An elevator in a Montrose senior-housing complex is running again, albeit shakily, nearly two weeks after it stopped working. The repair allowed some elderly residents to leave the complex for the first time since losing lift access.
Michelle Head, 72, had been stranded in her second-floor unit at the Honolulu Manor Senior Apartments beginning on Thursday, May 23, the day the complex’s only operable elevator gave out. Another elevator on the property at 2500 Honolulu Ave. has been out of service since October.
“We hope it stays in service, and we can go about our business and be done with this for right now,” said Head, one of about 85 residents who live in the complex and are all 65 and older. During the time the elevator was broken, Head said she had to cancel four doctor appointments.
A technician replaced the elevator’s motor on Saturday, and it was briefly functional before breaking again with a resident inside the next day, according to the property manager named Marie, who declined to give her last name. On Monday, the technician returned, and the elevator was back in operation by evening, she added.
However, a Glendale city inspector rode in the elevator after its second repair and found that it wasn’t working well enough to sign off on it, according to city spokesman Dan Bell.
A technician was scheduled to return Tuesday to address the issues noted by the inspector, including frequent jerking movements, Bell said.
Analily Park, the daughter of 82-year-old-resident Zoila Rojas, rode in the elevator Monday evening and said it missed the floor where it was supposed to stop.
“So, I thought I was free falling,” Park said. “Luckily, it caught up and went back.”
Glendale city officials have slapped the owner of the property, Elias Shokrian, with two fines, one for $222 and the other for $371, and a criminal lawsuit, for being out of compliance with the city’s code, Bell said.
Shokrian, who is due in court this Thursday for an arraignment, could not be reached for comment. The city also charged the partnership that owns the property, Montrose LP.
Under Glendale’s building and safety code, any mechanical system on a property, including elevators, has to be operable, according to Assistant City Atty. Yvette Neukian, who is prosecuting the case.
Shokrian must fix the second elevator as well to be in compliance, Neukian said.
If found guilty of the misdemeanor, Shokrian could face a maximum of six months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine, although a maximum penalty is unlikely, Neukian added.
Now that the city is involved, Park is concentrating her efforts on getting the second elevator working again by keeping the momentum of recent progress going. She said she plans to appeal to City Council members.
“At this age, they deserve quality of life,” Park said. “They have worked so hard for it.”