind of goes forward with his plans regardless of what the approvals might be," says Sixth Ward City Council member Robert Lilligren, who represents the Whittier neighborhood. "I would characterize it as preferring to seek forgiveness rather than approval."

Sabri insists that such citations are an inevitable part of doing business. "If you are going to be a statue in the mall, you're going to expect some pigeon shit," he says. "This is pigeon shit."
But this afternoon, Minneapolis city spokesperson Casper Hill confirmed to us that Sabri did indeed have a building permit for the third-floor addition, which will reportedly serve as an Islamic prayer center.

Minneapolis Police Department spokesman Scott Seroka told us it's his understanding that a city building inspector would be checking to make sure the rest of the building is structurally sound before allowing Karmel businesses to reopen. A call to the Minneapolis Fire Department seeking information on how that inspection turned out wasn't immediately returned.

Here are some photos of the collapse shared on Twitter by local reporters and the MPD: (For more, click to page two.)


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31 comments
David Giberson
David Giberson

Apparently Donald Sterling has some relatives commenting here

John Bunch
John Bunch

Maybe owned is not the right term. Occupied and managed is probably the right term.

John Bunch
John Bunch

"Karmel Square is a collection of small businesses and groceries, largely operated by the area's Somali community."

Noel Barrick
Noel Barrick

Just gotta say... wow people. Hate much? You should be saying, "What a tragedy."

John Bunch
John Bunch

Islam is a religion not a race, mkay?

John Bunch
John Bunch

Remember that Somali-owned apartment that blew up in Minneapolis this winter? Obviously, their "community" is getting a pass from our hijab-wear ink mayor. Typical moonbat b.s.

John Bunch
John Bunch

Btw, the crime rate is way DOWN in Minneapolis. The worst year was 1996, and it is way down since then.

John Bunch
John Bunch

First off, criticizing Islam doesn't make us racists. There are blonde white converts to Islam and I criticize them too. Secondly, we are criticizing sub-par construction standards that the city obviously allows. It Christian fundamentalists were committing crime and had special rights, we would criticize that too.

Bradley Paul Legrid
Bradley Paul Legrid

What an idiotic this to say, and if you liked this comment you're just as big of an idiot....

Bradley Paul Legrid
Bradley Paul Legrid

A building collapses and the only thing people can talk about are how much they hate Somalians..... Come on, really?? I used to be a guard at Guantanamo Bay and I cringe at some of these idiotic comments...

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

Basim Sabri has been a trainwreck for at least 25 years.  My wife worked at a restaurant he owned around then and she eventually quit because getting paid was always an adventure and he berated people for throwing out rotten food rather than selling it.  In these "developments" of his, he acts as his own General Contractor, despite not having a license, so he can avoid paying somebody qualified, and can force his sub-contractors to cut every corner an inspector can't see.  It looks like he's learned he does have to get building permits, but obviously his crews aren't following construction best-practices.


The only way to get rid of the Basims of the world is to "drain the swamp."  They operate in slum areas, where the residents lack the money and clout to get rid of them, and the Powers That Be don't care because of the aforementioned lack of money.  Basim has been the con-man King of Lake Street for a long time, but Lake Street is changing for the better.  When the Mexicans started revitalizing the area on their own because nobody else would, that led to the eviction of Ferris Alexander. Now Basim, being a slightly higher form of life than Ferris, has to be the next out the door.  He can't exploit the Mexicans so much anymore because, following the typical immigrant progression, they've established themselves and don't have to take whatever is given them by slumlords.  

Now Basim is on to the Somalis.  They haven't been here that long yet, and they came here with nothing.  It will take them a while to establish themselves, but they're working hard at it and they're making progress.  Once they can get access to capital themselves, they won't need Basim at all, and that will be a good thing.  I sure hope he doesn't turn up in North Minneapolis next.  He's the last thing that area needs; they've already got enough exploiters operating with near-impunity because the locals don't have enough pull at City Hall.

John Bunch
John Bunch

So just to summarize: if your "community" is exotic enough, you can skip building inspections??

John Bunch
John Bunch

The developer according to the article says he "prefers Hitler..." Wow. Fascism plus lack of modern first-world construction standards. What could go wrong? Where is the city on this???

Michael Boyd
Michael Boyd

People are not evacuated, the building was evacuated.

bradradio
bradradio

@citypages You can take the mall out of Somalia, but you can't take Somalia out of the mall

hoffm83n
hoffm83n

anyone who knows of sabri shouldn't be surprised

Mary King
Mary King

Pigeon shit..... Wow.... Happy no one was injured or killed! Pigeon shit..... Bad answer to this situation!

hamzaawo
hamzaawo

you are criticizing the somali community and islam if you want to  criticize someone criticize that one person instead a whole religion 


digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

nobody gives a shit about your military acumen

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