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DTLA Empty Lot/Cat Farm Also Had Underground "Apartments"

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It broke this month that the state-owned parcel next to Grand Park and across from City Hall, affectionately known as "the graffiti pit" and "the feral cat farm," is getting cleaned up and probably sold to LA or the County to become green space. The LA Times's Steve Lopez has a lot more interesting information on the eyesore, which has been a stain on the city since a state building that lived there was demolished after being damaged in the 1971 Sylmar 'quake. After the demo, the structure's underground parking garage remained and became underground homes for the down and out. State spokesman Eric Lamoureux tells Lopez that 10 people were living there (along with lots of detritus) when they recently went down to do the cleanup: "We believe that the occupants had gained access when participants of Occupy L.A. used pieces of granite found at the site as a battering ram to break into the former subterranean parking structure." But a homeless man named Joe Marek has a different account, telling Lopez that veterans lived in the garage since the eighties, with 20 or 30 people down there at a time. "People down there divided the space into what Marek referred to as apartments, saying they used candles and lanterns at night."
· Setting self-doubt aside for a face-lift [LA Times]
· Grand Park-Adjacent Feral Cat Property Could Become a Park [Curbed LA]