The Real Deal Los Angeles

Fire breaks out at SaMo building involved in Neil Shekhter and AEW’s legal battle

Investigators are working to determine the cause of a power vault explosion in the parking garage
May 10, 2017 01:30PM

Lincoln Boulevard apartments, Neil Shekhter (Google Maps)

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.

Earlier this week, a Los Angeles judge indicated that she would deny Shekhter’s bid to avoid paying $6 million in fees to capital management firm AEW’s attorneys. [SMO]Subrina Hudson