Infamous Cecil Hotel featured in Netflix documentary reopens, becomes affordable housing

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The infamous Hotel Cecil in Los Angeles, California is seen on Feb. 28, 2017 (MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images)

The infamous Hotel Cecil in Los Angeles, California is seen on Feb. 28, 2017
(MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images)

The infamous Cecil Hotel that was featured in a Netflix documentary has been converted into affordable housing in downtown Los Angeles.

On Tuesday, the Skid Row Housing Trust hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the 600-room historic hotel on Main Street near Skid Row.

The downtown L.A. landmark, which was bought by Simon Baron Development in 2015, will welcome 600 people who are currently unsheltered, unhoused or housing insecure, according to the Skid Row Housing Trust.

Built in the 1920s, the Cecil was once a popular destination for the rich and famous that later became known as the “death” hotel.

The notorious hotel gained a reputation for paranormal sightings, a history of murders and even as a temporary home for serial killers. 

One of the most well-known cases involved the 2013 disappearance of 21-year-old Canadian tourist Elisa Lam, whose body was discovered in a water tank atop a the hotel, weeks after she went missing.

While investigating the case, police released surveillance video of Lam pushing multiple elevator buttons and stepping out waving her arms. The case drew international attention, including from amateur sleuths who posted theories about the case online.

After the body was found, the coroner ruled the death an accidental drowning. But the case still drew intrigue.

The death became the focus of 2021 Netflix documentary, “Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel.” 

In 2016, New York City developer Matthew M. Baron, who acquired the landmark, announced that the Cecil Hotel will undergo a $100-million renovation meant to transform it, the Los Angeles Times reported.

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