Matthew Dilick: Wilshire Village Residents Were Just “Squatters”

Did Matthew Dilick, managing partner of the partnership that owns the 7.68-acre site of the former Wilshire Village Apartments, really refer to the long-term tenants of the long-neglected property at the corner of West Alabama and Dunlavy — many of whom had lived in their apartments and paid rent for decades before they were evicted last year — as “squatters”?

In a February 1st affidavit he provided to the 133rd District Court in hopes it might help forestall Wedge Real Estate Finance from foreclosing on the property, Dilick states that “the Plaintiff [Alabama & Dunlavy Ltd., of which Dilick is the general partner] expended considerable time and expense in evicting squatters on the Property.” This just a page or so after declaring his qualifications: “The Plaintiff and/or limited partners of the Plaintiff have owned this Property for over 50 years.”

Gosh, maybe there’s a bit of confusion here? Maybe the “squatters” Dilick is referring to weren’t the actual long-term rent-paying Wilshire Village residents, but some other people he found hiding out in the complex who didn’t have authorization to be there from “the Plaintiff and/or limited partners of the Plaintiff”?

Uh . . . no. By “squatters,” Dilick clearly means Wilshire Village’s long-term residents. The ones he sent eviction notices to; the ones he addressed as “reported occupants” in the release forms he asked them to sign. Otherwise, why should it have taken “considerable time and expense” for Dilick to evict them? How about just . . . “shoo!”?

Neatly left out of the affidavit: The apparent ongoing conflicts Dilick had with Jay Cohen, the sole owner of the property for the bulk of those 50 years. Until they were evicted, the tenants paid their rent to him every month. What’s Cohen’s role?

A person familiar with the situation writes in:


I am almost certain [Jay] Cohen is a partner. But as you know, the limited partner does not have to be named in transactions, documents, etc. . . . Put it this way, I doubt a man like Dilick buys a property of this size and value and either can’t figure out it is inhabited or opts to let people live there for free for three or four years. My guess is a limited partner (i.e. Cohen) collected rent and with Dilick’s knowledge as part of an agreement. My guess is the potential for liability made Dilick cringe the whole time too. Under financial pressure, Dilick had to burn Cohen.

Might Dilick have complained to the fire marshal about his own property — so that city officials would ultimately require everyone to leave?

We’ll likely never know: Our source tells us the identity of the person who filed the complaint is “protected by law.”

Our source continues:

The “squatters” remark was the last straw for me. . . . They were good, quiet, RENT-PAYING neighbors in a virtually crime-free environment. If there are/were slimy denizens living off others in this saga, they were most assuredly not the former residents of Wilshire Village apartments.

Photo: Flickr user fourfive [license]

15 Comment

  • Thank you, Swamplot, for trying to being clarity to a truly fucked-up situation.

  • I like the photo with (I assume) Jay Cohan’s scraggely hand-writing filling in the blanks.

  • We’ll likely never know: Our source tells us the identity of the person who filed the complaint is “protected by law.”


    Could have been anyone. One thing is for sure. There was a question on the part of the tenants as to the “condemnation” which of course defied explanation given the length of time truly “uninhabitable” properties sit there with the city issuing one citation after another.

    Obviously someone pulled a string. I doubt Matthew Dilick has the pull to pull those kind of strings.

  • Last night on my way out of the Fiesta parking lot, I noticed that some Montrosite has added some handwritten signs on the Wilshire Village lot by way of suggestion. They’re next to the large green signs advertising the property for sale.

    One says something like “Or we could just build a park, eh?”

    The other says something like “7.68 acres of nature”.

    Sorry, no pictures. Maybe JPSivco, if he’s still in the nabe, can take some.

  • As someone who has looked into the park thing (different location) it is simple. Just find someone to buy the property and give it to the city. The city does not have the $, and neither do the Park People, et al. Plus the money to develop and maintain the park. All in all, huge bucks.
    BTW, what is the sales price?

  • The property was appraised at around $27 million, so giving it away as a park is quite a gift.

  • parks are nice, but it’s not a good place for one since there’s the dunlavy park just a block away (and the menil close by). the residents in the area would be better served by more tax revenue.

    my understanding is the people living there were paying a rent far below the norm for the area, and certainly not enough to turn a profit on the land. squatters is a crude term, but when you’re paying out of pocket to have people live on your property i’m sure it’s an aggravating situation that would give bent to aggravating terms.

  • The Houston Parks Board is an organization that accuires land for the Houston parks systems and also maintains exsiting facilities through private donations. With the sale price of 27 million, that is roughly 7 times that of their average annual dealings.

  • The property was appraised at around $27 million, so giving it away as a park is quite a gift.


    Well maybe Bill White can ask his former employer to do just that since he gave away a valuable parcel in downtown, I believe worth $45 million, for Discovery Green. While trying to force The Center on West Dallas to buy the property or vacate.

    Of course the Wedge Group first has to obtain the property. And there does seem to be a question about what is still going on with regard to the lawsuit.

  • Low rent kept warm bodies on the premises until they were no longer necessary – insurance on vacant property is considerably higher than on inhabited property.

  • Nothing I hear about Di**ck surprises me any more.

    And who would have thought ANYONE would have a conflict with Cohen!!??

    Matt Mystery, stop with the Bill White stuff. Heard that record before….zzzzzzz…borrrrrring.

  • Bill White was mayor when this shit went down, and he was closely connected to major players at Wedge and the Fire Department who are mixed up in it. Even if it comes to light that behind the scenes machinations weren’t illegal, it doesn’t mean that they weren’t hinky all the same. What happened with Wilshire village stinks of hink. And that’s actually rather interesting ROR.

  • I know the people involved in saving the 11th Street Park. It took a MASSIVE effort and that was for a much smaller plot of land in a residential area that only cost $11 million and was owned by the government (the school district).

    As much as I’m sure it would be great to turn Wilshire Villiage’s former property into a park, I’d be shocked to see someone pony up $27 million for that land.