Finance  ·  Distress

PHOTOS: L.A. Mandates Developer Clean Graffitied Skyscraper

A dozen arrests made on Sunday after police take control of China-based developer’s property, according to reports

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The City of Los Angeles is giving developers of the abandoned Oceanwide Plaza tower until Friday to clean the unfinished skyscraper before they step in and do it for them.

The City Council voted last week to set a deadline of Feb. 17 for China-based developer Oceanwide to clean the debris and spray paint at the graffiti-covered, 53-story tower, located prominently in Downtown L.A. across from Crypto.com Arena (formerly Staples Center) and L.A. LIVE, CoStar reported. Otherwise, the city will do it and bill the company for a process that could include the city demolishing portions of the property.

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Images of the tagged floors went viral over the past couple of weeks. Twelve arrests were made Sunday at the site, as officials recovered spray paint cans and an illegal firearm. That adds to six other arrests made in different instances the last couple of weeks, according to local media reports. Police say they have regained control of the building.

Oceanwide ran out of money for the 2 million-square-foot condo, hotel and apartment development that takes up a full block on South Flower Street, and halted construction in 2019. The developer indicated in 2022 that it wanted to restart fundraising and construction for the three-tower complex, but that plan failed. 

“For the last few years, the unfinished Oceanwide Plaza property at 1101 South Flower Street has been a blight on Downtown Los Angeles’ South Park neighborhood,” read a motion by Councilman Kevin De León, whose district includes the towers.

De León said it would cost at least $500 million to buy the property, and another $1 billion to complete an affordable housing project, and the city would also have to forgive roughly $500 million in liens related to the property.

The city could also address other negligent property owners as a result of the graffiti issue at Oceanwide Plaza, council members said at the meeting. Councilwoman Imelda Padilla said she can think of four other properties that are “mini versions” of Oceanwide Plaza,” CoStar reported.

“We have these all over Los Angeles,” Padilla said.

Gregory Cornfield can be reached at gcornfield@commercialobserver.com.