Brookfield beats appeal aiming to block 27-story condo tower in DTLA

After five-year battle, developer cuts deal with HOA of an adjacent condo building

Brookfield's Bruce Flatt; Rendering of 949 S. Hope Street (Solomon Cordwell Buenz, Brookfield)
Brookfield's Bruce Flatt; Rendering of 949 S. Hope Street (Solomon Cordwell Buenz, Brookfield)

Brookfield has beat back an appeal seeking to block construction of a 27-story apartment highrise in Downtown Los Angeles.

The Toronto-based real estate giant won support of the Central Area Planning Commission, which voted to reject the appeal by homeowners of the Skyline condominiums regarding the proposed construction of a 236-unit building planned for 949 South Hope Street, in South Park, Urbanize Los Angeles reported.

Thus ended a five-year battle between Brookfield and the original developer, Forest City Realty Trust, based in Cleveland, and the homeowners association for the 14-story condo complex at 600 West 9th Street.  

The appeal dragged on with more than 20 continuances after Brookfield acquired Forest City in late 2018 for $6.8 billion.

Plans call for replacing an office building of unknown size with 236 apartments above 6,700 square feet of ground-floor shops and restaurants.

The curved glass tower, designed by Chicago-based Solomon Cordwell Buenz, would include a rooftop pool, sky lounge, a fitness room and parking for 179 cars.

Seeking a 20-percent required parking reduction, the developer had planned for an existing 440-space underground parking garage at the project site to fulfill the project’s parking requirements, What Now Los Angeles reported.

The garage also was to serve as parking for the 14-story condo building.

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The Skyline Homeowners Association claimed the project should have never been approved, contending part of the entitlement application sought to transfer floor area from the Skyline property without the permission of the association, according to the appeal.

In February, representatives of both the homeowners and Brookfield indicated the two parties had reached an agreement for unspecified terms. The Planning Commission hearing was delayed until this month to allow absent homeowners time to ratify the deal.

While not all homeowners have signed off, a Skyline HOA representative urged the commission to reject its appeal, putting the dispute to bed.

While details of the agreement between Brookfield and the Skyline homeowners were not disclosed, one Urbanize reader said the grievance stems from the proposal to build a tower on top of a subterranean parking garage.

The garage, owned by the homeowner’s association, would be closed during construction of the Brookfield tower, while the settlement agreement involved a “laughably low fistful of dollars” in compensation, the reader said.

It’s not clear if Brookfield, which has defaulted on $1.1 billion in debt tied to Downtown L.A. office towers since last February, plans to break ground on the 251,200-square-foot highrise across from Grand Hope Park.  

— Dana Bartholomew

Read more

Los Angeles
This land is our land: Homeowners group says Forest City project is on their property
Los Angeles
Forest City planning 27-story residential tower in South Park
New York
Shareholders greenlight Brookfield's $6.8B purchase of Forest City
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