[This construction shot was taken in March, the project is now much further along]
Lawyer Robert Silverstein, who's helped stop or slow so many developments in Hollywood, scores again: he's gotten construction halted on Target's big retail project at Sunset Boulevard and Western Avenue, which is already quite far along. A superior court judge sided with Silverstein and his client, litigation-happy groups La Mirada Avenue Neighborhood Association, as well as the Citizens Coalition Los Angeles, all of whom want the three-story shopping center torn down, the LA Times reports. The judge agreed that the City Council should not have allowed Target to build a 74-foot-tall structure in an area that limits height to 35 feet (there's a subway station a five-minute walk away, but never mind that), and he nullified building permits and ordered work to stop.
City Attorney Mike Feuer is still trying to determine "what further work, if any, can be done" at the site, but a statement from Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell says
"construction that is already permitted continues since the judgement is being appealed" (he adds that "We must keep the project going") . *O'Farrell just sent out a revised statement that does not include these quotes. Silverstein wants the city held in contempt of court for not stopping work immediately.
Meanwhile, Target has appealed the judge's decision, making the non sequitur argument that a stop to work would keep dozens of construction workers, and hundreds of future Target employees, from a paycheck (not to mention whatever the Target corporation will reap, of course). They've also asked the city to rewrite the zoning for the area to allow the store's height.
The war over Hollywood Target began four years ago, when neighborhood groups sued because the project was approved without an environmental impact report. Target conducted an EIR considering several different options (including ones that met the height limit) and the project was approved again two years later; the groups sued again, saying the selected project was too big. Target says they were encouraged to build bigger by then-Councilmember Eric Garcetti, who wanted a pedestrian-friendly shopping center; plans today feature a plaza, shops and parking on the groundfloor, parking on the second floor, and a Target on the third floor. Garcetti wouldn't comment directly on the ruling, but said he wants the corner revitalized.
· Judge orders Target to stop building Hollywood shopping center [LAT]
· NIMBYs Trying to Dismantle East Hollywood's Half-Built Target [Curbed LA]
· The Hollywood Target Project is Back on the Scene [Curbed LA]