Displaced Tenants in Hollywood Get Rare Right to Return But They Say There’s a Catch

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Jon Hofferman talks to fellow tenant Felicita Fuentes, right, with tenant Darrin Wilstead holding a pen at left, about their concerns with a proposed agreement with the owner of their apartment complex in Hollywood in October 2019. (Credit: Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)

Jon Hofferman talks to fellow tenant Felicita Fuentes, right, with tenant Darrin Wilstead holding a pen at left, about their concerns with a proposed agreement with the owner of their apartment complex in Hollywood in October 2019. (Credit: Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)

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When Los Angeles leaders gave the green light for Crossroads Hollywood — a new development with a hotel, shops and more than 900 units of housing — they got the real estate developer to make an unusual pledge.

Tenants whose buildings would be torn down to make way for the soaring towers in Hollywood would have a chance to return and live in the new buildings. And they would pay no more than they would have if their existing apartments, which fall under city rules that limit rent hikes, were still standing.

L.A. leaders approved the $1-billion development over the vehement objections of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which sued the city over the project. In the meantime, scores of tenants still living at the apartment buildings started negotiating over their “right to return.”

Now, with a deadline looming, many tenants say that Harridge Development Group is offering them a deal they do not want to accept. Among the conditions that worry them: They must agree not to make any “derogatory, critical, diminuitive, deprecating, or discrediting comments” about the building owner — or even about the deal itself.

Read the full story at LATimes.com.

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