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Plans to construct a mixed-use complex featuring apartments and offices at the current site of Martin Cadillac in West Los Angeles can move forward, according to a ruling last week by California's Second District Court of Appeal.

The court has shot down an attempt to overturn approvals for the proposed Martin Expo Town Center, which would replace the landmark Cadillac dealership at Olympic Boulevard and Bundy Drive with a mid-rise office tower and an apartment building.  The appellant organization - known as Westsiders Opposed to Overdevelopment - sued the City of Los Angeles in 2016, arguing that the City had overstepped its authority in issuing a general plan amendment for the project.

Specifically, the appellant contended that the Los Angeles City Charter bars the granting of a general plan amendment for a single property, as well as disallowing the initiation of such amendments by an individual.  The Second District found that nothing in the City Charter expressly prohibits an amendment to the general plan for the Martin Cadillac site, nor does it prevent the City considering requests to take such an action.

The ruling by the Second District reaffirms a 2017 decision by a Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge, which also found that the City of Los Angeles had not erred in approving the proposed development.

The Martin Cadillac project calls for the construction of a 10-story, 160-foot tall office building featuring roughly 200,000 square feet of rentable space.  A seven-story, 516-unit apartment building is planned for the northern and western perimeter of the five-acre development site, which would be lined with nearly 100,000 square feet of ground-level retail space.

The proposed development was used as a rallying cry during the unsuccessful 2017 campaign for Measure S, a ballot measure which sought to curtail high-density developments by prohibiting general plan amendments and zone changes for individual projects.  Though Measure S was defeated by a two-to-one margin, the passage of Measure JJJ in November 2016 has already put a damper on projects seeking such entitlements.  Measure JJJ, which was sponsored by affordable housing developers and labor unions, requires any project needing a general plan amendment or zone change to use prevailing-wage labor and either set aside a percentage of on-site units as affordable housing or pay an in-lieu fee.

As of November 2017, the Martin family which owns the dealership had signed a deal with Hines to partner on the proposed development, according to the Real Deal.

Rendering of the Martin Expo Town Center development by Gensler
Rendering of the Martin Expo Town Center development by Gensler