OAKLAND -- The city is seeking to shut down a single room occupancy hotel that officials say is notorious for drug dealing and squalor.
A lawsuit filed this week by City Attorney Barbara Parker asks an Alameda Superior Court judge to shut down the West Grand Hotel for a year and order its owners to pay for an outside entity to take over the building, relocate tenants and make repairs. The lawsuit also seeks $25,000 in civil penalties from each of the owners.
The hotel has been cited for numerous code violations including a lack of fire extinguishers, exposed wiring, broken toilets and cockroach and mold infestations, according to the lawsuit.
Since April 2013, Oakland police have arrested at least 23 people for drug sales and other drug crimes connected to the property, according to a prepared statement released by Parker.
"Every tenant in our city has a right to safe and humane living conditions," Parker said. "Unfortunately, the owners of the West Grand Hotel treat their tenants as nothing more than ATM machines while their buildings literally fall apart."
The building at 641 West Grand Ave. was purchased two years ago by Oakland JMO, LLC. While the company is registered in Georgia, it claimed a Beverly Hills address that is home to the Razi Law Group. Omid Razi, who is listed as a defendant in the lawsuit and is an attorney with the firm, did not return a call seeking comment.