Taggers Spray Graffiti on Abandoned Oceanwide Plaza in DTLA

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China Oceanwide Holdings has one more hurdle in its quest to sell its uncompleted hotel, condo and retail project in Downtown Los Angeles: graffiti.

Over two nights, taggers scaled the roofless towers and sprayed 27 floors with inscrutable graffiti on three abandoned towers of the Oceanwide Plaza project at Figueroa, Flower, 11th and 12th streets, across from the Crypto.com Arena in South Park, KCAL News reported.

The multi-colored tags now highlight the failed luxury development across the street from L.A. Live and the red carpet for the Grammy Awards.

In a tweet, the Los Angeles Police Department said it has teamed up with City Council district representatives to hatch a plan to secure the site.

“The measure will be implemented immediately and the graffiti will be removed,” the LAPD wrote on X.  It’s not clear how the taggers slipped by security guards, if any. Or who will foot the bill for the paint removal.

The site is owned by Oceanwide Holdings, a unit of the China-based firm now facing a foreclosure battle over the massive unfinished L.A. project.

In 2015, Oceanwide broke ground on what was then a $900 million Oceanwide Plaza project that promised to turn Downtown Los Angeles from “an in-and-out destination to a place to dwell,” according to the architecture firm CallisonRTKL’s website. 

Plans called for two 40-story buildings with 340 luxury condominiums that would include private screening rooms, a dog washing facility and other amenities. Its centerpiece was to be a  49-story highrise with 164 condos, a Park Hyatt hotel, a rooftop pool, plus restaurants and event spaces.

A year later in 2016, Shenzhen-based Oceanwide upped its estimated costs to $1.5 billion, while still aiming to complete the building in 2018. 

But in early 2019 the development stalled, leaving in the lurch a 2 million-square-foot hotel, condo and retail complex without roofs. By 2022, Oceanwide pegged the cost of completion at $2.3 billion. Since then, the project has faced more than $240 million in mechanics liens, as well as complaints from a group of Chinese EB-5 investors over alleged mismanagement. 

In August, a state court of appeals temporarily blocked a foreclosure of Oceanwide Plaza from moving forward, saying it needs more time to review claims by Lendlease, its general contractor. 

In September, a Bermuda court ordered the liquidation of Beijing-based China Oceanwide Holdings, whose U.S.-based Oceanwide Holdings didn’t complete the three-building Oceanwide Plaza.

— Dana Bartholomew

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