Staff and Wire Reports
HOLLYWOOD — Residents of a 22-story apartment complex here moved a step closer to eviction April 22 when a Los Angeles judge upheld a city order requiring the developer to clear tenants from the building.
CIM Group, the developer of the Sunset and Gordon apartment complex, asked Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James Chalfant to block the order by the city Department of Building and Safety, but the judge rejected the request for a temporary restraining order.
The developer contended that the order should be put on hold while the company appeals a previous court ruling stemming from a lawsuit challenging the city’s approval of the project, the Los Angeles Times reported.
An attorney for the city, however, contended that the developer had plenty of notice that a six-month occupancy certificate was about to expire.
A city commission April 21 gave the company one month to clear the building. An attorney for CIM told The Times the developer may ask an appeals court to halt the eviction orders,
but given the 30-day deadline imposed by the city, it may be best “to follow that order and vacate people from the building.”
Estimates of how many tenants are living there range from 40 to 50 to about 150.
According to the website Curbed L.A., the owners also have come under fire from the Department of Building and Safety, for allegedly renting out apartments as hotel rooms, which violates the complex’s occupancy permit.
The city served CIM Group with an order to comply April 3, compounding the problems the developer has had with the project.
CIM Group purchased the property in 2011 with plans to build a mixed-use development on the site that included the Old Spaghetti Factory building that dated back to 1924.
Original plans called for the developer to include the original facade of the Old Spaghetti Factory into the project, but the developer decided the facade had deteriorated too much and, with approval of Hollywood Heritage, a preservation group, chose to demolish the old restaurant building.
Members of the La Mirada Avenue Neighborhood Association and the group’s attorney Robert Silverstein filed suit, saying a demolition permit had been illegally issued for the work.
The association and Silverstein have long fought development projects in the Hollywood area that will increase density and traffic congestion.
Not only has the association challenged the demolition of the restaurant for the project, it also has filed suit to stop the development on the grounds that it violates city codes governing how high buildings can be.
The group also has been successful so far in stopping work on the Target store under construction at Sunset and Western Avenue further east.