Gabays sue LA after it rejects their 577-unit resi project

Arman and Mark Gabay accuse the city of “contributing to state’s housing crisis”

Feb.February 21, 2020 11:44 AM
 Developers Mark and Arman Gabay are suing the city for rejecting their 577-unit District Square project in South L.A. (Credit: Department of City Planning via LA Times)
Developers Mark and Arman Gabay are suing the city for rejecting their 577-unit District Square project in South L.A. (Credit: Department of City Planning via LA Times)

Developers Arman and Mark Gabay are suing the city of Los Angeles, saying it has contributed to the state’s housing crisis by rejecting their plan for a massive residential project in South L.A.

The suit the brothers filed alleges the South Los Angeles Area Planning Commission violated the state Housing Accountability Act when it denied their application for the 577-unit District Square development, according to the Los Angeles Times. The suit was filed through District Square LLC.

In November, the five-member commission — appointed by Mayor Eric Garcetti — voted unanimously to reject the project, citing its lack of affordable housing. Commissioners also noted pending federal bribery charges against Arman Gabay.

The move by the commission — which hears appeals of development projects — killed the Gabays’ proposal after it had been approved by the L.A. City Council and the City Planning Commission.

“Indeed, this case presents the paradigmatic example of a local government contributing to this state’s housing crisis by denying a new housing development without consideration of the economic and social costs of its actions,” according to the lawsuit filed this week in Los Angeles Superior Court, the Times reported.

The developers, who often do business under West Hollywood-based Charles Company, first proposed a mostly retail project on Crenshaw and Obama boulevards in 2010. They later revised the plans to build a multi-family project instead.

In May 2018, federal prosecutors charged Arman Gabay with bribing an L.A. County official in exchange for business from county departments. Four months later, a former county official admitted to accepting cash bribes from Gabay in return for helping him secure a multimillion-dollar leasing deal with the county. Gabay has denied the allegations and his case is still pending. [LAT]Tina Daunt

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