Tenants in a 22-story Hollywood building will be moving out after a panel that oversees the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety voted to uphold an order calling for their removal.
The board voted 5-0, concluding that city inspectors were within their rights to tell the landlord to clear out the 299-unit high-rise on Sunset Boulevard, according to a report by the Los Angeles Times.
During a hearing on Tuesday CIM Group, which owns the property, argued that the city lacked the authority to issue the order last month.
The dispute comes from a 2012 lawsuit in which La Mirada Avenue Neighborhood Assn. sued the city in 2012 after CIM group razed a one-story restaurant built in 1924. In the initial approval process for the project stipulated the historical building needed to be preserved.
Last fall, a judge agreed and invalidated the building's permits. But CIM Group filed an appeal, and say the appeal should allow them to keep operating.
Building and Safety officials issued the order to vacate because its temporary certificate of occupancy expired. Because of the judge's ruling, the city cannot issue a new one.
Shaul Kuba, co-founder and principal of CIM Group, said he was disappointed with the decision and that he will head to court as early as Wednesday morning to halt the evictions.
At the hearing, the tenants who came to speak to the commission were split. Some appreciated the low rent and great view, but others were frustrated they didn't know about the litigation before they signed the lease.
Tenants also said that since the court ruling, CIM Group had allowed several floors of the building to be used as an unpermitted hotel, creating safety issues.
Kuba said CIM Group leased some space in the building to a firm that books apartments a corporate housing.
Earlier this month, building inspectors sent a second order to CIM Group instructing the company to stop using portions of the building as a hotel. Robert Sacks, CIM Group's lawyer, said they do not plan to contest the order, but are having trouble getting the firm to leave.
"CIM is trying to get them out of the building," he said. "If the building department can get them out of the building, more power to them."