Derelict building razed

first_imgGLENDALE – For decades, city officials issued citations to the owners of a worn-down apartment complex on San Fernando Road for everything from rodent infestations to a lack of heat. On Tuesday, officials announced that crews had completely cleaned the eyesore in preparation for what they hope will be housing for the developmentally disabled, ending what they called the longest running code enforcement case in city history. The city bought the property at 6206 San Fernando Road in 2004 for $2.6 million. Crews demolished the 28-unit building last month after relocating its tenants. “It’s an anomaly in that most things are repaired and they stay repaired,” said Sam Engel, a city neighborhood services administrator. “This one, because it was never intended to be housing that was to last for decades, has deteriorated faster because it’s gotten such heavy use.” The city wants to work with United Cerebral Palsy of Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties to build a 24-unit apartment building for the developmentally disabled. The project would cost nearly $10 million, including the amount already spent buying the property and relocating tenants. The city’s contribution would total $4.1 million. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development would need to pitch in $3.1 million, and HUD has not decided whether to fund the project. An announcement is expected within weeks. “They might not fund the project, and if they don’t fund the project then we don’t have a project,” said Peter Zovak, housing development and preservation administrator. “So we’ll be looking to alternatives at that time.” Before the city bought the property, it had issued dozens of code violations to the owner dating back to 1959. They included inoperable lighting fixtures, rodent infestations, overcrowding, lack of heat, missing interior doors and missing smoke detectors, Engel said. Although the units were small singles and one-bedrooms, the owner was able to charge above-market rates of about $1,000 a month because the renters paid in cash on a month-to-month basis, which many apartment owners will not accept, city officials said. The city provided relocation assistance of about $15,000 per household to the tenants so they could move out, and consultants helped some of them find units they could rent. United Cerebral Palsy is putting the final touches on a project at 600 South San Fernando Blvd., Burbank, similar to what it wants to build in Glendale. “It’s not a medical complex, it’s an apartment building,” said Ron Cohen, executive director of United Cerebral Palsy of Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties. “This apartment building in Burbank has a gorgeous activity room. So if the tenants want to have a party, they want to have a family gathering, it’s there.” Tenants would receive assistance from the federal government to help them pay their rent. If HUD provides money for the project, construction could begin in nine months, and the building could open a year later. Alex Dobuzinskis, (818) 546-3304 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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