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Contractor says owners of LA's ‘Graffiti Towers' owe them, sub-contractors around $200 million

After weeks of vandalism and trespassing at what has now been dubbed the “Graffiti Towers” in downtown Los Angeles, new court documents suggest the graffiti may be just the beginning of the problems at the Oceanwide Plaza Development.

In July 2015, Oceanwide hired the construction company Lendlease as the general contractor to oversee the project. On Friday, Lendlease said Oceanwide Plaza still owes them and subcontractors about $200 million total.

With hopes of eventually getting paid, Lendlease and several subcontractors filed a petition in federal court this week asking a judge to force Oceanwide into involuntary bankruptcy.

“We sought to avoid this outcome. But Oceanwide Holdings admitted to running out of money for the Oceanwide Plaza project more than four years ago. The property has since languished and, in recent weeks, attracted crime,” Lendlease said. “We’re taking this action in the hope that the court will appoint a responsible Trustee to end the years-long deadlock to oversee an orderly sale of Oceanwide Plaza for the benefit of Oceanwide’s creditors and local subcontractors. Only then can this unfinished project move forward for the good of the local community.”

News of this development happened as the Los Angeles City Council approved $3.8 million that will go toward cleaning and securing the site that’s been hit hard by trespassers and vandalism. Work with city-hired crews started Friday morning, one day before Oceanwide’s deadline to come back and secure the site themselves.

“If they don’t do something by the 17th, then we’re going to step up and do it and we’re going to foot them the bill,” Los Angeles City Councilmember Kevin De Leon said.

Though city leaders say they will send Oceanwide the bill, some wonder if the city and taxpayers will ever get that $3.8 million back.

NBC4 reached out to several Oceanwide Representatives multiple times this week but did not hear back.

Source: NBC Los Angeles

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