Street. LOIS (KMoff) – It’s been several days since another crime spree took place in downtown St. Louis. Last weekend, several shootings left property damaged and people injured. Now, St. Louis city leaders are taking action against a problem property west of downtown, Ely Walker Lofts.
The legal action comes after St. Louis Metropolitan Police said condominium board members have repeatedly failed to keep residents safe. News 4 was at Ely Walker on Sunday talking to residents. Shortly after the story aired at 10 p.m., more chaos reigned.
“The residents here don’t feel any shape, shape, or form feel safe,” said Madeleine Munsell.
Munsell, a resident of Eli Walker Lofts, said non-residents have had access to the building and have partyed with hundreds of people on more than one occasion. They’ve also seen car break-ins, shootings, and even a murder in their lobby. On Sunday, it was like working around the clock.
“We started seeing a large group of people standing outside the building trying to make their way inside. It wasn’t just through the front door. The back door was through the side doors. Munsell described their number at over 100.”
Several residents said they called 911. They also said that the manager at the site tried to engage strangers with his firearm before the police arrived.
“It’s a mess,” Munsell added.
St. Louis police say the city’s attorney general’s office gave five Eli Walker condominium board members Anshul Sathian, Bobby Kao, Bill Richmond, Kyle Hennessy and Sid Chakraverty a cease and desist order months ago. However, after residents called 911 for help more than 60 times in 60 days, board members now have a summons not to back off. This means that they failed to improve the procedures and now have to report to the city attorney.
“It has to do with, you know, cameras and lighting and things like that that they need to provide to their residents, and it’s clear from the service calls from residents, that they’re not doing their part,” said Captain Pierre Benoist.
Documents obtained from residents show that condo board members budgeted over $1,600 to contract a security system in 2021. For 2022, that number has been reduced to $0.
“It means they don’t really care about the tenants,” Benoist said.
Residents said they had no idea that legal action would be taken against their board members.
More than 50 percent of Ely Walker’s units are owned by STL CityWide. The condo board members are all CityWide employees. The Secretary of State’s website lists all of them.
“None of these board members live in the building,” Munsell explained.
Other residents who own units inside Ely Walker also confirmed to News 4 that none of the five board members live inside the building.
You may recognize STL CityWide. They have dozens of properties all over St. Louis. Another limited liability company is Lux Living. Lux Living has been building luxury apartments all over St. Louis for years. Currently, they are building SoHo in Soulard.
News4 has reached out to an attorney representing the five board members. In an email, he said he had no information at this time regarding legal action being taken from the city. The lawyer also said he had to ask his clients to tell him what they knew.
“They have a responsibility to maintain the integrity of this building whether it is structure, maintenance or security, without which we are being neglected,” Munsell said.
Board members Eli Walker are expected to see the city’s attorney on September 12 at 10 a.m.
News 4 on Thursday morning learned that a public nuisance reduction hearing would be held on September 7 at 10 a.m. at 1520 Market Street, Room 278. The same notice was posted outside the building, and five units were indicted.
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