City begins adding fencing around graffiti-covered high-rises in downtown LA

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DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES (KABC) — Work began Friday to place fencing around the graffitied high-rise buildings in downtown Los Angeles that have become a target for taggers and social media stunts.

Crews are now hard at work building a fence around the abandoned luxury skyscraper known as Oceanwide Plaza.

“This is part of my motion that we move forward to at least secure the perimeter,” L.A. City Councilman Kevin de León said. “Then we’re going to secure the entry points, which are the weak points.”

The partially completed skyscraper is located at 12th and Figueroa streets, near Crypto.com Arena. It’s become a magnet for vandals in recent months, with floor after floor defaced with graffiti.

“I wasn’t surprised it happened. It’s been like this for a couple years since they stopped construction, so it was only a matter of time before people got up there and wanted to show their art,” Windsor Hills resident Matthew Vine said.

Construction on the building halted back in 2020 when the Chinese developers went bankrupt. The owners of the building – Oceanwide – had until Feb. 17 to clean and secure the building. When the deadline passed the city stepped in.

“The objective here, quite frankly, is to prevent someone from seriously injuring themselves or worse – falling to their death,” de León told Eyewitness News.

“I simply don’t want someone falling to their death because they want their 15 minutes of fame,” he added.

Construction of the fence started Friday morning on 12th Street and will continue until the entire parameter is secured.

Locals say they’re pleased with the change but not convinced it will do the trick.

“They’ll find another way. It’ll probably deter them a little bit, they just got to get a little more creative with it, but they’ll find a way,” Vine said.

Last week, the City Council voted to allocate more than $1 million to address the defaced skyscrapers. The city says they’ll give the bill to Oceanwide.

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