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The Real Deal Los Angeles

Appeals court breathes new life into half-built Target in Hollywood

The site has been saddled with legal battles since 2012
August 24, 2018 08:00AM

Target and Robert Silverstein

A long-stymied Target store project in East Hollywood may finally be completed.

A California appeals court reversed a Superior Court decision Thursday, paving the way for construction of the half-finished building at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Western Avenue to restart, Curbed reported.

The retail property has been embroiled in a legal battle since 2012, when local residents sued the city for allowing a project that was denser than what the city code permitted.

The La Mirada Neighborhood Association, represented by well-known attorney Robert Silverstein, said the city did not fully study the effects of the new zoning laws it created to allow the 74-foot-tall project in an area where heights are capped at 35 feet. A judge sided with the association and ordered the development to stop construction in 2014.

In 2016, the City Council passed a new law that increased the height limits in the neighborhood. But La Mirada sued again, successfully stopping construction of the Target once more.

The Second Appellate District Court of Appeals now says the city properly studied the effects of a larger Target. In a statement, Council member Mitch O’Farrell said the “long, unfortunate saga” can now come to a close.

Silverstein is best known for representing preservationists and activist groups in their fight against developers and city officials. His victories against large development projects has earned him the reputation of a NIMBY, even leading some developers to “quake in their boots” when they hear his name, The Real Deal previously reported. 

Earlier this week, city officials sided with developers on another project in Hollywood. A Los Angeles City Council committee voted against landmarking four properties that stand in the way of the Crossroads of the World mega-project, allowing the redevelopment to inch forward.

Neighborhood residents and preservationists have become powerful opponents of new development, utilizing landmark applications and lawsuits as a means to thwart new projects.

They have also been criticized by developers who contend the groups exploit relatively loose rules for protecting designated sites, TRD found in a recent analysis. [Curbed] — Natalie Hoberman