Developer Crescent Heights cleared a major hurdle in its years-long court battle over a 30-story residential development planned in Hollywood.
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation had sued the developer, claiming the City Council did not follow state law when it approved the Palladium Residences in 2016, and failed to recognize the building’s impact on the neighborhood.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Amy Hogue ruled this week that the city was in the right, and had followed all necessary procedures, according to the Los Angeles Times. AHF CEO Michael Weinstein said the group would appeal Hogue’s ruling.
If built, Palladium Residences would sit just behind the historic Hollywood Palladium theater, which Crescent Heights would restore.
The project would includes two 28-story towers with 731 apartments. The Miami-based developer also wants to include 24,000 square feet of ground-floor retail, including 10,000 square feet added to the theater building.
AHF has its offices next door to the planned project and in 2016, Crescent Heights accused Weinstein of using the foundation as a “personal piggy bank” to fight the Palladium Residences project. The reason: Because it would block the view from his 22-story office, Crescent contended. The foundation provides HIV prevention and treatment services for HIV-positive people and claims that the Crescent Heights project would ultimately hurt locals who have the disease.
The battle over the Palladium towers inspired AHF to draft the statewide Measure S, which would have imposed a two-year moratorium on projects requiring zoning changes, like Palladium Residences. AHF spent $5.5 million pushing Measure S and Crescent Heights spent $2.5 million to fight it. Measure S failed by a 2-to-1 margin when put to voters last year.
AHF also fought Hudson Pacific Properties over a Hollywood office tower, ultimately settling last year. It helped fund a fight against Michael Hakim’s 27-story tower planned in Koreatown, which a judge halted in April to order a full environmental review.