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Downtown San Diego hotel to be vacated because of 'deplorable' conditions

A screen shot of the C Street Inn with a garbage dumpster, ATM and adjacent vacant building
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Two cyclists ride by the trolley near the intersection of Sixth Avenue and C Street in downtown San Diego on Oct. 20.

The occupants of a downtown hotel will be relocated because of allegedly "deplorable" conditions, including fire hazards and infestations of mold and rodents, the San Diego City Attorney's Office said today.

City prosecutors said the C Street Inn, a six-story hotel located between Sixth and Seventh avenues and built in 1913, is being vacated and its 72 occupants will receive nearly $5,000 each in relocation costs.

The City Attorney's Office says two inspections conducted earlier this year revealed mold and rodent infestations; a lack of fire/smoke alarms, sprinklers and extinguishers; unpermitted plumbing modifications; and electrical hazards.


Additionally, the city alleges the hotel has been host to a wide range of criminal activity, prompting police to respond to the inn more than 190 times over the past three years.

The property's owner, Jack S. Rafiq, has been ordered to pay a total of $339,840 in occupants' relocation costs, as well as remedy the health and safety violations.

Rafiq has appealed the city's order to pay the relocation costs, the City Attorney's Office says.

"Dozens of people were living in dangerous conditions in this squalid century-old building," San Diego City Attorney Mara W. Elliott said. "All the occupants will be relocated to safe and clean housing, and we will ensure the property owner is held accountable."