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Mpls. City Council Gets Involved In Nicole Curtis Controversy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- City leaders are stepping in after a WCCO Investigation found a well-known home rehabber is accused of stalling a Minneapolis remodel.

The city sold a house on Hillside Avenue in north Minneapolis to Nicole Curtis for $2 two years ago after she saved it from demolition. Curtis is host of the popular HGTV reality show "Rehab Addict."

Some subcontractors have accused Curtis of not paying her bills on the property, and the city says she is not following the contract she signed.

Materials have been piled outside the home for months. Now, the mess has spilled over the makeshift fence to city hall.

"We saw you're story just recently about where we're at and, you know, maybe a little bit disappointed that it hasn't happened," Minneapolis City Council Member Blong Yang said.

Yang represents the neighborhood where Curtis's property sits.

Two liens were put on the property in the last two weeks: one from a lumberyard owner who said Curtis owed him $10,000, and a $25,000 debt to a structural shoring and carpentry business called Jepsen Inc.

The lumberyard told WCCO Curtis paid the bill within days. John Jepsen is still waiting.

Curtis told WCCO two weeks ago she doesn't believe she owes him anything more. All the while, the Hillside house has sat silent since March.

The city of Minneapolis is now stepping in. A 50-page contract with the city shows Curtis had a year from closing on Nov. 21, 2013, to finish the house.

That deadline passed more than six months ago. The city says since Curtis is now in breach of that contract, all city departments affiliated with the site will meet soon to decide what comes next.

"It's going to require something like that to get things going again," Yang said.

The council member has heard from plenty of his north Minneapolis neighbors who are more than ready to see something done.

"I definitely hear them in terms of their disappointment, dissatisfaction and just, you know, maybe anger that it hasn't gotten done yet," Yang said.

Nicole Curtis's manager said in a statement, "Filing a lien does not substantiate the validity of the claim that money is owed," and, "as in all of Curtis's projects, the timely completion doesn't rely solely on Curtis, but also on third party contractors."

He said his client will continue to invest into commitments she has made to see projects are finished.

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