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The Real Deal Los Angeles

In LA’s Chinatown, Ghost Ship tragedy reverberates

Oakland tragedy sparking scrutiny on LA warehouses
December 30, 2016 02:16PM

The warehouse at 1641 Naud Street. Photo credit: DAUM Commercial

An Oakland warehouse fire earlier this month that killed 36 people has led to increased scrutiny on such properties, with a Chinatown artists’ haven the latest to come under the microscope of Los Angeles officials.

A week after the Bay Area tragedy, L.A. Fire Department inspectors visited the warehouse at 1641 Naud Street and issued citations for several violations, the L.A. Times reported. Not long afterward, the property owner issued about 70 eviction notices to tenants. The warehouse had received three complaints from anonymous callers this year, and inspections revealed fire sprinklers had not been properly installed,a Building and Safety spokesman told the Times.

However, the Times reported that conditions at the Naud Street warehouse appeared to be nowhere near as dangerous as those at The Ghost Ship — the site of the Oakland fire. And unlike at the Ghost Ship, the space was primarily used for work space, not residences. The warehouse is owned by Omninet Capital under two limited liability companies.

Last month, Building and Safety received a complaint about another warehouse belonging to Omninet Capital on Wilhardt Street, similar to the one at the Naud Street property, according to the L.A. Times.

Evicted tenants told the Times that locating affordable work areas in L.A. would be very difficult. [LAT] –Gabrielle Paluch