LA begins work to secure graffiti-covered downtown high-rise development

LOS ANGELES — The work to fence off an abandoned luxury skyscraper in downtown Los Angeles and clean up the surrounding sidewalk has begun, City Councilman Kevin de León announced Friday.

According to the councilman’s office, scaffolding has been removed around the construction site of the partially completed, vacant high-rise development known as Oceanwide Plaza. New fencing is being installed to deter individuals from coming onto the premises.

Last week, the LA City Council approved an initial $1.1 million to begin addressing the development, which has been a thorn in the side of city leaders and residents of the community.

De León had originally proposed allocating $3.8 million to secure the vandalized building, which had caught the attention of taggers and base jumpers.

  • Work crews from the Quality Fence Company start putting up...

    Work crews from the Quality Fence Company start putting up metal mech over chainlink fences at the Oceanwide Plaza Saturday Los Angeles CA/USA. Feb 24, 2024. Work began Friday to place fencing around the graffitied high-rise buildings target for taggers.
    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. (Photo by Gene Blevins/Contributing Photographer)

  • Work crews from the Quality Fence Company start putting up...

    Work crews from the Quality Fence Company start putting up metal mech over chainlink fences at the Oceanwide Plaza Saturday Los Angeles CA/USA. Feb 24, 2024. Work began Friday to place fencing around the graffitied high-rise buildings target for taggers.
    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. (Photo by Gene Blevins/Contributing Photographer)

  • Work crews from the Quality Fence Company start putting up...

    Work crews from the Quality Fence Company start putting up metal mech over chainlink fences at the Oceanwide Plaza Saturday Los Angeles CA/USA. Feb 24, 2024. Work began Friday to place fencing around the graffitied high-rise buildings target for taggers.
    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. (Photo by Gene Blevins/Contributing Photographer)

  • Work crews from the Quality Fence Company start putting up...

    Work crews from the Quality Fence Company start putting up metal mech over chainlink fences at the Oceanwide Plaza Saturday Los Angeles CA/USA. Feb 24, 2024. Work began Friday to place fencing around the graffitied high-rise buildings target for taggers.
    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. (Photo by Gene Blevins/Contributing Photographer)

  • Several floors at each of the three unfinished buildings in...

    Several floors at each of the three unfinished buildings in downtown LA’s Oceanwide Plaza development have been tagged by graffiti artists, as seen Friday, Feb. 2, 2024. (Gene Blevins/Contributing Photographer)

  • Several floors at each of the three unfinished buildings in...

    Several floors at each of the three unfinished buildings in downtown LA’s Oceanwide Plaza development have been tagged by graffiti artists, as seen Friday, Feb. 2, 2024. (Gene Blevins/Contributing Photographer)

  • Several floors at each of the three unfinished buildings in...

    Several floors at each of the three unfinished buildings in downtown LA’s Oceanwide Plaza development have been tagged by graffiti artists, as seen Friday, Feb. 2, 2024. (Gene Blevins/Contributing Photographer)

  • Work crews from the Quality Fence Company start putting up...

    Work crews from the Quality Fence Company start putting up metal mech over chainlink fences at the Oceanwide Plaza Saturday Los Angeles CA/USA. Feb 24, 2024. Work began Friday to place fencing around the graffitied high-rise buildings target for taggers.
    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. (Photo by Gene Blevins/Contributing Photographer)

  • Work crews from the Quality Fence Company start putting up...

    Work crews from the Quality Fence Company start putting up metal mech over chainlink fences at the Oceanwide Plaza Saturday Los Angeles CA/USA. Feb 24, 2024. Work began Friday to place fencing around the graffitied high-rise buildings target for taggers.
    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. (Photo by Gene Blevins/Contributing Photographer)

  • Work crews from the Quality Fence Company start putting up...

    Work crews from the Quality Fence Company start putting up metal mech over chainlink fences at the Oceanwide Plaza Saturday Los Angeles CA/USA. Feb 24, 2024. Work began Friday to place fencing around the graffitied high-rise buildings target for taggers.
    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. (Photo by Gene Blevins/Contributing Photographer)

About $1.1 million funded the fencing along 12th Street between Figueroa and Flower streets, as well as to secure the structure’s ground floors near the Crypto.com Arena. The councilman proposed another $2.7 million, as a loan, to cover costs associated with security services, fire safety upgrades, graffiti abatement and other measures.

City officials officially began an abatement process on Feb. 17, after the building’s developer, Oceanwide Holdings, did not respond to demands from the city to address ongoing issues. The developers had planned a $1 billion multi-use complex, but construction halted midway because they could no longer finance it.

The councilman has been leading efforts to address issues at the complex, as the development is located in his 14th District, which covers parts of downtown L.A. and northeast neighborhoods such as Boyle Heights, El Sereno and others.

Earlier this month, videos circulated on the internet that showed base jumpers plunging off the Oceanwide Plaza and then paragliding down to the street.

De León told KNX at the time that he feared “Someone is going to go up there, and they’re going to push the limit and fall to their death. Somehow, someway, the city will be liable for it.”

Worldwide attention fell on the complex due to events such as the Grammy Awards and the unveiling of a statue depicting Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash in 2020. More than 25 floors of the complex were tagged with spray paint.

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