The first inkling that tenants at the Sunset and Gordon luxury apartment tower in Hollywood might want to start looking for a new place to live came this past October, when a judge invalidated the project's construction permits in response to a NIMBY lawsuit. Now, it's official: those tenants have got to go, reports the LA Times. The tower's temporary occupancy certificate has expired and the LA Department of Building and Safety won't renew it unless the project goes through a whole new environmental review process and gets new approvals. That means those renters are out of a home.
Residents have until April 19 to be out, according to the order, but that date could be pushed back if developer CIM Group appeals to the Board of Building and Safety Commissioners, a process which usually takes about 90 days. It's not known exactly how many tenants are in the building right now, but back in October there were about 40. This is a crazy scene, and an LADBS spokesman says "In 24 years at the city, I personally have not seen this before."
There have been various bankruptcy and other troubles at Sunset and Gordon since it was first approved in 2008, but the latest began when CIM Group started work in early 2012; they had agreed to preserve the 1924 façade of the building on the site (known as an Old Spaghetti Factory, but originally a car dealership) and incorporate it into the new tower. They demolished it instead, with permits and the approval of the preservation group Hollywood Heritage, which agreed that it was beyond salvage, far too damaged to repair; CIM promised that they were going to make a new one—a better one!
The litigation-happy La Mirada Avenue Neighborhood Association and its anti-development lawyer Robert Silverstein disagreed that the demolition permits were valid and sued the project. They won last year and the permits were revoked.
Hollywood developers face off a lot against Silverstein and lose. Silverstein and La Mirada have teamed up to stop construction at the Hollywood Target at Sunset and Western—that partially-built project's fate is still in limbo, though it could end up being torn down. Silverstein's previous work includes representing NIMBYs who opposed the Millennium Hollywood mixed-use project and the Hollywood Community Plan, which pushed for transit-oriented zoning in H'wood.
· L.A. orders tenants to vacate troubled Hollywood building [LAT]
· Anti-Density Lawyer May Have Just Forced 40 People Out of Their New Homes in Hollywood's Sunset/Gordon [Curbed LA]