City recommends demolishing Downtown Gateway Hotel
POSTED: Thursday, March 13, 2014 - 6:31pm
UPDATED: Friday, March 14, 2014 - 3:09pm
El Paso, TX (KTSM) — The Gateway Hotel should be demolished, that what the city's code enforcement office is recommending for the extended stay hotel with a checkered past. On Thursday, multiple agencies addressed the closure of the hotel that once housed 40 plus tenants. One of the city code violations includes a dangerous carbon monoxide leak. If the hotel is demolished, the owner will pay. If the owner does not take responsibility, the city and ultimately, taxpayers will have to foot the bill.
A laundry list of violations against the Gateway Hotel describes a potential death trap lurking in the more than 100 year old building. "Carbon monoxide which is a poisonous, flammable gas, to penetrate and possibly migrate throughout the structure,” Assistant Chief, Calvin Shanks of the El Paso Fire Department told reporters, "Possible electrocution hazards for any of the workers coming in because there was an excessive amount of water."
And it doesn't stop there, city officials outline 25 code violations that describe an overwhelming danger. "Best course of action is shut down the electrical, they shut down the gas, and the people were moved to a safer location."
As we've reported, multiple agencies helped clear our 40 plus tenants from the Gateway Hotel. Officials say almost all of the former tenants have been helped. They're still trying to find permanent housing for each of them. All of them are upset with the owner and want their rent money back.
"I got some words. If you don't give me my money what I lose, I'm taking your butt to court,” David Gamble, a former tenant told us Tuesday.
We've also tried to reach the YCL Corporation, the last known owner of the building. Environmental Services say they've had the same luck getting in contact with them. "We tried to make contact but weren't lucky enough,” Elda Heffner with the department says.
The owner has until March 26th to respond where a hearing with the Building and Standards Commission has been set. If not -- two fates are in store for Gateway Hotel. Either board and secure the place or - "The recommendation from the city are going to be to demolish the property,” Heffner explains.
As far as the carbon monoxide leak -- we're told it was leaking into hotel rooms through holes caused by water and sewage leaks.
The complete list of code violations is attached.
|gateway hotel code violations.pdf||666.01 KB|