Stockton Miracle Mile landlord attorney asks city to let former tenants return immediately

Forced to leave his Miracle Mile business over a month ago, Vito Casiaro is making the best of it at his second location for his Empresso Coffee house on W. March Lane.

Forced to leave his Miracle Mile business over a month ago, Vito Casiaro is making the best of it at his second location for his Empresso Coffee house on W. March Lane.

"It's been great. It's been a little bit of a chaos. We've just moved everything to the cafe over here," Casiaro said.

Last month, with no warning, the city ordered Casiaro and eight other businesses to vacate immediately, citing numerous fire and code violations not fixed by the landlord, Christopher Bennit.

The city stated the building posed an immediate threat to life constituting an emergency.

But as requested by the city, the attorney for the landlord says in a letter dated July 5, an architectural firm was hired to evaluate the building and met with the landlord June 7.

The conclusion by Richard Avelar & Associates Architects from Oakland, an imminent danger to life safety doesn't exist.

Engineers went further regarding alleged dangers stating, "We did not observe conditions that fall into these types of categories."

The landlord's attorney requests former tenants allowed back in immediately.

But in a statement issued by the city regarding repairs, in part the city says, "No plans have been submitted to the city."

The stalemate is still welcomed news for Casiaro who says he wouldn't hesitate to re-open on the Miracle Mile.

"That's great news. It's good to hear he is trying to get us back in there as quick as he can," Casiaro said.

Casiaro has kept all 27 of his employees in part by expanding his hours and encouraging loyal customers like Nicole Espino to visit from downtown.

"I'm a coffee snob. So I prefer their coffee over any other brand," said Espino sipping her drink.

So what's next?

The architectural firm and the landlord's legal team plan to meet with city officials to perhaps iron out an agreement next Tuesday.

© 2017 KXTV-TV


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