Ray Patel stands outside the Golden Key Hotel, pointing to cracks in his parking lot pavement and trucks on Orange Street transferring garbage or unloading goods near his guest rooms. He blames the city and his neighbor, the Americana at Brand, for the troubles.
Patel bought the hotel in 2001, 27 years after the city declared the area near Colorado Street and Brand Boulevard a redevelopment zone, but before the Americana — with its pricey apartments, condos and more than 70 stores and restaurants — began construction.
Patel acknowledged his property value has since risen, but said business suffered during the three-year construction phase and continues to be hampered by the activity on Orange. He has sued the city and the Americana for lost income as a result of the mall's construction and ongoing operations.
The stakes in the dispute were raised Nov. 30 when the Redevelopment Agency agreed to Americana developer Rick Caruso's request to either overhaul the Golden Key and an empty building next door, or to force the owners to sell so he can expand his mall and open it up with a stronger presence on Colorado Street.