Known for its grisly history jam-packed with death and murder, the historic Cecil Hotel in downtown Los Angeles is officially reopening. 

The hotel – which was featured in the Netflix documentary ‘Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel’ – also happens to be the site of Canadian student Elisa Lam’s death. The 21-year-old was reported missing before being found in the property’s rooftop water tank after footage went viral of her acting strangely in the hotel’s elevator.

Its sordid reputation is due to at least 16 sudden or unexplained deaths that have occurred in or around the hotel, with its former general manager Amy Price claiming that there would be an average of three 911 calls a day during her time there.

Back in the 1980s, the hotel was also believed to be the residence of serial killer Richard Ramirez, nicknamed the ‘Night Stalker’. Many believe that he may have engaged in part of his killing spree while staying there.

Fast forward to December 2021 and the Skid Row Housing Trust has held a ribbon-cutting event to celebrate the transformation of the historic hotel.

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The Cecil Hotel will provide affordable residences to 600 low-income individuals through single-room occupancy units. The property – which was acquired by Simon Baron Development and is operated by the Skid Row Housing Trust – includes secured entry, a community kitchen, laundry facility, a recreational room and on-site case management services provided by SRHT Health and Social Services.

“The Cecil Hotel is a perfect example of the bold and creative solutions needed to make a dent in the homelessness crisis. We are proud to partner with Simon Baron Development to welcome home 600 neighbours who are currently unsheltered, unhoused, or housing insecure,” Sierra Atilano, Skid Row Housing Trust’s chief real estate and investment officer, said in a statement.

Most units will be designated for people making 30 percent or less of the area’s median income.

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