LA City Council orders graffiti removal on infamous unfinished Oceanwide Plaza towers

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The Oceanwide Plaza towers under construction in July 2022. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons user Benoît Prieur (Public Domain)

The Oceanwide Plaza towers under construction in July 2022. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons user Benoît Prieur (Public Domain)

City Council Members in Los Angeles have issued a mandate to owners of the graffiti-tagged Oceanview Plaza development in Downtown to remove the artwork weeks after its unfinished exterior became a national news item and the latest flash point in a debate over the citywide housing crisis that has lingered for a number of years.

By a vote of 14-0, Council Members approved Kevin de León’s motion calling for the city to foot the bill for cleaning up the stalled $1 billion towers if China-based developer Oceanwide fails to meet their February 17th deadline for removal. (CoStar first reported on the motion this weekend h/t Bizow.com.)

The internet sensation was covered in tags last month by artists apparently inspired by an early December operation in downtown Miami and able to bypass the security detail on site, which has been embroiled in a payment dispute with developers since last year. 

Now, the three-tower CallisonRTKL design is officially a “public nuisance.” The property was already under an abatement order from the city and could face imposing liens, a foreclosure ruling, and a possible demolition if the City Council’s demands are not met in time. 

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Construction at the site was abandoned in January 2019 due to a lack of financing. One of the taggers told Hyperallergic: “This building has needed love for years. If the owners aren’t doing anything about it, the streets of L.A. are happy to make something out of it.”

The mixed-use development adjacent to Crypto.com Arena was expected to include 504 residential units, a five-star hotel, retail, and the “largest LED sign on the West Coast,” according to Costar.


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