Two Signs of Approval Process Failure Finally to Proceed in Los Angeles

Neighborhood groups blocked the construction and completion of a Target-anchored retail complex and a 22-story residential high rise for years. Developers and the city have finally moved forward.

December 21, 2018, 9:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Hollywood, Los Angeles

The Target Husk, since 2014. | Google Streetview

A half-completed retail complex in the middle of Los Angeles has a new lease on life after a court decision this week, reports Steven Sharp. The so-called "Target husk," located at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Western Avenue has been lying dormant, a conspicuous symbol of the contentious development battles in the city, after being forced to halt construction in 2014.

Steven Sharp explains the latest development in the saga:

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 news comes just a few days after another symbol of development controversies also shook loose of years of stagnation. Steven Sharp reported in a separate article from earlier this month that the Los Angeles City Council reapproved the 22-story Sunset Gordon tower in Hollywood. Here's how Sharp summarizes that debacle:

The 22-story building, named for its location at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Gordon Street, was completed by CIM Group in 2015.  But while it provides 299 apartments in a tight rental market - in addition to 38,000 square feet of office space, 7,700 square feet of ground-floor retail, and structured parking for 428 vehicles - the building has been vacant since 2015, after California's 2nd District Court of Appeal invalidated the project's approvals, finding that CIM Group had not adhered to a condition that a 1920s building that previously housed an Old Spaghetti Factory restaurant be preserved.  The developer had instead demolished the one-story structure and recreated it after concluding that the historic structure was too badly damaged to save.

Thursday, December 20, 2018 in Urbanize.LA

Brooklyn Redevelopment

Study: Market-Rate Development Filters Into Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing

New research sheds new light on one of the most hotly debated questions in planning and development.

September 15, 2021 - Full Stack Economics

Los Angeles, California

The End of Single-Family Zoning in California

Despite a few high-profile failures, the California State Legislature has approved a steady drumbeat of pro-development reforms that loosen zoning restrictions. The state raised the stakes on its zoning reforms this week.

September 19, 2021 - Office of Governor Gavin Newsom

The city of Siena in Italy, located on a hillside and bathed in Tuscan sunlight.

Building on Jacobs: The City Emergent; Beyond Streets and Buildings

A science of cities reveals the way cities grow, and why.

September 20, 2021 - Fanis Grammenos

New Updates on The Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

New Case Study Posted on HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.