CIM Group’s Sunset Gordon tower cleared to reopen after battle with LA

The 299-unit building has been vacant since 2015, when the real estate investment firm lost a battle with the city after having demolished a historic restaurant to build the property

Sunset Gordon tower (Google Maps)
Sunset Gordon tower (Google Maps)

CIM Group may have gotten its wish this season.

At its final session before the holiday recess, the Los Angeles City Council cleared the way for the real estate investment firm to reopen the 299-unit Sunset Gordon tower in Hollywood.

The 22-story development, built in 2014, was closed a year later when a judge invalidated the company’s building permits during a lawsuit with the city. The building has been vacant since. A neighborhood organization led by a prominent NIMBY attorney sued CIM Group for demolishing the historic Old Spaghetti Factory restaurant to build the tower. CIM had previously agreed to preserve the building.

City officials said they would not renew the certificate of occupancy until CIM Group took the project through the environmental review process again. CIM Group later admitted to demolishing the restaurant and replacing it with a replica. The firm started the environmental review process to reopen the tower last year.

In August, the City Planning Commission voted to reopen the tower on the condition that CIM set aside 15 units for “very low income” renters. Planning Commissioner Renee Dake Wilson emphasized the housing that the tower would bring to the area as a reason to finally allow it to reopen.

With the Council’s nod on Wednesday, there are “no further approvals” needed, according to a CIM Group spokesperson. It was not clear when the building would bring in new tenants.

CIM is one of the more active firms in Hollywood. It’s planning a 63-unit project just across the street from Sunset Gordon. It’s also planning a multimedia production and office development nearby at 926 Sycamore Avenue.