Residents of Sherman Oaks feel neglected as burnt-out business owners and city continue to tussle as nothing is done to address ongoing safety concerns .
“You wake up in the middle of the night and you hear people giving way,” said neighbor Jared Barboza. “Nothing is happening. We are completely disappointed in the community leaders, the system and most of all this business owner.
Last April, an empty building at Block 1500 of Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks was engulfed in flames. The location was slated to be home to his latest, Kreation Juice, a food company with 25 stores in Los Angeles. Marjan Sashar, founder of Kreation Juice, said concerns and issues surrounding the place began to pile up before the fire broke out. From the beginning, this place has always had problems with people encroaching.
“It was so devastating and heartbreaking,” she said.
Sasher said someone crouching in her building started the fire that April night. She blames the city for delays in the permitting process to clear structures and deal with the homeless staying on her property.
The city’s Building Safety Department shifted the blame to Sasher, claiming she was cited for code violations and preparing a criminal complaint to force her to take action.
One neighbor said, “I am very worried that the building will collapse and someone will get hurt.”
Sasher said he had made numerous attempts to put up fences and clear graffiti and that he should not be portrayed as a criminal.
The matter will be resolved in court as the neighbors are kept waiting. There is no timeline for when the building will be repaired.
“Just sad,” said Barbosa.