Hollywood megaproject along active fault line faces another test

City orders developer to investigate area again; $1B Hollywood Center complex remains on hold

Photo illustration of Phillip Aarons and a rendering of the project (Patrick McMullan/Getty)
Photo illustration of Phillip Aarons and a rendering of the project (Patrick McMullan/Getty)

Seven years ago, the California Geological Survey concluded that an active fault line ran under a 4.5-acre chunk of land along Vine Street in Hollywood. That includes the area beneath Millennium Partners’ planned $1 billion Hollywood Center megaproject.

A debate has raged over the existence of that fault line ever since.

Now, the city has ordered Millennium subsidiary MP Los Angeles to dig another trench through the property, to further investigate, according to the Los Angeles Times.

L.A. city officials approved the first version of the massive development in 2013. A year later, the Geological Survey concluded the fault line running through the site was capable of generating a magnitude 7 earthquake.

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In 2018, MP Los Angeles amended its plan, which now calls for 1,000 residential units and a 220-key hotel spread across towers of 46 and 35 stories, and two 11-story buildings.

The project has been tied up in environmental reviews, lawsuits and other challenges. In July, the Geological Survey determined that new data “strongly support[s] the presence of an active… fault strand” on the eastern portion of the 4.5-acre development site. State law has more or less barred development along active fault lines.

MP Los Angeles disputed the July conclusion, claiming the data used was “significantly inferior” to the data the developer had collected via trenching the site. Still, MP Los Angeles and the city agreed to put the project on hold to further investigate the issue.

[LAT] — Dennis Lynch