Just hours after a post on this very blog reported on a rumor that construction was set to begin on Sunset Gordon, the controversial 23-story skyscraper, bulldozers were brought in to demolish the property's existing structure overnight.
Sunset Gordon was the brainchild of Portland-based developer Gerding Edlen, who bought the property in 2006. City councilman Eric Garcetti midwifed the project through the city's approval process, helping it collect a record 17 exceptions to planning and zoning laws, before construction was halted by a lawsuit brought by irritated neighbors. CIM Group bought the property and its 17 entitlements in 2011.
Constructed in 1924, the building was once home to a Peerless Motor Company showroom, the Max Reinhardt Workshop of Stage, Screen and Radio and the broadcast studio for the radio station KMPC, before it became one of the early locations of the Old Spaghetti Factory restaurant chain in 1974.
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Demolition reportedly began around 5 p.m. on Tuesday and continued through the night. Neighborhood activists, who have fought the development since its proposal, are predictably furious. They say the demolition is illegal because the city's approval of Sunset Gordon was contingent on preservation of the historic structure. They further contend that permits for demolition were illegally backdated to speed up construction.
Karen Diehl, press representative for CIM Group, said she had no comment on the demolition.