Abandoned Phoenix hotel causing headache for city, owner now cooperating

PHOENIX - There’s new action being taken at a dilapidated hotel in Phoenix.

Crime was so bad at the Sterling International Hotels near 24th Street and Jefferson Street that the city considered taking over. The property has been vacant since it was damaged by a fire in 2014.

Paradise Valley Vice Mayor Jerry Bien-Willner represents the hotel for the owner, his father. The City of Phoenix said, for now, the Bien-Willners are cooperating with demands to clean up the property.

Several times over the past year Phoenix officials have called the hotel a nuisance property filled with squatters and crime – left unsecured by the Bien-Willners.

However, a representative for the hotel disagreed that they’re not cooperating.

“Contrary to what was previously reported we've been working with the City of Phoenix the entire time. And the communications have been very open and cordial and frequent.  As of this date, we've addressed every concern the city may have had,” said Tom Evans, spokesperson for the hotel owners.

Evans showed ABC15 a dozen emails between Bien-Willner and City officials. One email from Neighborhood Services dated May 11 said, “As you have in the past, you have corrected all of the violations on this property that we have asked you to. I appreciate your willingness to work with us.”

A Phoenix police spokesperson confirmed that, at the moment, the Bien-Willners are now 100 percent in compliance. However, in past statements police told ABC15 the city would consider taking over the property as a last resort if problems continue. 

When asked for this updated report if that’s still the case the police spokesperson simply said there's no update.
Evans said crime at the vacant building is not all their fault.
 

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