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The Real Deal Los Angeles

California Supreme Court clears final roadblock for Target in East Hollywood

Half-finished store had become a symbol of development battles and urban blight
December 22, 2018 11:00AM

Target and Mitch O’Farrell (Credit: Getty Images)

Call it the big Target that could.

A six-year struggle to complete a 200,000-square-foot Target superstore in East Hollywood appears to finally be over. Earlier this month the California Supreme Court ruled in favor of Target and the City of Los Angeles, allowing construction to resume on the building at Sunset Boulevard and Western Avenue, Urbanize reported.

The half-finished super store had become a symbol of the contentious battles waged over planning and development in Hollywood, and the city’s efforts to transform intersections known for their urban blight.

The struggle seemed to have ended in in August, when an appeals court ruled in Target’s favor by reversing a lower court decision related to a suit residents brought.

The retail property has been consumed by a legal battle since 2012, when local residents sued the city for approving a project with greater density than what code allows. In 2014, an L.A. Superior Court judge sided with La Mirada and Citizens Coalition groups in ruling the city had violated the Vermont/Western Station Neighborhood Plan, which governs how area surrounding parts of the Red Line subway should be developed.

The Target complex stands 74 feet high, which is more than double the 35-foot height limit for retail development at the site. The Vermont/Western plan would have allowed the project to be built at its current height had it included residential units, since mixed-use buildings can reach to 75 feet under the zoning code.

But in 2016 the City Council passed a new law that boosted height limits in the neighborhood. La Mirada sued again, managing to stop construction. Then the appeals court ruled that the city had properly studied the effects of a larger Target.

“Now we can end the blight at this intersection and provide hundreds of jobs and amenities for local residents,” said Mitch O’Farrell, the councilmember who represents the area. [Urbanize] — Alexei Barrionuevo