Nuisance abatement suit background: Nuisance abatement suits are brought by the Los Angeles City Attorney against homeowners or commercial landlords or tenants who allegedly allow their property to be used to further criminal activity. The City of Los Angeles notoriously uses such suits along with gang injunctions and the myriad of laws criminalizing homelessness to effect and defend the progress of gentrification.
I’ve been tracking a nuisance abatement case filed by the Los Angeles City Attorney against a West Adams liquor store, Holiday Liquors, on Adams a little east of La Brea. West Adams is gentrifying super fast, of course, and this nuisance abatement suit is clearly part of the plan. New residents in all of LA’s gentrification battlegrounds are obsessed with access to upscale retail choices and also are famously terrified of many of the original inhabitants.
Liquor stores like Holiday impede gentrification by scaring new residents, by not being cute succulents-n-linen shops or brunch spots, and by being useful to the original residents. One way in which the City uses nuisance abatement suits to promote gentrification is by attacking impediments like Holiday Liquor. Gentrification funnels money to real estate developers who turn around and show their pleasure by sending a small percentage back to elected officials. Mike Feuer needs this kind of support for his 2022 mayoral campaign, so nuisance suits like this are to be expected.
And zillionaire real estate developers CIM Group, guided by anger-management casualty and founder Shaul Kuba, is one of the major forces behind the ongoing gentrification of West Adams. In 2019 they were developing at least six sites within a couple blocks of Holiday Liquor. CIM also convinced Herb Wesson of CD10 to create a business improvement district on Adams between La Brea and Fairfax, unsurprisingly making “perceptions of safety” a huge part of their pro-BID arguments.
Continue reading The Los Angeles City Attorney’s Nuisance Suit Against Holiday Liquor — In Rapidly Gentrifying West Adams — Facilitates That Very Gentrification — Dumping Zillions Into The Coffers Of CIM Group Founder Shaul Kuba — Who Has At Least Six Gigantic Mixed Use Buildings Within A Few Blocks Of There — Newly Obtained Depositions Show Kuba’s Direct Involvement In The Process — For Instance He Confronted Holiday Owner Abdul Sheriff — Told Him That Nobody Wants Him Or His Store On Adams — Said He Wanted To Help Sheriff Resolve The Suit By Buying His Building — In A Fit Of Unhinged Rage Kuba Called Sheriff A Really Nasty Name Because He Wouldn’t Sell — Usually Developers And City Officials Don’t Have To Actually Conspire To Gentrify — But It Sure Looks Like They Did It Here
It’s well known that the City of Los Angeles actively supports gentrification and thereby transfers an appalling amount of wealth to real estate developers. But it might not be as well known that a lot of people who aren’t developers, many of them not even in the real estate business, also with the active support of the City, make a lot of money from gentrification. E.g. the official police garages or the vast array of PR consultants who function as the set dressers of gentrification by “repositioning” so-called “up and coming neighborhoods” to make them cozy and attractive to the new residents.
And very recently I learned about a new aspect of this process related to the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Citywide Nuisance Abatement Program. The City uses its municipal power to bring such suits to directly support the gentrification of specific neighborhoods. For instance see the (apparently) ongoing prosecution of a nuisance case against Nipsey Hussle’s property at Crenshaw and Slauson As with the police garages and the neighborhood branding consultants, here too there are nondevelopers, in this case property management companies and private security patrols, making good money from gentrification with the open assistance of the City of Los Angeles.
Continue reading Developers Aren’t The Only Ones Making Money From Gentrification In Los Angeles — There Is A Whole Gentrification Service Sector Also Cashing In — In Both Cases With The Active Support Of The City Of Los Angeles — For Instance Before The City Attorney Files A Nuisance Abatement Petition They Meet With The Property Owner — And Make Demands Of Them — Like That They Hire A Property Management Company — And/Or A Private Security Patrol — But They Have A Very Short List Of Approved Companies To Use — Which They Claim Not To Endorse — But In The Coercive Context Of Such Meetings This Means Nothing At All
Nuisance abatement suits are brought by the Los Angeles City Attorney against homeowners or commercial landlords or tenants who allegedly allow their property to be used to further criminal activity. The City of Los Angeles notoriously uses such suits along with gang injunctions and the myriad of laws criminalizing homelessness to effect and defend the progress of gentrification.
The suits benefit the City on a number of levels. More broadly they’re a way to terrorize poor property owners by reminding them that they can be randomly targeted and forced to sell their homes. Nuisance suits also give the City a way to change the character of a neighborhood by targeting businesses that don’t suit the image being created by gentrifying developers. Most pragmatically, most cynically, the City also uses them to increase its surveillance capacities in gentrifying neighborhoods.
For instance, prior to bringing suit the City often demands that property owners install street-facing surveillance cameras and give LAPD full-time at-will access to the video feed. If you’re walking by Holiday Liquor at 4966 W. Adams, e.g., smile for the camera because LAPD is watching you! This phenomenon, among many others, is discussed in an essential recent paper by Ananya Roy, Terra Graziani, and Pamela Stephens, who note that in the infamous 2017 Chesapeake Apartments nuisance case, the City sought a number of concessions of this sort from the owner:
the establishment of extensive security systems at the property with direct access by the Los Angeles Police Department to these systems of monitoring and surveillance. … including video monitoring and electronic access control systems and private security guards.
Continue reading Three Depositions Of LAPD Officers Reveal Interesting Facts About The City Attorney’s Gentrification-Enhancing Nuisance Abatement Program — They Force Property Owners To Install Surveillance Cameras And Give LAPD Immediate Access To The Feed — E.g. Holiday Liquor At 4966 W. Adams Has Cameras That Cops Can Watch You On 24/7 Without Even Asking Anyone — And It Really Sounds Like These Cops Made Up Stories About Whatever Bad Stuff Was Happening At The Liquor Store — And Those Damn Gang Classes LAPD Teaches…