The Sunset/Gordon tower, with its fakey Old Spaghetti Factory facade and 22 stories of residences, has finally opened, very, very quietly, and now it might have to close up again. The project has been plagued by controversy and opposition since way before prolific developer CIM Group bought the site in 2011, but things only got more heated when CIM demolished the old Old Spaghetti Factory building on the site in early 2012. They were supposed to preserve the 1924 building (originally a fancy car dealership), but said it was too far gone by the time they went to work; the notoriously litigious La Mirada Avenue Neighborhood Association and its lawyer, Robert Silverstein, sued over the matter and now a judge has invalidated the project's permits. There are already 40 tenants living in the building and the the LA Times says they could be forced to move out.
CIM maintains that they had all the paperwork they needed, but Silverstein insists the demo was illegal, saying in the lawsuit that CIM "rushed to the site, without obtaining all permit sign-offs, and worked past dark to create a fait accompli."
Regardless, the permits are void. And that makes the situation very murky for the tenants who have already taken up in the building. Luke Zamperini of the LA Department of Building and Safety says it's possible the tenants will have to find another place to stay while CIM gets new permits. Silverstein says that if the permits aren't valid, the building can't legally be occupied. For now, tenants are holding tight, waiting for city officials to figure out what should happen next.
Silverstein and La Mirada recently put a halt to the Hollywood Target project at Sunset and Western and it could end up being dismantled. Silverstein has also represented the anti-development crowd in fighting the two-tower Millennium Hollywood mixed-user and a new plan to guide transit-friendly zoning in the neighborhood. He claims that Hollywood, which is served by a Metro rail line, can't handle any more "densification." And now he's potentially forced a bunch of people out of their homes in an already-completed building.
· Judge's ruling on Sunset/Gordon tower puts tenants in limbo [LAT]
· CIM Accused of Bogus Demolition of Old Spaghetti Factory [Curbed LA]
· Leaked Settlement Shows How NIMBYs "Greenmail" Developers [Curbed LA]
· Old Spaghetti Factory [Curbed LA]