Tenants in Sunset Gordon Tower given 1 month to vacate apartments

Saturday, March 21, 2015
Tenants in high-rise apartment building given 1 month to vacate
Tenants of an embattled Hollywood apartment complex are being told they have one month to vacate the building because of an ongoing legal battle.

HOLLYWOOD, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Residents of an embattled high-rise apartment complex in Hollywood received more bad news Friday.

The tenants of the Sunset Gordon Tower have been given one month to vacate their homes. It is the latest in an ongoing legal battle between the developer and the city.

Last fall, the Sunset Gordon began leasing apartments and tenants could not wait to move in to the new building on Sunset Boulevard.

Giovanni Saltino, who moved from New York, signed an addendum along with his lease, acknowledging pending litigation against the building developer.

"I found this place. I walked by and I fell in love with it because it's beautiful inside. I mean they really did a great job with it," he said.

Saltino and his neighbors are now being told they may be forced to move out. Now, dozens of them are banding together to hire an attorney.

Residents received the letter and an email from the management company CIM, which stated the city issued an order to vacate.

The Department of Building and Safety has ordered a new environmental impact review before the occupancy permit can be renewed, according to the Los Angeles Times. Tenants have until April 19 to leave, unless CIM files an appeal.

"We paid a lot of money to live here, you know? It isn't cheap to live here. It's a nice building and it's unfortunate," tenant Jake Crowell said.

Tenants said they cannot get answers from the management company and that they've had problems ever since they moved in.

The company put in two floors of hotel rooms and did not let tenants know, Saltino said, and that is around the time the problems started.

Renters said they haven't paid utilities because the building is still not metered by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. Retail space in the building also remains vacant.

When the 22-story building was approved, the developer was supposed to include the facade of what had been the Old Spaghetti Factory, not a replica.

A neighborhood association filed suit in 2012, and a judge invalidated the construction permits, determining the developer took the risk of the building during the legal challenge.

Tenants are now looking into their rights as renters and looking for new places to live.

"I'll figure it out. It shouldn't be too hard to move. It's just a pain in the neck to move again," Crowell said.

The management company was not available for a comment.