Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

From the cover

Another 34th Street motel, Economy Inn, comes under scrutiny in St. Pete

ST. PETERSBURG — After shutting down part of the Mosley Motel for a year, the city is coming down on another problem motel on 34th Street: the Economy Inn Stadium Motel right next door.

The owner, Shantia Singh, is scheduled to appear before the Nuisance Abatement Board on Nov. 1 at City Hall.

A complaint the board handed Singh paints a picture nearly identical to what police say was going on at the Mosley: open-air drug dealing and prostitution. According to the complaint, St. Petersburg police detectives either bought illegal drugs or solicited sex acts 25 times between March and August.

This isn't the first time the Economy Inn, at 451 34th St. N, has been under scrutiny. Since 1998, it has received the board's review four times, including in 2005 when it was ordered closed for six months and its owner fined.

In the past year, police have been called to the motel 487 times in response to a range of crimes, police spokesman Mike Puetz said.

Singh, who could not be reached for comment, has owned the motel since 2008 but has also been listed as an officer of corporations that owned the motel since 2000.

The latest cases against the Mosley and the Economy Inn were opened after officials received repeated complaints from residents, many of whom live in the Skyline Fifth apartments behind the two motels. They packed a recent hearing for the Mosley at City Hall.

"We are going to be at (the Economy Inn hearing) in full force like we were at the Mosley hearing," said Paul Dickens, crime watch coordinator for the Historic Kenwood neighborhood. "The police have done their jobs; now it's time for the public to do theirs."

As the result of the hearing, the Mosley was ordered to close a 40-room wing and a bikini bar alongside the business for one year. The owners were also ordered to hire private security, enforce curfews, add fencing and attend neighborhood meetings.

The owners, Julius Mosley and Michael Shimshoni, were also ordered to pay $27,000 in fines and attorney fees. They are appealing the board's ruling but vowed to cooperate with the city.

Luis Perez can be reached at (727) 892-2271 or

If you go

The Nuisance Abatement Board will present a complaint to the owners of the Economy Inn Stadium Motel at 2 p.m. Nov. 1 at City Hall. Anyone can sign up to speak for or against the business.

Another 34th Street motel, Economy Inn, comes under scrutiny in St. Pete 10/11/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 11, 2011 5:39pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Senate ponders health care bill it doesn't want to be law


    Buoyed by a signal from House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell introduced a pared-down health care bill late Thursday that he hoped would keep alive Republican ambitions to repeal Obamacare.

    Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., left and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., expressed concerns about passing the "skinny repeal" of Obamacare without assurances of further negotiations. [Getty Images]

  2. Arrest made in shooting death of 19-year-old found in lot


    A 20-year-old Tampa man was arrested Thursday night for the shooting death of a 19-year-old whose body was discovered in a vacant lot on Tuesday.

  3. Rays fall to Yankees in 11 on Brett Gardner homer (w/ video)

    The Heater

    NEW YORK — The front office did its part Thursday, making two trades to bolster the Rays' roster in a bid to make the playoffs. But the team on the field didn't follow through in a frustrating 6-5 11-inning loss to the Yankees.

    Evan Longoria hits a solo home run in the fourth inning against the Yankees as the Rays come back from a 3-0 deficit to take a 5-3 lead. They lose 6-5 in 11.
  4. Believe it! Rays are buyers, trade for reliever Dan Jennings and 1B/DH Lucas Duda

    The Heater

    NEW YORK — Dan Jennings' ability to render lefty hitters useless with a sinker that gets beaten into the ground and Lucas Duda's power to blast baseballs off and over outfield walls should make the Rays better.

    Lucas Duda
  5. Bucs' direction is decidedly up for first time in several years


    TAMPA — If you want to see a team give the Heisman Trophy stiff-arm to expectations, check out the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    Tight end O.J. Howard (20), the Bucs’ first-round draft pick this year, was brought in to give QB Jameis Winston another big-play option.