Big red box on Flat Top hill draws complaints and possible charges for Soylent CEO

Flat Top HIll | Martha Brenedict

LINCOLN HEIGHTS  — Curbed L.A. reports on a bright red shipping container that has been placed on the top of Flat Top hill — raising complaints from neighbors, prompting an order by the city of Los Angeles for removal, and even possibly stirring criminal charges.

The container is an “eco home” and an ”experiment in sustainable living,” according to its owner Robert Rhinehart, who is also the founder and CEO of Soylent, makers of a meal replacement drink.

But neighbors told Curbed the container is attracting vandalism and criminal activity — and although Rhinehart owns the land underneath the container, the city said he does not have the proper permits. In June, the city’s department of building cited Rhinehart for having an “abandoned or vacant building open to the public.”

So far Rinehart has refused to follow an order to remove the container, a senior inspector with the L.A. Department of Building and Safety told Curbed. The inspector, Alexander Moffat, said his department is asking the city attorney’s office to file criminal charges.

Rinehart responded to Curbed in an email:

“There is no evidence of illegal activity taking place on the property…. I have private security conduct regular inspections.”

He also said he’s frustrated by the city’s permitting system. “In the city of Los Angeles one may not install a garbage disposal without seeking a permit,” he said. “I feel like I’m living in the movie Brazil.”

container life

A photo posted by Robert Rhinehart (@robertrhinehart) on

Inside a big #red #shippingcontainer up in #lincolnheights, covered in #graffitiart . This is #DTLA !

A photo posted by Sasha Valentene (@sashifly) on

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  1. It’s not even leveled, just dropped in place, obviously just a scrambled placeholder …. Was tagged and ALL windows smashed out within days of being placed, a total eyesore!

  2. Just like the entitled wacko Cataldo from NJ whose mommy bought him a plot of land on Elephant Hill in El Sereno – he also put some kind of prefab shack (pics in link / story below) and had parties and left trash everywhere. And he’s still there! He’s been ordered to remove his filthey hovel but hasn’t. City needs to start enforcing


  3. Oh joy, another entitlement-in-action, in skinny jeans and scruffy beard no less. Didn’t I see you at 365?, oh no sorry, that was 139 other dudes.

  4. We have permiting to keep entitled jerks like this from doing whatever the hell they want without any concern as to how it might affect others. A pox on this knucklehead!

  5. Forget about the container… dude should be in jail for creating “soylent”.

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