HOLLYWOOD: Yet another lawsuit to report on in Hollywood, neighborhood of the developer lawsuits. Two weeks ago, Margarita Allen sued the Community Redevelopment Agency, claiming the agency acted improperly in granting signage rights for Clarett's Blvd6200 project, a six-story development which will rise behind Allen's house.
Represented by attorney Robert Silverstein, Allen's suit states the CRA didn't fully study, among other things, the negative impact the signs would have on the area.
Jim Dantona, spokesman for the CRA/LA, said the agency cannot comment on any pending litigation.
Given that the suit comes at a time when Allen , who is 80-years-old, is in negotiations with the Clarett to deed a portion of Carlos Avenue to the developer (the street runs alongside her property, and in front of a second property she owns), some question the suit's motivation. "This is all just a power play to get more money for Margarita from Clarett," says one source involved in the project. In an email, Silverstein vigorously disagreed with that assessment. "For most people, their only chance to be heard is to hire an attorney to fight on their behalf," he wrote. "As this matter continues, the other side will hear us even more loudly."
Originally planned to break ground this month, the Van Tilburg, Banvard & Soderbergh-designed development will bring 1,014 new apartment units and 175,000 square feet of commercial-retail space to both sides of Hollywood Boulevard, between Argyle and El Centro avenues.
As part of the deal to give up her part of the street, Allen is asking Clarett to either relocate her during construction, or buy her home. If the home is bought, the need to deed the street is obviously a moot point, but likely ups Allen's asking price for the residence. (Once deeded, the street will eventually become private and run all the way to Argyle Avenue, currently the site of a parking lot, and Allen will once again be able to use the street, if she moves back.)
But Allen and Clarett haven't been able reach a financial agreement acceptable to both parties, throwing into question whether Clarett will possibly redesign the project to avoid having to deal with Allen.
Frank Stephan, Senior Managing Director at Clarett, didn't return a call regarding the status of the project.
Map shows portion of Carlos Avenue Clarett is seeking from Allen: