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COMMUNITY NEWS: MID-CITY

LAFAYETTE PARK : Council Vote Delays Sheraton Demolition

April 18, 1993|JAKE DOHERTY

A recent vote by the City Council to declare the Sheraton-Town House a local landmark has temporarily blocked plans to demolish the 63-year-old building.

The vote, which reversed a decision by the Cultural Heritage Commission to deny the building landmark status, means that an application for a demolition permit would have to be considered by the commission.

If the hotel's owners request one, there will be a period of up to six months in which demolition opponents would be able to discuss alternative uses for the building with the owners.

The owners, Kyo-Ya Co., a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Tokyo-based Kokusai Kogyo Co. Ltd., have expressed interest in tearing down the hotel to make a parking lot.

The closures of the hotel and the Bullocks Wilshire building have generated a lot of discussion about the future of the Wilshire Corridor, said Linda Dishman, executive director of the Los Angeles Conservancy, a historic preservation organization.

Dishman said the City Council should take action on a plan to revitalize the area proposed by the Wilshire Stakeholders, a group of property owners and managers along the boulevard.

Former employees of the hotel also received good news last week, winning an increase in their severance packages after an intense lobbying campaign directed at the company and its stockholders.

Many of the 120 employees, members of the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union, Local 11, will receive double the severance pay the company had originally offered, said Jennifer Skurnik, a Local 11 organizer.

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