But on Dec. 11 the city informed him that black-and-white photos were required. Priore delivered them the next day to City Hall. On Dec. 13, however, the city sent him a letter stating that the application was incomplete because of the color photos and several other needed items. The letter was not postmarked until Dec. 14 and delivered until Dec. 21, according to Priore.
On Dec. 12, the city notified developer Sol Barket that his application -- which had earlier been deemed incomplete -- now passed muster. That meant Priore could not file for the resource designation which, if granted, could have permanently blocked demolition of the Tower Records building.
Priore's lawyer, Brant H. Dveirin, suggested that city officials intentionally dragged their feet on the paperwork to give Barket time to submit his. West Hollywood officials deny that.
"The city staff doesn't give development requests greater preference than designation applications," said Michael Jenkins of the city attorney's office.
Barket met last week with members of the West Hollywood Heights Homeowners Assn. who live on the hillside above the Tower Records site to assure them his project would "speak well to the environment and the iconic nature of the location." It will feature a high-end retail shop on the ground floor, the health club on the second level and offices on the top floor.
Brian Lewis, a spokesman for Barket, said the proposed building's nod to the site's iconic past might include something like rock 'n' roll-themed decorations in the gym.
"We don't want to forget that Tower Records played a role here," Lewis said.