FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --The landlord accused of making millions on the backs of his low-rent Fresno tenants is getting ready to move his other business into a high rent district.
A pile of roaches moved into the trash at Nakhonphet Pathammavong's apartment Sunday night. Speedy ants and something else still skitter across the floors and walls.
"There's a hole for a mouse over here. See see?" Pathammavong told an Action News reporter.
"Oh, that's the mouse hole?" the reporter asked.
"Yeah - mouse hole," he said.
Pathammavong lives in Summerset Village, the central Fresno complex where a humanitarian emergency emerged last November.
Leaky gas lines had to be shut down for five weeks and as tenants froze, city code enforcement officers spotted more than 1400 violations in the 220 units.
But the complex has seen major upgrades since the city went after the landlord, Chris Henry. The gas lines are fixed, most apartments have new doors, and even Pathammavong got a brand new air conditioning unit in time for summer.
Some of Henry's critics told us the investment has been beyond expectations.
And now he's making a new investment, 200 miles away, along San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf.
He's in escrow on Fisherman's Grotto, the first full-service restaurant on the wharf when it opened in 1935. Henry already owns Barrel House Tavern in Sausalito and Tommy's Joynt in San Francisco.
And then there's his Fresno property.
More than 100 of his tenants are suing him, claiming he made millions on their rents while they lived in unsafe, unsanitary, and uninhabitable conditions.
"If Chris Henry can purchase a historic California landmark such as the Fisherman's Grotto, surely he could afford a pipe repair to keep the tenants from freezing in the cold," their attorney Alexia Kirkland told Action News.
And Pathammavong feels like Henry is forgetting his tenants while he expands his restaurant empire.
"Has anything changed since November?" a reporter asked him.
"Apartment? No," he said. "Nothing for me."
Henry still faces almost $300,000 in code enforcement fines from the city of Fresno, although he has an appeal scheduled for next month.