STOCKTON (CBS13) – City officials have forced a whole block along the Miracle Mile in Stockton to close due to fire and building code violations.
Wednesday, the City of Stockton posted notices that businesses at 1825, 1827, 1829 and 1831 Pacific Avenue must close immediately and vacate by 1 p.m. on Friday. An unpermitted residential unit at the property has to vacate by 5 p.m. Wednesday, the city says.
The notices stem from repeated citations of the property owner, Christopher “Kit” Bennitt. City officials say Bennitt’s buildings have racked up violations that cause dangerous and life-threatening conditions.
City officials say they signed an agreement with Bennitt on Oct. 2016 that gave him 90 days to try and find a way to fix the problems. The agreement has since expired and the violations have only increased, officials say.
“All appropriate due process has been exhausted. Mr. Bennitt’s continued negligence to correct these violations will have devastating impacts for at least 9 small businesses, their employees and customers,” city officials wrote in a statement.
The following businesses are being forced to close: Casa Flores Mexican Restaurant, Centrale Kitchen & Bar, Empresso Coffeehouse, Gusty’s Wings, Serendipity Salon, The Mile Restaurant & Bar, Balance Physical Therapy & Pilates, Carter Financial Solutions, and Catalyst Real Estate.
Empire Theater and an illegal residential unit are also being forced to close.
City officials say they’ve met with the business owners and are working with them to find a way they can continue operating in the city. It’s unclear how long repairs would take for businesses to return to the Miracle Mile.
The Miracle Mile is a historic district in Stockton featuring several shops, restaurants and other businesses.