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Proposed Metropolis Blots Out Neighbor's Sky

Lest you think that downtown development is a harmonious happening, with building after building going up and nobody complaining, we're happy to inform you that there's some drama going down. The LA Business Journal reports on a challenge by the Mani Brothers, owners of 801 S. Figueroa, to the proposed Metropolis development next door.

A lawsuit filed by Mani Bros. last month is seeking to have [Metropolis] go through an entirely new approval process, marking the first time a modern downtown high-rise project has been challenged by one of its neighbors – and could delay its completion.

“We have problems with the project as it’s now proposed,” said Mani Bros.’ attorney Thomas F. Winfield III. “We feel had the project been fully scrutinized in the public, there would have been noticeable changes.”

Winfeld contends the developer and Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency worked out the changes in private and the redevelopment board and the council approved the alterations without allowing for public input.

Those changes would allow the developers to essentially build a wall of skyscrapers, practically blocking all western views from Mani Brothers’ tower – where upper floor tenants currently have ocean views.

Mani Bros. says that the suit against Metropolis developer IDS isn't about the proposed skyscrapers, including a 55-story tower, going in next door. It's more about the process, and the public being allowed to know what's going. We're almost dumb enough to believe that. As proposed, the Metroplis project will contain 836 for-sale dwelling units built in three phases, including a 55-story tower, a 44-story tower and a hotel.
· Clash Could Mean a Delay for Big Downtown Project [LA Business Journal (Subscription)]