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Embattled Venice Apartments To Be Preserved, Expanded

The city of Los Angeles Wednesday announced that it has reached a legal settlement with the owner of the embattled Lincoln Place apartments in Venice that would allow 83 former tenants return to the buildings, remodel 696 apartments and create 99 units that replace homes demolished by the proprietor.

"This is a win-win agreement and will return much needed rental housing to Los Angeles," stated Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. "It will serve as a model locally and nationally for sustainable rehabilitation of older, low rise-rental housing while providing important green jobs in Los Angeles."

It was one of a trio of suits settled with AIMCO Venezia LLC that will protect the remaining buildings, which were built from 1949 through 1951 and designed by an African-American architect.

The company had planned to tear down all the buildings -- ostensibly to build more-upmarket housing -- and actually started to do so before lawsuits put a stop to the destruction of the garden apartment dwellings. The 83 tenants were either evicted or bought out, leaving much of the complex deserted in recent years.

Attorney Amanda Seward, who admired the buildings' accessible, postwar architecture, fought the man and won.

"This agreement finally ends generations of dispute over Lincoln Place," said Councilman Bill Rosendahl. "With this agreement, we can finally move forward together."


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