Why You Can't Trust Developers

C.C. de Vere

C.C. de Vere

· 3 min read
Picture of framed, but not completed, 5-story tower flanked by two smaller buildings.

6559 Brynhurst Avenue used to be a little bungalow court in Hyde Park.

Used to be.

Ranta Group bought it, planning to build an upzoned five-story TOC tower. (The Crenshaw/LAX line is slated to be built nearby.)

The original units are gone, replaced by the skeleton of a tower that was not completed.

You see, dear readers, Ranta Group ran out of money. The tower isn't going to be finished - at least not any time soon.

There are people who - knowingly or unknowingly - make promises they can't keep. Some of these people are developers. (I sincerely hope that Randa Group's failure to complete the building was unintentional.)

The bungalow court's affordable units are gone, there is a hulking frame of a building (and possible fire hazard) in its place, and we expect the displaced tenants to live where, exactly?

To add insult to injury, the unfinished building would have been Section 8 friendly (many landlords do not want to deal with Section 8), and all of the units would have had 2 or 3 bedrooms - big enough for families or roommates. That's not always the case with newer buildings. This building COULD HAVE benefitted 26 low-income households, if it had been completed.

(If any good people in real estate want to finish the tower and have the funds, here's the listing. Just be prepared for parking problems, since the building has 26 units and what I, as a former property manager, consider to be an unrealistically small garage for a building of this size. As I mentioned, the Metro line hasn't been built yet.)

The unfortunate fact of the matter is that Angelenos CANNOT count on developers. Not all of them keep their word.

Developers might have to change their plans due to an environmental issue or a legal requirement.

Developers might run out of money.

Developers might even straight-up lie.

Who's looking out for us? Not the city, that's for damn sure.

I WAS going to end the entry here, but then I saw this article in the Santa Ynez Valley News.

To put it very simply, Shangri-La Industries, a homeless housing developer based in Los Angeles, took out private loans on seven state-funded motel conversions, then defaulted on them last year.

The California Department of Housing and Community Development gave Shangri-La $114 million through the Homekey program. The Department is now suing to recover that money.

While the projects were not in Los Angeles (they were in San Bernardino, Ventura, and Monterey counties), Shangri-La certainly is.

The state was counting on Shangri-La to complete 500 permanent housing units. Those projects are now stalled, perhaps indefinitely.

Developers' promises need to be taken with a grain of salt. While I'm sure there are good ones out there, some are badly bent, and it's low-income renters who suffer the most for bad developers' sins.

6559 Brynhurst Avenue, Hyde Park.

C.C. de Vere

About C.C. de Vere

C.C. is a fourth-generation Angeleno and is horrified at what greed and hubris are doing to Los Angeles.

This website was built by her preservation pals at Esotouric.

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