By Mary O’KEEFE
The saga of the non-working elevator, at times elevators, continues for the residents of Honolulu Manor Senior Apartments in the 2500 block of Honolulu Avenue.
Some background: In October 2018 one of the two elevators at the senior apartment complex stopped working. Residents were worried about having only one working elevator and crossed their fingers the elevator would keep moving. Then, in May, their luck ended when the second elevator stop working leaving many of them stranded.
“I feel like a prisoner in my own apartment,” said one resident at a group gathering as they waited over a week for the elevator to be repaired.
The next day after the repair the elevator broke again, this time trapping a resident. The Glendale Fire Dept. was called, and the elevator was eventually fixed again. According to residents, the ride up and down the floors was shaky but it got them to their floors.
The elevator broke again on Friday, but this time was repaired quickly. The residents have been told that the owner is working to make both elevators operational and it will just take some time.
The residents of Honolulu Manor are 65 years old and older. Many of them are in wheelchairs, or use walkers and canes to get around; taking the stairs is impossible.
The City of Glendale has sent inspectors from Building and Safety to the apartment complex and took action with what it found by charging the owners, Montrose LP and Elias Shokrian, with one count of inadequate maintenance.
On June 20, Sr. Assistant City Attorney Yvette Neukian and Montrose LP/Shokrian’s lawyer were in court; however, the hearing was continued to July 1.
“The judge required a conflict waiver,” Neukian said.
Because one lawyer is representing both the company and an individual, the judge felt there was a need for all concerned parties to sign a conflict waiver.
The next court date was initially beyond July 4 because the court would be dark at that time; however, Neukian requested that a plea be entered earlier.
Neukian said she was made aware there is one working elevator at the senior apartment house.
“Old elevators do shake when they get to the floor and they [can be] very slow but it is, technically, working,” she said.
So, technically, the city cannot say that the working elevator is in violation but Building and Safety, as of Wednesday, had not officially signed off on the elevator because it is vulnerable to breaking down.
Neukian spoke to the owner of the building at his first court date on June 6. At that time, she said, he acknowledged that both elevators were “worn out” and instead of repairing the old elevators, which may break down again, he will be overhauling both elevators.
The City wants to give the owner/company time to replace the elevators but will continue to pursue the criminal case. There are also civil cases against the company Montrose LP and owner Elias Shokrian.
The next court date in the Glendale Superior Court is set for July 1 for the criminal case, and a plea is expected at that time.
In the meantime, the residents continue to shake as they ride in the elevator but are hoping it all will go smoothly in the near future.