County votes to seize Eli Sasson’s long-held South LA land

Developer has held onto property for over 20 years without building anything

The land at 8400 Vermont Avenue in South LA (Credit: Google Maps)
The land at 8400 Vermont Avenue in South LA (Credit: Google Maps)

The saga surrounding Eli Sasson’s long-held parcel of land on Vermont may finally be coming to a close.

In the latest episode, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to use eminent domain and seize the properties on 8300 – 8400 Vermont Avenue in South L.A. from the developer and his firm, Sassony Properties, Curbed reported.

The county has earmarked $15.7 million for the roughly 4-acre site, with plans to build a mixed-use complex that will include schools, a transit stop, affordable housing and a retail component.

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But Sasson and his firm aren’t going down without a fight, hiring a lawyer and threatening legal action over the county’s plan. “Despite what happened here, we are determined to move ahead with this project even if it takes a lawsuit to overturn today’s illegal board action,” Sassony Development’s executive Jennifer Duenas said in a statement.

Sasson has had big plans for the site he’s owned for over 20 years. Just two years ago, he held a groundbreaking for a $100 million entertainment complex. Today, the plot still sits empty.

This isn’t the first time the developer has been in the city’s crosshairs. Through the years, Sasson has been slapped with multiple citations for failure to maintain the lot, including violations from the fire department, department of building and safety, and the department of water and power. [Curbed]Natalie Hoberman