When developers announced a decade ago that they intended to build Hollywood’s first skyscrapers along an aging, fading block of the famed boulevard, boosters saw it as a transformational moment.
Gentrification was already remaking Hollywood with a series of big high-end developments, but this project was different. The complex would alter the L.A. skyline and add more than 1 million square feet of office, retail and residential space. Some neighboring residents and others protested, saying the soaring towers would block views, invite horrific traffic and irrevocably alter Hollywood’s character.
But those concerns ended up taking a back seat to a much larger question: What was lurking under the land.
For eight years, there has been a high-profile argument over whether active earthquake faults run directly under the site of the proposed development, making it too dangerous to build there. The California Geological Survey — the state’s scientific authority on the location of earthquake faults — suggested in 2013 and concluded in 2014 that an active fault capable of generating a magnitude 7 earthquake runs through the site.
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