The Sunset Gordon apartment tower is complete, but its long history of troubles has not ceased. After years of bankruptcies, sales, and preservation debacles, the building finally opened to renters in late 2014. But not long after, a judge invalidated developer CIM Group's permits for the project in response to a lawsuit brought by anti-development lawyer Robert Silverstein and his frequent client, the La Mirada Avenue Neighborhood Association. The few tenants who moved in are staying for now, but their fate in the building is entirely uncertain: the city has ordered CIM to empty the building by April 19, while CIM has told renters that order doesn't apply to them. CIM has also appealed the judge's decision about its permits, and in the meantime has apparently found a creative way to deal with Sunset Gordon's empty units in this time of uncertainty: the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety has found that some of the building's roughly 300 apartments have been used as hotel rooms—something that the building wasn't permitted for.
On April 3, the LADBS served CIM Group with an Order to Comply, charging that the apartment building was being used as a hotel without having the proper permits and without even a Certificate of Occupancy. (Sunset Gordon's temporary certificate expired on March 11, 2015.) LADBS's Luke Zamperini tells Curbed that five floors of units at the 23-story building were being rented out as hotel rooms, though it's not clear how long this was going on.
A quick online search turns up listings for furnished units that use an address connected to the Sunset Gordon complex, like the handful of separate postings that still show up as apparently active on the site for Ginosi Apartments, a company that specializes in short-term rentals geared at vacationers.
Listings on Ginosi state that "The guests also have access to the building's facilities which include a fitness center, business center and outdoor pool." Sunset Gordon has one- and two-bedroom apartments, yet many of the listings say that the units sleep up to six or even seven people; according to postings, the rooms have extra beds and futons. The units found in a cursory search ranged from about $150 to $222 a night.
The LADBS notice says that the city received "various complaints" about the illegal use of what's supposed to be a residential building, and ordered hotel services to stop by April 10. It says failure to comply is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 or six months in jail. There aren't many residents at the 22-story tower right now (tenants say there are about 50; CIM's court papers say there are 149), but those who are there are predictably pissed that they're leasing apartments in the same building as a de facto hotel, which was never supposed to be the case.
CIM refused to comment on anything going on at Sunset Gordon. At a meeting this past Saturday, approximately half of the tower's tenants met to air their grievances with this practice and other issues in the complex; we'll have more on the nightmare of living in Sunset Gordon later in the week.
· Everyone Living in Hollywood's Sunset and Gordon Tower Has to Move Out [Curbed LA]
· Anti-Density Lawyer May Have Just Forced 40 People Out of Their New Homes in Hollywood's Sunset/Gordon [Curbed LA]
· CIM Accused of Bogus Demolition of Old Spaghetti Factory [Curbed LA]