Looking for a Landlord

A downtown New Britain building still has tenants, but no one to run the building

In the 50 years Warren Hinze has run a music store on West Main Street in New Britain he's seen just about everything, but he hopes he doesn't see an eviction notice.

Hinze is a tenant in the Raphael building, located just a block from City Hall. The landlord left the country without paying the mortgage and now that building is in foreclosure.

"We're in a limbo state at the moment," Hinze said. "We're hoping somebody will buy the building.”

Hinze and the other tenants figure the building might be worth something. After all, they're willing to pay the rent. But one tenant has already left.

It was a Christian bookstore, Adrienne Perdue said as she past the door with a closed sign taped on it.

"They're moving out now," Hinze said. "And for whatever reason, though I know they were very discouraged having no landlord, nobody to take care of them."

The tenants also have no heat. To tolerate the cold, Hinze put a space heater on the floor behind the counter and he wears a heavy jacket.

Earlier in the winter, the tenants pooled money to buy oil for the furnace but it has not lasted.

"The oil that we bought the first time around was not enough to keep it going," said Hinze. "Some of the tenants just felt it was a lost cause."

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