Photo by John Schreiber.
Photo by John Schreiber.

The city Planning Commission Thursday recommended moving forward with an East Hollywood Target store project that has stood half- built for the past year due to legal challenges, after zoning rules were changed to better accommodate the retail project.

Construction at the Target at Sunset Boulevard and Western Avenue was halted in August 2014, after a judge sided with the La Mirada Avenue Neighborhood Association and other project opponents.

The Target project originally was approved by the Los Angeles City Council in 2012, with construction beginning soon after.

By the time the project’s approval was overturned in court and a judge had ordered construction to stop in 2014, much of the Target was built.

The unfinished skeleton of the building has drawn notice and is the subject of a Facebook page, “Target Husk,” that was set up to poke fun at what many viewed as an eyesore.

Taking a step to try to get the project moving again, the planning commission opted to amend zoning rules that are better suited to “retail superstores.”

One major issue with the unfinished Target is that it stands 74 feet tall, which is out of step with an existing height limit of 35 feet for commercial projects.

While the earlier version of the project called for an exception to be made for the Target’s height and other features — a move that requires proving a hardship situation — the amendments advanced by the Planning Commission Thursday sets up a limited area in which commercial projects no higher than 75 feet would be the rule, and not the exception, planning officials said.

That would mean that the focus would now be on justifying why it is beneficial to build the Target in the area, including how many jobs it would bring to the area and reduction in shopping commute times for the area’s residents.

Other changes were made to take advantage of the retail project’s proximity to a Red Line rail station and several bus stops in the area, including setting up the project site as “mobility hub” that could allow for such amenities as bike-sharing facilities and bike lockers, officials said.

The project will be considered next by the Los Angeles City Council.

— Wire reports 

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