The owner of the downtown Alpine Motel Apartments, site of a deadly fire, has put the property up for sale and sold more than $5 million worth of other properties this summer, records show.
Adolfo Orozco and his wife, Erika Ayala-Aguilar, have liquidated about half of their 24 properties in Nevada, records show. It once was a multimillion-dollar portfolio, which he amassed with his wife and four companies tied to them.
Orozco acquired the Alpine in 2013 for $805,000 under Las Vegas Dragon Hotel LLC, one of four companies he and Ayala manage or have ownership stakes in, including Elite1 LLC, Galeana LLC and Cancun LLC. Las Vegas Dragon Hotel LLC bought three more hotels: the Economy Motel in downtown Las Vegas and the Casa Blanca Hotel and Starlite Motel in North Las Vegas.
Orozco and one of his former property managers, Malinda Mier, are in the midst of a preliminary hearing facing charges in the 2019 fire that killed six and injured 13. It is expected to run through September.
One of Orozco’s attorneys, Dominic Gentile, said Orozco isn’t selling his assets because of financial troubles, but because he is a businessman looking to maximize profits.
“It’s all for sale; of course he’s trying to sell it,” he said. “The only thing is the court has to approve the transaction.”
Eighth Judicial District Judge Rob Bare ruled Aug. 13 that Orozco would have to get a court order to sell any assets worth more than $25,000, but an attorney for the plaintiffs is still drafting the order so details are not known at this time. All of the sales happened before the ruling, including several completed Aug. 11.
Businessmen are always ready to sell if they get a good return, he added. “Nothing I have isn’t for sale except my wife and my kids,” Gentile said. “Nothing I own that is transferable isn’t for sale if somebody gives me right number. That’s the case always.”
Orozco, who also goes by Adolfo Orozco-Garcia, sold two of the larger properties: the Economy Motel and Casa Blanca Hotel in June and July. The properties sold for more than $3.1 million combined, county records show. Orozco purchased the properties in 2012 and 2015 for a total of $1.6 million.
He also received $2.3 million for 14 single houses, townhouses and three- or four-unit buildings, county records show. Orozco also owns hotels in Tucson, Arizona, and southern Louisiana.
Vladimir Logvinov, a San Francisco real estate agent, tried to buy the Alpine in 2019 a few months before December’s fatal fire, but said the building was in too much disrepair for the price Orozco wanted. Logvinov said he wanted to rehab the building to rent out as apartments. He would not reveal details of the offer.
“I’m glad I didn’t buy it,” said Logvinov in a brief phone interview.
Gentile said it was just Logvinov’s “opinion” that the Alpine was in disrepair.
A previous Review-Journal investigation showed the property was the subject of repeated code enforcement inspections and failed fire inspections between 2013 and 2017, and had not been inspected by fire officials in the 32 months leading up to the December 2019 fire.
Former residents were finally allowed to start collecting belongings the week of June 8 after removal of dangerous asbestos. The Review-Journal also learned that in the years leading up to the fire, Metro police repeatedly tried to shut down the property but the city blocked any chronic-nuisance action.
At least one real estate website lists the Alpine, built in 1972, for $3.3 million and notes the buyer would be entitled to the insurance payout of $1.225 million to help rehab the property.
You “will have an (almost) brand new building, up to code, with a new “Fire Suppression System!” the listing says. “Yes! The Building is currently in a shell/vacant position. But you need to focus on its: Location! Location! Location!”
Orozco, 43, had amassed his portfolio of local properties since at least 2004, when he was working in Northern California as a second-grade teacher. Records indicate he has only lived in the Las Vegas Valley since about 2013.
Orozco’s investing flourished during the Great Recession, when the housing market was oversaturated with distressed and discounted properties. In 2009 alone, he bought 10 foreclosed homes for less than $400,000, local records show.
In July, prosecutors charged Orozco with one count of manslaughter for each of the six victims, performance of an act or neglect of duty in disregard of safety resulting in substantial bodily harm or death and preventing or dissuading witness or victim from reporting crime or commencing prosecution with use of a deadly weapon. Victims and their families have also filed civil lawsuits.
An attorney for the victims and Orozco’s civil attorney could not be reached for comment Friday.
Contact Arthur Kane at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @ArthurMKane on Twitter. Contact Michael Scott Davidson at email@example.com or 702-477-3861. Follow @davidsonlvrj on Twitter. Kane and Davidson are members of the Review-Journal’s investigative team, focusing on reporting that holds leaders and agencies accountable and exposes wrongdoing.