Earlier this month, the Los Angeles City Council reapproved the empty Sunset Gordon tower, clearing the way for the 22-story apartment building to reopen three years after a lawsuit forced its tenants to vacate. Now, the so-called Target Husk, another symbol of the contentious battles waged over planning and development in Hollywood, appears to finally have a path forward.
On December 6, the California Supreme Court denied a petition for review submitted by Citizens Coalition Los Angeles and the La Mirada Neighborhood Association, which have long sought to prevent the completion of the 200,000-square-foot superstore at Sunset Boulevard and Western Avenue. The ruling in favor of the City of Los Angeles and Target will allow construction of the nearly 200,000-square-foot retail complex to resume.
“This is a gift for the community just in time for the holidays," said 13th District Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell, who represents the area where the Target store is located. "I fought for years to get this project back on track and finished. Because of this legal victory we can now reestablish our efforts with Target on a jobs program for formerly homeless youth at the nearby Covenant House. I want to thank the attorneys at Target and the City for a real win for Los Angeles. Now we can end the blight at this intersection and provide hundreds of jobs and amenities for local residents.”
The project's legal troubles began in 2014, when a Los Angeles Superior Court Judge sided with La Mirada and Citizens Coalition by ruling that the City of Los Angeles had violated the Vermont/Western Station Neighborhood Area Plan (SNAP), the framework for land use and development in areas surrounding parts of the Red Line subway. The Target complex stands 74 feet in height, well above the 35-foot height limit for retail developments at the project site.
Target could have complied with the height limit had it built a more costly underground parking garage, reports the Los Angeles Times. The Vermont/Western SNAP would have also allowed the project to be built at its current height had it incorporated residential units, as mixed-use buildings can rise up to 75 feet under the zoning code.
The resumption of construction will come as welcome news to pedestrians along Sunset Boulevard. The sidewalks surrounding the project site have been closed since the start of construction five years ago.
- Hollywood (Urbanize LA)