ST. LOUIS (AP) — The operator of a downtown St. Louis homeless shelter long at odds with the city says he will close the site at least temporarily after a judge refused his request to keep it open.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch ( ) reports the Rev. Larry Rice told the city Thursday that he will vacate the New Life Evangelistic Center by 5 p.m. Sunday.

Rice says he hopes to get the building up to code and rally neighbor support in hopes of reopening.

Rice, who says the site shelters about 150 people each night, has been operating without an occupancy permit since May 2015. The city revoked the permit due to chronic over-occupancy and building codes violations.

St. Louis Circuit Judge Joan Moriarty sided Thursday denied Rice's shelter permission to remain open.


Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch,