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Can a Hip New York Hotelier Gentrify L.A.'s Notoriously Nightmarish Cecil Hotel?

The Cecil Hotel in Downtown LA has a notoriously sad and awful history: a nightmarish tableau of serial murder, bloated corpses, and overdoses. Its reoccurring theme of death is so rich, producers of the show American Horror Story based this entire season on the hotel. When it comes to true crime stories guaranteed to give you the heebie jeebies, the Cecil Hotel is in a league of it's own. It's also been a real estate nightmare, with a history full of lawsuits, shady conversions, and neglect. But now a New York hotelier is intent on sweeping out the Cecil's nasty past and gentrifying the hotel as part of Downtown LA's all-consuming resurgence, Details magazine reports. Good luck. This place has a heavy curse upon it.

After decades of deterioration, the Cecil found itself in 2008 operating as half budget hotel ($40 to $50 a night), half low-income housing ($470 a month). Things were going ok like that until the city stepped in, enforcing an ordinance that said the Cecil had to pay to relocate residents when their apartments were converted to hotel rooms. Lawsuits kept the property in limbo until 2011, when it was reverted back to the lender. Plans to turn it into supportive housing were shot down in 2014.

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