Now They’re Base Jumping From Downtown’s Graffiti Skyscraper

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LOS ANGELES, CA — What do you get when you abandon a luxury skyscraper in Downtown Los Angeles?

A giant playground for daredevil scofflaws.

The partially built 25-story building at 1150 South Figueroa has proven to be irresistible to many despite the mounting number of arrests for trespassing at the building that towers over Crypto.com Arena.

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Dozens of people have been arrested or cited for trespassing at the skyscraper since it garnered international attention for being vandalized across 25 floors just two nights before towering over the Grammys.

Since then, ever more people have been drawn to the building to tag it, for squatting, for target practice and, most recently, for base jumping.

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“Someone’s going to fall to their death,” City Councilman Kevin de León told KTLA. “The more daring they are, the more 15 minutes of fame they want to extend on TikTok and Instagram, someone’s going to slip and fall.”

Out of 23 people arrested since Monday morning, “We are finding folks in their 40s and in their 50s, still doing this, and I just gotta say, ‘You’ve gotta grow up,'” de León added.

SEE ALSO: Cat And Mouse Game Continues In High-Rise Targeted By Vandals

Since the Grammys the building towered over the unveiling of the Kobe Bryant statue at Crypto.com, and it continues to irk city leaders as much as it amuses others.

While some see it as a towering monument to street art, the Los Angeles Police Department has warned vandals they will be cited, and the tagging will be removed.

During Tuesday’s Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners meeting, Police Chief Michel Moore reported LAPD officers have already logged 3,000 hours to “protect” the property, including the use of overtime.

On Tuesday, de León introduced a motion to allocate $3.8 million to secure the vandalized, luxury downtown skyscraper abandoned mid-project in 2019 when the Beijing-based developer ran out of funding.

If approved, the city would pull $1.1 million to fund fencing and secure the ground floors of the structure near Crypto.com Arena, and another $2.7 million would be allocated, as a loan, to cover costs associated with security services, fire safety upgrades, graffiti abatement and other measures.

According to the motion, the money was identified by the city administrative officer to fund the abatement process. City officials would also look to pass the bill to the property owner, and may pursue legal action if necessary.

The motion will be first heard by the City Council’s Planning and Land Use Management Committee later this month.

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

“My fear is that someone is going to go up there, and they’re going to push the limit and fall to their death,” de León told KNX. “Somehow, someway the city will be liable for it.

Last week, the City Council approved another de León motion that instructed city departments to begin an abatement process for the Oceanwide Plaza, a planned $1 billion multi-use complex that was halted midway through construction because the developer, Oceanwide Holdings, could no longer finance it.

The City Council voted to secure the site and restore the sidewalks, should the property owners fail to respond by Saturday, and remove all graffiti and debris, and securely fence the property on their own accord.

“Let me be clear, defacing this property or any public property is not the fault of the city or due to neglect by the city,” de León previously said. “That responsibility falls squarely on the shoulders of the developer. There’s no ifs, ands or buts.”

Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez backed the abatement effort, saying, “This circumstance is one of exploitation and criminal activity.”

She referred to the building as a “huge black eye” and a “red flag” about how the city needs to be vigilant and obstruct these activities from occurring.

“At the end of the day, the only reason why we’re talking about it is because it’s just so gigantic,” Councilwoman Imelda Padilla previously said. “But we have these all over Los Angeles. I can think of at least four buildings that are mini versions — what is neglect from property owners.”

De León had previously noted there were multiple attempts to contact the Beijing-based developer to no avail, but the city will wait until the legally required deadline before the abatement process can proceed.

Los Angeles Police Department Central Division, which oversees Downtown L.A. and other areas, reported at least seven individuals have been arrested on suspicion of vandalism, trespassing, burglary or other crimes, according to recent statements. Central Division detectives were also placed to investigate crimes committed at the site.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson, president of the Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable, is set to hold a news conference outside the building Wednesday to urge city officials to issue a “disaster declaration” for the Oceanwide Plaza site.

City News Service and Patch Staffer Paige Austin have contributed to this report.


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