It looks as though the combative former tenants of the 463-room Alexandria Hotel will be compensated for their displacement. An undisclosed settlement has been announced, about a year and a half after the legal war began. When the San Diego-based Amerland Group bought the century-old building on Spring and Fifth streets, many residents' first impressions were that that it would be turned into a luxury-loft complex with no room for them. But Amerland COO and CEO Jules Arthur and Ruben Islas, respectively, said all the right words and hired the right lobbyist, Urban Solutions, LLC, whose clients include Clear Channel Outdoor and National Housing Ventures. Amerland also made all the right campaign contributions to local politicians.
Some of the tenants' first impressions were correct: They soon found
themselves displaced during the purported upgrades, or without water
and electricity. The residents lawyered up behind the Los Angeles Community Action Network and sued Amerland, the city and the City Redevelopment Agency, which had issued $56 million in tax-exempt bonds. The Downtown News
has a good summary of the ensuing litigation and an explanation of how,
regardless of accusations that had been leveled at the new owners,
affordable housing still exists at the Alexandria, where Woodrow Wilson
slept just before his stroke, and which became Crack Central during the