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Costa Mesa Motor Inn may close as early as September

The owner of the Costa Mesa Motor Inn on Harbor Boulevard is working to vacate the remaining long-term tenants in hopes of closing it soon. An apartment development approved for the site is facing legal hurdles.

The owner of the Costa Mesa Motor Inn on Harbor Boulevard is working to vacate the remaining long-term tenants in hopes of closing it soon. An apartment development approved for the site is facing legal hurdles.

(File photo)

An attorney for the owner of the Costa Mesa Motor Inn said the company still intends to close the motel this year, despite facing legal hurdles in building an approved apartment complex that would replace the motel.

Ellia Thompson, representing Los Angeles-based Miracle Mile Properties, said Tuesday that her client is working to vacate the remaining long-term tenants of the Harbor Boulevard property and close it as early as September.

A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge ruled Friday that Miracle Mile could continue working toward shuttering the 236-room motel, despite not being able to build apartments there yet.

“No matter what, my client wants to close this motel,” Thompson said. “It’s old. It’s obsolete. It does not function as well as a newer building would.”

In June and July, Miracle Mile served Motor Inn occupants with 60-day notices to vacate.

Thompson added that previously advertised relocation money — up to $5,500 — for Motor Inn residents is no longer available to those who haven’t taken up the offer.

Thompson said some residents have spent the money toward renting a true apartment — not a 300-square-foot motel room — or even buying a condominium.

The number of remaining Motor Inn residents was not immediately available Tuesday.

In November, the City Council approved a 224-unit, high-end apartment complex to replace the Motor Inn, which was built in the 1960s. Miracle Mile said at the time that it wanted to close the motel by Aug. 1.

However, in the months after the council’s vote, the decision was challenged by lawsuits, including one from the Kennedy Commission, an Irvine-based affordable-housing advocacy group that alleged Miracle Mile and the city of Costa Mesa violated state law by approving the high-density apartment complex without provisions for affordable housing there.

The Kennedy Commission’s lawsuit is still pending in court, though the Los Angeles County judge indicated in June that some of the group’s claims — including one of a state law violation — aren’t likely to pass muster in court.


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