Developer Icon Co. sues two unions amid project delay

The 623-unit project was unanimously approved in August

Jan.January 13, 2019 02:00 PM
(Credit: Icon Co.)

An L.A.-based developer has filed a lawsuit accusing two construction unions of racketeering and extortion.

Icon Co., which plans to build a 623-unit project in Panorama City, alleges two unions violated federal laws by raising environmental challenges to the development while pressuring the company to only hire union labor, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The lawsuit claims Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters and Local 300 of the Laborers International Union of North America offered to drop their challenges if Icon agreed to hire their workers. Icon refused and the unions sued to stop the Panorama City project in October.

A lawyer for the unions dismissed the developer’s allegations.

“Unions are allowed to talk about hiring union labor any day of the week. That’s what they do for a living,” the unions’ attorney Richard Drury told the Times. “But they’re also allowed to participate in the [state’s environmental review] process and get projects built clean.”

The $150-million project is planned to be built on a site previously occupied by a Montgomery Ward store, which closed in 2001. The city council unanimously approved the project in August, clearing the way for the seven-building complex with 60,000 square feet of commercial space and a 17,000-square-foot plaza.

Community councils and homeowners associations have long been viewed as one of the larger obstacles in the entitlements process, making it more expensive to build housing. But, according to the report, labor unions are become increasingly aggressive against new development projects. For example, the UNITE HERE Local 11 union, which represents thousands of hotel workers, appealed a 120-key hotel proposal in October. [LAT] – Gregory Cornfield

Related Articles

La Mirada industrial building

Clarion pays $77M for La Mirada industrial project

510 Park Avenue and CEO of Monster Beverage Rodney Sacks

Monster Beverage affiliate guzzles down industrial project in San Fernando

Inset: Alice Vysata (Credit: Wikipedia, iStock)

“From one day to the next, he stripped me of everything:” Sexual harassment lawsuits against LA landlord set off legal battle

Scott Laurie, chief executive of Olson Co. and Christopher Thornberg, founding partner of Beacon Economics

How slow can you go? Statewide homebuilders tap brakes on new projects amid rising costs

Kyle Richards, Mauricio Umansky and the Sweetwater Mesa property (Credit: Getty Images)

“My husband did not scam anyone”: Kyle Richards defends Mauricio Umansky on “Real Housewives” episode

EB-5 investor claims his money was redirected from Hilton to housing project

EB-5 investor claims his money was redirected from Hilton to housing project

From left: Saeed Nourmand, Michael Nourmand, Grant King and Richard Heyman

Relevant Group sues Nourmand & Associates’ founder, alleging extortion over hotel projects

Centennial founder and CEO Steven Levin with a rendering of the project

Centennial Real Estate approved for sprawling $300M mixed-use village