Fayetteville, N.C. — Firefighters evacuated Fayetteville's landmark Prince Charles Hotel Friday afternoon after discovering unsafe conditions inside, according to a statement from the city.
The hotel's owner and city officials have been at odds over a vinyl window he installed in the building.The city filed suit in May to compel John Chen to pay more than $45,000 in fines for the window which does not meet the standards for the historical building.
The hotel was ruled unsafe in December, and 70 tenants were moved out for three days while Chen brought it up to code.
At that time, Chen said the city overreacted to what he deemed minor violations. Inspectors also found that he had done demolition work inside without proper permits.
Firefighters inspecting the building Friday again found demolition going on in the upper floors without a permit. They were attempting to contact Chen, who recently moved back to New York City, where he owns a parking garage.
Chen has said the renovations he is making are part of a plan to transition the hotel, which rents rooms by the month, to condominiums.
"This is like a temporary arrangement while we do the condominium conversion," Chen said in December. "We still want the building occupied."