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Kawamoto Unloads Controversial Homes

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Controversial Japanese investor Gensiro Kawamoto has sold the 149 rental homes he owned in Santa Rosa to a San Diego investor. The 47 million dollar deal means Rashmi Mehta paid about 320-thousand dollars per home. He plans to sell them. The deal, which closed yesterday, ends Kawamoto´s ties to the neighborhood, which has been up in arms since February. That´s when he decided to sell the homes and surprised tenants with a 30-day notice to move out or be evicted.

Mehta says he will repair the homes and put them on the market in the next three months. He says he has no interest in keeping them as rentals. Kawamoto also closed a deal yesterday to sell 63 additional rental homes in Sacramento, to Tanner Oakridge Investments. The sale price was not disclosed. After Kawamoto was threatened with lawsuits and even state legislation, he extended the move-out period another 90 days. He settled a lawsuit with Sonoma County by agreeing to make repairs to some of the homes.