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LA city leaders take steps to secure viral tagged high-rise buildings in Downtown LA

City leaders taking steps to block of viral abandoned buildings in downtown LA
City leaders taking steps to block of viral abandoned buildings in downtown LA 02:17

Los Angeles city leaders are working to secure the abandoned downtown skyscrapers that have become a viral sensation in recent weeks. 

Councilman Kevin de León introduced a motion at Tuesday's council meeting, seeking to allocate $3.8 million to secure the luxury skyscrapers, which were abandoned after the developer ran into financial issues in 2019. 

The Oceanwide Plaza became a local sensation in early February when it was discovered that nearly every floor was covered in graffiti, and again jumped back into the public eye when videos of base jumpers parachuting off the top of the top of the building. 

If the motion is approved, Los Angeles will pull $1.1 million to fund fencing and improve security on ground floors of the structure, which is located near Arena in downtown LA. Another $2.7 million would be allocated as a loan to cover costs that come with security services, fire safety upgrades, graffiti abatement and other measures. 

Crews start cleaning up graffiti-filled high-rise towers in Downtown Los Angeles 02:14

The money was identified by the city's administrative officer to fund the abatement process, according to de León's motion. City officials will also reportedly look to pass the bill onto the property owner, whom they may pursue legal action against if they deem it necessary. 

The motion will be heard by the City Council's Planning and Land Use Management Committee later in February. 

De León has led efforts to address the issues that have come as a result of the building's popularity in recent weeks, as it falls under his jurisdiction in the 14th District, which covers parts of downtown LA. 

"It upsets me greatly that we're dealing with the homelessness crisis in LA, we're dealing with the housing affordability crisis in LA and we should be focusing ... all of our resources there," de León said on Tuesday. "Not on, you know, a bunch of folks that through social media platforms are so attracted and so emboldened to come here and get their 15 minutes of fame through TikTok."

Just last week, city council voted to approve a different de León motion that called on city departments to begin an abatement process for the skyscrapers. 

City Council voted to secure the surrounding area and restore the sidewalks should the property owners not respond by Saturday, by which point they must remove graffiti and debris and fence the area on their own accord. 

"I'm not gonna hold my breath, if you will, for Oceanwide developers to come up and clean up the mess that they've left the city of LA with," de León said.

Over the weekend, Los Angeles Police Department noted that several arrests had been made in connection with the property, and that at least one illegal firearm was recovered during one arrest. Others had been arrested on suspicion of trespassing, vandalism and burglary. 

"I think somebody's going to lose their life here doing some daredevil stunt, trying to get on social media," said LAPD Captain Raul Jovel. 

LAPD Chief Michel Moore said that officers have already logged more than 3,000 hours to "protect" the vacant property, including some overtime. 

The $1 billion project, dubbed Oceanwide Plaza, was supposed to house 340 luxury condominiums in a trio of massive buildings, the tallest of which was supposed to be a 49-story high rise that had more than 160 condos on top of a Park Hyatt hotel, restaurants and a rooftop pool. 

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