Neighbors sick of the criminal takeover of a mixed-use two-story building once touted as “near Staples Center” have helped the Los Angeles City Attorney secure a permanent injunction against its owners, officials announced. The building at the corner of Broadway and 93rd Street had been used by multiple South Los Angeles gangs “as a base of operations to commit a wide variety of crimes” within 1,000 feet of three elementary schools, says City Attorney Mike Feuer.
Feuer went after the landlords with a preliminary injunction last year, but the court now makes it permanent.
The injunction allows the government to force Louis and Clara Young to hire a professional management company to run their property and screen the tenants, and requires them to hire an on-site residential manager and install high-intensity lighting and no-trespassing signs—not to mention multicamera video monitoring. To top it off, all tenants with criminal histories must be evicted.
Much of this has already been accomplished. Feuer says that since the preliminary injunction, “Criminal activity has ceased.” Now it's permanent, and neighbors, word is, are beyond relieved.
In fact, authorities say, it was the South Los Angeles community itself that brought forward evidence and complaints. They're mostly working-class families living in neatly kept, smallish homes and apartment units nearby. They'd lived near the blight and danger at 9225-9231 S. Broadway and 305-311 W. 93rd St. for years, and they'd simply had enough.
“When we turn problem properties around, we can turn neighborhoods around,” Feuer said. “Our lawsuit has put a stop to a major source of guns, drugs and counterfeit property that plagued this community. We'll continue to fight to hold property owners like these accountable.” Deputy City Attorney Kevin Gilligan of the city's Anti-Counterfeit Enforcement Program won the ruling.
It's a peach of a place, at one point painted dark peach. In 2006, two men were shot on site, one of them killed. With numerous gangs tapping the site for their use, Feuer says law enforcement has recovered nine handguns, including five stolen ones, as well as various drugs, more than $100,000 in counterfeit goods, two stolen luxury vehicles and 484 credit cards that police say are linked to identity theft and fraud. Counterfeit clothes and pirated DVD movies were routinely moved through storefronts and other spaces at the site.
In 2010, the City Attorney’s Office secured an injunction and closure of one business in the building for selling counterfeit goods. But the Youngs failed to stop their apartment tenants and business tenants from starting up the criminal activities once again, so Feuer went after the Youngs themselves. The property includes five storefronts and four upstairs apartments plus two separate residential units.
The whole thing sits within 1,000 feet of three elementary schools, and children must walk past the building daily.