HOLLYWOOD, LOS ANGELES - An unfinished Target store in Hollywood is still in limbo after a judge handed a legal defeat to the city for the second time in three years.
Thousands drive past the half-finished building, on Sunset Boulevard and Western Avenue, and locals walk by it every day, but some are unaware of the years-long legal battle preventing the Target from opening.
A superior court judge ruled in the plaintiffs' favor twice, first in 2014, saying the city council violated planning rules by approving a 74-foot high building where the maximum is 35 feet. The council then created a sub-area that allowed such a building, but the court this week ruled an environmental study is required under the most recent plan.
Some people think it's a big problem. Attorney Robert Silverstein represents one of two groups suing the city of Los Angeles over the construction.
"We're not opposed to Target. What we're opposed to is the illegal Target," Silverstein said.
Hollywood Chamber of Commerce President Leron Gubler is disappointed.
"Potentially, it creates two major benefits. No. 1, it creates somewhere between 250 and 300 permanent jobs, and then secondarily, it provides new shopping opportunities in Hollywood," Gubler said.
Silverstein also blames then councilman and now L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti for the limbo Target is in. He said the company initially submitted a proposal that was compliant with zoning rules, but Garcetti pressured Target to exceed height and density.
A spokesman for Garcetti said his office does not comment on pending litigation.
Meantime, some locals who are unaware of the story behind this unfinished Target simply say it would be convenient.
"Adding this wouldn't make much of a difference to me, it would just be more convenient because I wouldn't have to be going to other places for the resources I need," said Hollywood resident Carlos Calderon.