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City Council grants approvals to reopen Hollywood’s empty Sunset Gordon tower

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An appeal against the project by the Coalition to Preserve LA failed

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The Los Angeles City Council today approved a series of requests from a developer seeking to reopen the vacant 22-story Sunset Gordon tower in Hollywood.

The approvals are “a significant milestone in reopening the building,” Los Angeles Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, who represents the neighborhood, said in a statement.

The tower—which has sat empty for three years—will now hold 254 market-rate apartments and 45 affordable units: 15 very-low income and 15 moderate income apartments, plus 15 workforce housing units. That’s an increase from the 30 below-market-rate units proposed for the project when the city’s planning commission considered it over the summer.

“I am thrilled that the Sunset-Gordon project is on its way to re-opening so that we get the additional housing, especially the affordable housing, that we so desperately need,” O’Farrell said.

Sunset Gordon originally opened in late 2014, but has sat vacant since 2015, when a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge retroactively invalidated the project’s construction permits. CIM then ordered tenants out of the building.

The court decision was the result of a lawsuit brought by the La Mirada Avenue Neighborhood Association, which successfully argued that CIM Group had violated a condition of the city’s approval of the project by demolishing a 1920s Spanish-style building on the site that once housed an Old Spaghetti Factory restaurant instead of preserving it.

In August, the association’s leader, Doug Haines, told the planning commission that he thinks the project should move forward now.

An appeal against the project by the Coalition to Preserve LA, the “advocacy division” of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, was unsuccessful. The foundation was largely behind an attempt in 2017 to freeze big and tall development projects across the city.

The coalition’s qualms with the tower hinge on its claims that the city and developers have not adequately studied the “significant” traffic impacts that would result from reopening the building.

There’s still no word on when exactly the tower might open.