AHF sues city over its plans to convert Parker Center into offices

Michael Weinstein called the project “a flagrant waste of money”

Michael Weinstein and Parker Center
Michael Weinstein and Parker Center

The drama surrounding the infamous Parker Center is nowhere near over.

In the latest episode, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation sued the city of Los Angeles Wednesday over its plans to demolish the former Los Angeles Police Department site and build an office tower for city workers there, Curbed reported.

Michael Weinstein, the foundation’s vocal president, said the project is a “flagrant waste of money.” He has argued that the city should build homeless housing on the site instead.

The former police headquarters is scheduled to be torn down on August 20. The foundation will likely seek an injunction halting any demolition work while the case is ongoing, an AHF attorney told Curbed.

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This isn’t the first time AHF has gotten involved with the building. AHF and Coalition to Preserve LA, another activist organization, tried twice to landmark the building and save it from the wrecking ball. Ultimately, both attempts were rejected partly because of the property’s ties to the LAPD’s discriminatory past.

The two groups also announced plans for a ballot measure earlier this year, which would pave the way for the building to become housing for the homeless. That could be done at a cost of $102 million, the foundation says.

In March 2017, the City Council approved a measure to tear down the building and build an office tower on the site that could house all the city workers currently spread out among several Downtown buildings. A city report published in May said that demolishing Parker Center and constructing the 27-story tower would cost about $700 million.

In the lawsuit, the AHF cites a statute that allows taxpayers to challenge expenditures of public funds they consider wasteful. Attorneys for AHF claim the city’s plans are “wasteful, unnecessary, useless and provide no public benefit.” [Curbed] — Natalie Hoberman