Developer Mehdi Bolour may have had the most topsy-turvy week of anyone in L.A. real estate.
First, The Real Deal found out his company Denley Investment & Management filed plans for a 262-room hotel complex at 6751-6763 Hollywood Boulevard.
A day later, the Los Angeles Times reported that Bolour faces 25 criminal charges over building and fire code violations at 6362 Hollywood Boulevard.
Police raided the vacant building at around 3 a.m. on Wednesday morning and found 76 people living there in dangerous and unsanitary conditions. They seized drugs, a shotgun, and a rifle in the building.
Some residents told the Times they paid around $400 per month to live at the building, although it’s unclear if Bolour was directly involved in illegally renting it out. One resident said the space was used as an artists’ community.
Police had cleared out some people from the building in June after locals complained about increased drug use near there. Authorities said they had information that guns and drugs were being sold out of the building.
In the wake of the raid, L.A. Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell signaled he was going to try to shut down Denley. “I will go after whatever it takes to bring his enterprise down because he is accomodating crime in Hollywood,” O’Farrell said of Bolour.
Neither Mehdi Bolour nor his son — Denley Vice President David Bolour — could be reached for comment by The Real Deal.
For authorities, Bolouri’s alleged actions were not a surprise. CBS2 News reported that the Los Angeles Police Department had had its eye on him “for quite some time.”
LAPD Captain Cory Palka told the station that “he has apparently lost control and does not have a leadership team in place to manage a building like this.”
Property records suggest Bolour has been involved with both properties on Hollywood Boulevard for over two decades. The planned hotel property last sold in 1996, although it’s not clear when Denley got involved. Records show that a company linked to Denley purchased the building that was raided on Wednesday in 1994 for $350,000.
On its website, Denley calls the 40,000-square-foot building that was raided the Palmer Building, and says it has “fully renovated office spaces” and “music studios” occupied by around a half a dozen tenants. The ground floor tenant, iO West improv comedy club, closed up in February.
The company owns eight buildings on Hollywood Boulevard and more than a dozen others in Los Angeles. It also owns buildings in Dallas, Texas.
Denley and Bolour have found themselves in court once before. Denley was ordered to pay $2 million for a deficient HVAC system and pest infestations at a property leased by the Los Angeles Academy of Arts and Enterprise, Curbed reported.
The firm also got in hot water with the city of Claremont over a stalled project there, although it didn’t escalate into a court case. After receiving the go-ahead to develop a multifamily property there in 2012, Denley has reportedly made no progress on the project, prompting the city to void its approvals.
Denley appealed that action last year, claiming that the city was unresponsive.