A fire damaged a Santa Monica apartment building that is part of a legal battle between developer Neil Shekhter’s firm NMS Properties and its former joint venture partner AEW Capital Management.
The fire was caused by an underground electrical vault, which exploded in the parking garage on Monday.
Thirty-four Santa Monica Police officers and firemen arrived and extinguished the flames in 20 minutes, Santa Monica Observed reported.
Residents have been evacuated from the five-story, mixed-use apartment building and parking garage at 1447 Lincoln Boulevard. It is unknown when they will be allowed to return.
None of the units were affected by the fire and investigators are working to determine the cause, said Captain Patrick Nulty of the Santa Monica Fire Department.
The building is temporarily under the management of Lincoln Property Co. A judge ordered the firm to step in and assume the day-to-day operations at the building until the legal battle between Shekhter and AEW is resolved. The rent it collects will go into an escrow fund until a resolution is reached.