February 22—As tensions persist between neighbors and the new owner of the Goonies’ Uppertown home, the owner and his team met with residents and other community members.
Behman Zakeri, an Overland Park, Kansas entrepreneur, closed in January on the $1.65 million home purchase made famous by the 1985 film “The Goonies.” His childhood best friend, Michael Eakin, bought the house next door.
Since then, the neighborhood’s frustrations with traffic, illegal parking, and the bad behavior of some visitors have come to the surface.
Both men attended the city council meeting Tuesday night, along with Corey MacDonald, a New Hampshire attorney, who was introduced by Zakeri earlier this month as the volunteer community coordinator for housing.
MacDonald said that since arriving Friday, the group has met with residents, business owners, police and representatives of the Astoria-Warrenton area Chamber of Commerce and the Astoria Rotary Club. He said they plan to talk to many more people.
“And we’re just looking at — as other people have pointed out at this meeting and in the past — what things we can do to be a part of helping,” MacDonald said. “And we don’t go in here and claim we have the answers for your community. We realize we’re outside your community. But Mr. Zakeri and his wife are owners here now and this is their second home, and they’re I’ll probably live here full time eventually.”
Several neighbors have expressed concern about cars driving down the dirt road to get to the Goonies’ home, echoed by MacDonald.
“We put up a sign — a ‘no cars’ sign — at the end of the driveway,” he said. “Unfortunately, it appears to have been vandalized and dismantled. So we’ve seen an increase in vehicle traffic.”
MacDonald said he saw an increase in foot traffic over the weekend following the Fort George Brewery’s annual Festival of Dark Arts.
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Megan Hodges, who lives near the Goonies’ home and expressed her concerns, preferred to discourage all vehicle and pedestrian traffic along the dirt road.
“All the new owner has to do is say, ‘Like the house online. It’s in a neighborhood,'” Hodges said. “This is not a home that needs a manager and an attorney and another community coordinator and a Goonies trash pick up day – Astoria is fine.
“We have a lot of volunteer work. We have a downtown community that picks up trash. We’re fine. We don’t need the help of hordes of people from out of town to do that.”