Judge puts Frank Gehry-designed WeHo development on hold

Rendering of Gehry's design for 8150 Sunset Boulevard
Rendering of Gehry's design for 8150 Sunset Boulevard

The saga continues for Townscape Partners.

The developer’s mixed-use project on Sunset Boulevard is delayed indefinitely after a judge ruled this week that Los Angeles officials did not comply with California’s environmental review policies when they approved the project.

The crushing blow to the project is a big win for the Los Angeles Conservancy, which filed a lawsuit against the city, claiming that when the council approved Townscape’s plans, they did not properly evaluate the demolition of the Chase bank building on site, the Los Angeles Times reported.

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When the city approved the Frank Gehry-designed complex last November, they rejected two versions of the plan that evaded the mid-century bank’s demolition, but failed to adequately prove that those two versions were not “feasible,” the judge said.

Now, the council’s approval is effectively tossed aside, Susan Brandt-Hawley, the conservancy’s lawyer, told the Times.

“This next step will provide more clarity regarding the status of the project approvals and what the city is required to do to comply with the court’s ruling,” Rob Wilcox, spokesman in the City Attorney’s office, said in an email. [LAT]Cathaleen Chen

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