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Notice of Default Filed on Hollywood's Sunset and Gordon Project

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What’s to become of that forever-fenced off Spaghetti Factory site in Hollywood? Sunset and Gordon Investors, LLC, an entity related to developer Portland-based Gerding Edlen, won entitlements for a 23-story condo and office tower back in 2008, a move which prompted a group of unhappy Hollywood locals to file a lawsuit to stop the project. Two years later, the court case is still ongoing, and now a rep for the lender, Seattle-based Washington Holdings, says a notice of default on the $9 million land loan was filed last month. “The notice of default doesn’t mean that we intend to complete a foreclosure,” said the Washington Holdings rep, who said the default notice was filed on July 14th. “It’s possible the loan could be re-instated.” Gerding Edlen, which recently purchased a site in Venice, declined to comment.

The quick backstory: Sunset and Gordon Investors was granted entitlements for a condo and office tower, a Community Redevelopment Agency project that also included rights for two large supergraphics. The project would have protected parts of that 1924 Spaghetti Factory restaurant building, a former auto shop.

Local group La Mirada Homeowners Association of Hollywood, led by Hollywood resident Doug Haines, hired well-known attorney Robert Silverstein, who has a successful record in challenging the city's decisions in regards to development in the neighborhood. The crux of their lawsuit against the city basically states that the city violated municipal codes by granting an unprecedented number of variances for the project.

That case is now in the Court of Appeals. Two weeks ago, final oral arguments were heard, and a decision is expected soon.

Meanwhile, the rep for Washington Holdings expressed frustration with the lawsuit, pointing out that even if La Mirada loses their appeal case, the lawsuit alone may have killed this project. “This tower would have been built by now if it weren’t for the lawsuit by Doug Haines," he says.

Haines declined to comment. The Sunset and Gordon project "set a record for the most entitlements approved for a single project," according to the web site for Craig Lawson & Co. , the Los Angeles-based land use consulting firm hired to work as lobbyists by Sunset and Gordon Investors (it's not clear if that record has yet been broken).

Meanwhile, many tired of watching the "Groundhog Day"-like constant back and forth between developers and neighbors over projects in Los Angeles, have spoken out about the need for updated Community Plans, which would dictate development guidelines (and lessen the amount of variances aka exceptions that to those guidelines that the developer asks for). At that recent Future of the L.A. City Planning Department Panel, the need for updated plans was repeatedly mentioned.

· Old Spaghetti Factory Project in Hollywood Rendered [Curbed LA]