Harridge Development Group, which has plans for an ambitious Crossroads of the World megaproject in Hollywood, is hitting a potential roadblock with tenants living in old apartments who are kicking up dust over the new construction.
The Los Angeles City Council in January approved the $1 billion project — which will feature 950 apartments and condos, a hotel, and 190,000 square feet of space — clearing the way for construction three years after it was first proposed.
As part of the deal to get the project rolling, tenants living in the 82 apartments set to be razed by Wilshire-based Harridge Development were required to sign an agreement that prohibits them from making “disparaging remarks,” according to a report published by the Los Angeles Times.
That agreement – which was requested by City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell of the Hollywood district — promised that Harridge would voluntarily offer tenants a “right to return” to the completed project under their current rental arrangement. In short, they were offered a brand new apartment in a development without meaningfully changing what they currently pay.
One catch, however: Tenants are complaining that the agreement says they can’t make disparaging remarks about Harridge Development.
L.A. leaders greenlighted the development over the objections of Michael Weinstein’s AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which sued the city over the project. Some tenants, who’ve organized as Crossroads Tenants Association, began negotiating over their “right to return.” The association has urged tenants to not sign the return agreement.
Harridge representative Kyndra Casper told TRD that the offer is a “valuable one” that will ensure tenants are able to remain in Hollywood. “We encourage all [of] the tenants to take this offer and look forward to welcoming them into the new project,” Casper said in a prepared statement.
“This is one of the first, if not the first, project in Los Angeles to voluntarily offer tenants a right to return to the completed project under their current rental arrangement,” Casper wrote.
O’Farrell spokeswoman Jeanne Min said that the option for the tenants to return to the Crossroads project is a “unique opportunity” that O’Farrell was able to secure with the cooperation of the developer.
“This agreement provides tenants with the ability to return to the new development at the same rent they are paying now,” Min said. “We wish that this opportunity could be offered to all those in the city that have received an … eviction notification. However, this is not always possible.”