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Graffiti-covered towers a ‘disaster', LAPD sergeant says. See inside the unfinished skyscrapers

City officials and the Los Angeles Police Department toured inside the failed Oceanwide Plaza development in downtown LA to determine the costs to secure the site and discourage any more vandalism on the property.

One LAPD sergeant’s first reaction was that ‘it’s destroyed’ and reminds him of Chernobyl.

“There’s a lot of vandalism that is in the stairwell. There’s a lot of paint and vandalism inside the rooms. There are some built-out rooms in there and it’s destroyed,” LAPD Sgt. Gordon Helper said. “It’s destroyed by graffiti.” 

Councilmember Kevin De Leon also took part in the tour. He said they are working to determine what it will cost to secure the perimeter to avoid trouble.

“We don’t want folks out there BASE jumping, we don’t want folks out there slipping and falling,” De Leon said. “The more daring you become, the more emboldened you become, you can lose your life.”

The city’s given the Oceanwide owners until Feb. 17 to clean up and secure the site. If they don’t, the city says they will do it and send Oceanwide the bill.

De Leon said conversations are ongoing and he described them as ‘polite’.

“The clock is ticking,” said De Leon. “We’re waiting for Oceanwide developers, back in Beijing, China to step up.”

Right now, police are surrounding every corner of the property trying to keep trespassers, vandals and graffiti artists away. Helper said in recent weeks they’ve made nearly 40 arrests.

Work stopped at Oceanwide Plaza in 2019 after the Chinese Developer ran out of money. What was supposed to be condos, a hotel, and a mall, has now become a graffiti filled mess.

“There’s a lot of exposed re-bar, a lot of electrical wires, a lot of materials that are still out,” said Helper. “There’s spray paint cans everywhere, there’s fire extinguishers everywhere that were used, the windows upstairs were broken out. No regard for anybody’s safety on the bottom, just broke it out and threw the fire extinguisher down to the ground.”

Helper said Oceanwide hired a private contractor to take a look at the property’s security sensors, ensuring they are alerted every time someone steps on the land.

But that may be just the first step in a long road ahead.

On Friday, the Los Angeles City Council is expected to discuss the next steps, Saturday is the deadline for Oceanwide to clean up and secure the site.

Ultimately, the city hopes Oceanwide gets the land cleaned up and a group of investors comes forward to take over the project.

Source: NBC Los Angeles

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