The Real Deal Los Angeles

Judge upholds LA County’s decision to seize Sassony Group’s “eyesore” land

Officials used eminent domain to acquire the long vacant 4-acre property
April 27, 2018 03:00PM

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

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge upheld the county’s use of eminent domain on a long-vacant 4-acre plot of land in South L.A., whose owner had grand plans that never materialized.

In December, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors voted to seize the properties at 8300 – 8400 Vermont Avenue from developer Eli Sasson and his firm, Sassony Group. The board allocated $15.7 million for the site, with plans to build a mixed-use complex that will include schools, a transit stop, affordable housing and a retail component.

The board had argued the empty lot had become an “eyesore for the community,” and a nuisance, Curbed reported. There have been at least 35 notices of building code violations on the undeveloped land since 1992, according to a press release from L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.

City officials will now work with the community to move forward on some of the projects, starting with a preparatory boarding academy. The program will be open to students from child welfare and juvenile justice systems.

Sasson has owned the property since 1992. He had proposed building a $100 million high-end retail and entertainment complex and even had a groundbreaking in 2015, though nothing happened from there. [Curbed] — Natalie Hoberman