Construction of a Target store in Hollywood halted

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Target shopping baskets (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)

Target shopping baskets (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – A court order halting construction of a Target store in Hollywood could endanger efforts to revitalize a “forlorn” intersection at Sunset Boulevard and Western Avenue, the councilman who represents the area warned today.
The intersection “is one of the most heavily traveled (in) Hollywood, and with the completion of the Target complex it will have the vibrant and quality retail that it deserves,” Councilman Mitch O’Farrell said in a statement. “Everyone should support that.”
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Richard L. Fruin Jr. ordered the halt of all construction after finding that the city improperly granted several exceptions to the project, including one that allows it to be built as high as 74 feet — more than twice the existing 35-foot limit.
Two groups opposing the project had sued for an injunction on the project, which is already under construction and slated to be completed by early 2015.
O’Farrell said the judge’s decision was “not good for Hollywood.” The project would revitalize a “forlorn” corner in Hollywood, he said.
His office is working with the city attorney, the Building and Safety Department and the office of Mayor Eric Garcetti — who was the councilman for the area when the project was approved — to “respond to the court’s orders while balancing the need to keep the project going,” O’Farrell said in his statement.
An attorney who represents one of the project opponents said the Target project reflects “City Hall’s contempt for the law.”
“The Target store fiasco is symptomatic of L.A. City Hall’s culture of backroom deal-making, secrecy and law-breaking” that has led to a “pattern” of violations in the Hollywood area, Robert Silverstein said in a statement, citing “the recently overturned Hollywood Community Plan, “the Millennium Hollywood skyscraper-earthquake scandal” and “the illegal demolition of the historic Sunset Blvd. facade of the Old Spaghetti factory.”
A Target spokeswoman, Kristen Emmons, said the retailer plans to open the store next year as scheduled and will take “steps to continue construction at the store site.”
She declined to discuss whether Target will appeal the court ruling, but noted that the planned store would “bring approximately 200 new jobs to the area, in addition to an estimated 75 construction jobs as the store is built.”

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