Cleanup deadline for owners of graffiti-covered high-rise in DTLA passes; city continues efforts

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Sunday, February 18, 2024
Cleanup deadline for owners of LA's graffiti-covered high-rise passes
The city of Los Angeles is now taking matters into its own hands to clean up the now-famous "graffiti towers" in downtown.

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The city of Los Angeles is now taking matters into its own hands to clean up the now-famous "graffiti towers" in downtown.

Last week, the City Council passed a resolution calling on the owners of Oceanwide Plaza to start removing the graffiti that now covers much of the 27-story complex as well as removing the scaffolding blocking the sidewalks and securing the property from additional vandalism.

The council resolution gave the owners until Saturday to start the cleanup, but that deadline came and went. Now, it's up to the city to remove the graffiti and bill the developer for the expenses.

The City Council voted to allocate $3.8 million for the efforts, which include building a custom metal barrier that will be placed around the site.

"It'll be at least 10 feet from the ground on up," said L.A. Councilman Kevin de León. "It's our great desire, obviously the city's desire, to deter any individuals who may climb, scale and go up there, and may slip and fall to his or her death."

The city also plans to hire private security to guard the area instead of using police officers.

"We can't have our own LAPD babysitting this building," said De León. "It's unfair to voters, to citizens throughout the city of L.A. who pay their taxes. We shouldn't be babysitting this building."

He said there are conversations regarding plans on what to do with the building if the owners don't step in.

"There are conversations that are taking place right now. I can't go into the details, but I will say that there is some interest, strong interest, in purchasing this piece of property."

Last week, four suspects were arrested for allegedly trespassing at the site. They were identified as Sebastian Gutierrez, 29, Andrew Rios, 30, Mauro Aguilar, 35, and Jessie Carreon, 44, police said. Three of the men were cited and released, and the fourth was held on a pending traffic violation warrant.

Two people were also arrested in the previous week at the building on suspicion of trespassing.