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The Raping of the Los Angeles Artist District

by J.A. Citizen Editorial Tuesday, May. 09, 2006 at 5:52 PM

The Los Angeles Artist District is quickly being picked apart and may soon be gone completely if developers like Michael Shannon of the newly formed corporation 2121 Lofts Operating Company, LLC get there way.

The Raping of the Lo...
2121lofts_sml2.jpg, image/jpeg, 550x333

The Raping of the Los Angeles Artist District

as posted on J.A. Citizen Editorials

The Los Angeles Artist District is quickly being picked apart and may soon be gone completely if developers like Michael Shannon of the newly formed corporation 2121 Lofts Operating Company, LLC get there way.

In the 1980’s The City of Los Angeles was encouraging artists to move downtown as many of the older warehouse buildings were newly zoned and converted into Artist in Residence dwellings. It was that influx of artists that helped the area adjacent to Little Tokyo thrive, grow, and expand to the surrounding area. But it seems that the City of Los Angeles has now abandoned the artists as they allow developers like Michael Shannon to take these unique Artist In Residence buildings and use loop holes in the condo conversion laws to literally throw out all the current tenants without the proper time or compensation.

Shannon’s somewhat hostile take over is being Financed by East West Bank, and assisted by George Hopkins Construction Company as they turn an entire complex of Artist in Residence studios into high rent condos and townhouses. A place few artists will ever tread.

“The way they are doing this is just so sleazy! It’s a defilement!” Says artist David Goldner, one of many residents effected by Michael Shannon’s raping of the artist district. “Not only are they totally eliminating the base of studio space available to actual artists that would move down here; they are trying to get around the condo conversion laws that should be protecting us as they so rudely throw out the tenants that are already here!” Goldner goes on… “If they are going to do this, then they should be giving us all the proper time and compensation for the eviction under several Los Angeles Municipal Codes. This is why these condo conversion laws were put in place!”

“The current management company is Federal Industrial Properties, run by Victor Ceporius and Irena Knoor, a brother and sister team who were the prier owners of the 2121 Loft properties. They just made over twenty million on this sale of the property then turned around and screwed all the tenants. At first, they said they were staying around to protect all the tenants from the new owners. What total hypocrites!” Goldner claims passionately... “Irena Knoor has done exactly the opposite! She flat out refused to even give us the new owner’s name as she turned from Dr. Jekyll into Shannon’s henchman, Ms. Hide, after the sale went through! We had to look Michael Shannon up through the corporation filings! She personally took down notices we put up offering free legal advice to all the tenants! She obviously wants to make it as easy as possible for Michael Shannon to throw us out like this. I’m sure that was part of their deal.”

“For over six months Irena and Victor who are still the management company have been telling us they are converting to condos. But as soon as the sale went through and Shannon took over, Federal Industrial Properties, still the property managers, changed their story and said they haven’t declared their intent to go to condo so they don’t have to compensate us or even give us the proper time notification to leave. What a bunch of crap! They even put the fact that they were going to condo in writing! Saying other wise now is just a flat out mendacity!”

“We should be covered under the LAMC 12.95.2 and LAMC 47.06. The Los Angeles Housing Department personally told me that we are protected under these laws, and possibly under The Rent Stabilization Ordinance as well, according to several Los Angeles legal sources; but apparently Shannon is trying to skirt around it on a technicality. He’s throwing us all out without the proper time or compensation, and then filing for the condo permit after we’re gone! He’s screwing a bunch of struggling artist to save a few thousand dollars after spending over twenty million to buy this place. I think that’s just sleazy any way you look at it and I plan to stand my ground and fight this illegal or at least immoral eviction!”

“It’s funny that within an hour of being notified about the controversy over Shannon’s blanketing evictions, East West Bank, the financers of Shannon’s project, sent a truck to take down there financing sign from the 2121 Lofts Complex on 7th Place! Maybe they don’t want to be associated with the questionable way Michael Shannon is throwing us all out?” Goldner questions… “But what’s even worse is that Victor Ceporius and Irena Knoor, our old landlords are the ones that made this happen. There is no way Michael Shannon would have tried to throw us out in the street this way without Irena and Victor’s full cooperation from the very start. There is no doubt in my mind that they knew exactly what they were going to do to us even months before they refused to renew anyone’s lease and forced us into month to month tenancy. I never would have moved into this complex had they been straight forward with me about their plans. They totally sold us all out. But I guess twenty million plus will do that.”

If the Los Angeles civic leaders don’t quickly recognize this large scale ongoing assault on the artist district, then there will soon be no artist district left. Loft prices are already getting too high for a struggling or up and coming artist, and I seriously doubt many young artists can soon afford a 750,000.00 dollar condo right next to skid row, that was once an old brick warehouse at under a dollar a square foot.

J.A. Citizen Public Editorials 5/8/06

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by J.A. Citizen Editorial Tuesday, May. 09, 2006 at 5:52 PM

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