There are people who arrogantly refuse to believe that a property owner would ever let an apartment building sit empty for years on end.
The fact that there are multiple apartment buildings on the city's abatement list proves otherwise.
2040 Rodney Avenue also proves otherwise.
A neighbor reached out to me about 2040 Rodney Avenue, a 29-unit Midcentury Modern apartment complex built in 1955 and designed by master architect Edward Fickett, with a pool at the center. Scenes from the 1996 neo-noir film Mulholland Falls were shot there.
ZIMAS states that the building is subject to RSO and not an Ellis Act property. It also states that the property has been used for housing in the last five years, which the neighbor disputes.
Permits have been issued for work here and there since 1999 - most recently in 2019 for a soft story retrofit. Code enforcement has gotten involved at least twice; there is a pending case from last year regarding the building's general disrepair and a closed one from May 3 regarding uncleaned pool water.
As you can see from the pictures the neighbor sent, the pool is now empty - just like the rest of the building. It looks more like a long-abandoned motel than an apartment complex in Los Feliz. (All pictures were provided by the neighbor, who will not be named because they are concerned about retaliation.)
The neighbor told me "There's a huge empty apartment building by me in Los Feliz. Owner claims to live in Las Vegas which is not true. Very fishy stuff." The neighbor also told me about the owner's erratic behavior, which is a bit beyond the scope of this blog.
The neighbor has been trying to raise awareness of this building since the early days of the pandemic and added "It's still empty. The owner is lurking always...She will scream at you and call police...Please blow this story up! Tired of so many homeless and no affordable housing."
Well, that makes two of us.
The neighbor adds "As far as I know, it was natural attrition of tenants. Owner did not get new ones in. At one point, for sale, but owner wanted an insane amount of money...As the building has aged, not been taken care of...[she] is very "protective" of it (though it's falling into deep disrepair)."
I couldn't tell you why the owner is letting the building sit empty, but it's clear that she is.
If you are the owner...why? What do you hope to accomplish by leaving a building empty for years? Are you aware that if you no longer care to deal with the responsibilities of being a property owner, you can simply sell the place and never deal with tenants or code enforcement or maintenance or property taxes or insurance again?
I used to manage two smaller buildings. I know it can be a lot of work. But if repairing and re-renting the complex is more than you can handle, sell it to someone who is up for the challenge.
It isn't right to let 29 badly needed rental units stay empty for years on end and fall into disrepair. It just isn't.