Two days before police raided his building on the Walk of Fame, Hollywood property owner Mehdi Bolour filed plans for a hotel project about a half mile away.
Bolour owns a real estate empire in Los Angeles and is named in new plans to build a 12-story, 168-room hotel on Hollywood Boulevard, near Highland Avenue.
Bolour is the president of Denley Investment and Management Company, founded in 1984. Along with his son David, Bolour, either personally, or through his company, trust, or various LLCs, own or has owned dozens of properties across Los Angeles.
His latest project, at 6751 Hollywood, would also entail repurposing an existing seven-story office building into 94 guest rooms. Messages left with Denley were not returned.
Plans for that project were filed Monday. Early Wednesday morning, the Los Angeles Police Department served a search warrant at the former home of iO West comedy theater, finding that more than 60 people had allegedly taken up shelter there.
Bolour now faces criminal charges related to conditions at that property, which he has owned since 1994. City Attorney Mike Feuer said he was trying to prevent an “Oakland Ghost Ship fire from happening” in Hollywood.
Kerry Morrison, executive director of the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance, says Bolour was one of the first property owners she met when she started working at the organization more than 20 years ago.
In her experience, she says, Bolour hasn’t had issues at his other properties. “I do believe that he was caught unaware by the situation,” Morrison says.
In a complaint filed last week, Feuer accuses Bolour of not maintaining the building to city code, not installing smoke alarms and fire extinguishers, altering electrical wiring without a permits, and failing “to maintain in clean and sanitary condition and good repair the walls and ceilings of every room.”
It won’t be the first time he finds himself in court. In 2015, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge ordered Denley and Bolour to pay $2 million in damages to Los Angeles Academy of Arts and Enterprise for “deficient HVAC system” and pest infestations” at the property the charter school leased from them.
Bolour holds some interesting properties in his portfolio. One of his current holdings includes the ornate Belasco Theater in Downtown LA; another is a former gay bathhouse on Ivar Avenue that in its heyday advertised “disco, movies, maze, arcade, pool table, bunk room, snack bar, TV, lounge, gym, steam, sauna, and everything else you’d expect.”