Monday, October 24, 2016

Councilman Cedillo’s awkward move to Highland Park*

Upper portion of original windows were replaced with new glas

Upper portion of original windows were replaced with new glass

The City Council today will take up a motion by Councilman Gil Cedillo to  pay more than $4,000 a month for office space in a landmark Highland Park building whose owner got in trouble this summer for violating the city’s historic preservation laws.

Cedillo’s new Highland Park field office will be located on the ground floor of the Highland Park Masonic Temple, an approximately 90-year-old brick building at the corner at the corner of Figueroa Street and Avenue 56 that is listed on the National Register of  Historic Places.   In June,  city  inspectors ordered the owners to stop work on a project that had removed a strip of original, leaded glass at the top of the ground floor windows, according to Patch.    For many years,  the leaded glass had  been covered up by signs  until the windows were uncovered during a renovation of the building in the 1980s.

The current building owners told Patch that they replaced the leaded windows with new glass because the old windows were broken and repairing them would have been too costly. But city officials said the owners should have obtained permission to remove the windows since the building is protected by federal and city historic preservation laws.

The building owners said the window replacement had nothing to do with Cedillo’s new field office, which is being relocated from Lincoln Heights.  Cedillo’s campaign office was located in the same space.

Cedillo’s staff does not seem to care much about whether the windows are new or old.  A story in EGP News said that Cedillo’s staff was working to resolve the issue, which had delayed the move into the new field office.

Meanwhile, in Lincoln Heights, many activists and residents are not happy with Cedillo’s plans to move the field office to Highland Park from their neighborhood, where the office has been located for about 25 years. Cedillo’s staff told EGP News that the new Highland Park field office will have more visibility and easier access. But many Lincoln Heights residents are still upset, said EGP News:

Manny Rodriguez, a lifelong resident of Lincoln Heights, said the field office’s closure was a “bitter blow.”

* Update: The City Council approved Cedillo’s motion to have the city negotiate a lease for the field office.

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  1. am i the only person concerned that tax payers are fronting the $4000/ month rent bill? can’t the office move somewhere that is more fiscally responsible?

    • Is $4000 a lot of money to pay for office space in a location that is convenient for residents to access? I don’t actually know. It would be useful if someone who has data on office rents, either for other city council field offices or for other offices in the region could give us some comparison. If it’s easy to get much cheaper office space that is just as convenient for the public to visit, then this would be a cause for concern, but if the only way to get cheaper office space would be to locate in a second floor back of a strip mall out of the way location, then it doesn’t seem worth it – part of the point of a field office is that neighbors should be able to see it and stop in if they have concerns they want to bring up with their city council member, and it should be accessible to everyone, not just people with cars who don’t need a wheelchair.

      • Well now the owner can afford to replace all the windows and also in that dirty bakery next to the offices. As for cheaper rent, the old bank across the street is city propert, so they should use that iinstead.

    • Rebecca, since you feel the need to question the fiscally responsibility of the rent without knowing the size of the place, you should also judge yourself for sounding like a idiot.

      • just because this is the internet and you are annonymous doesn’t mean you have to be rude. you could have nicely brought your point up. have a good day.

  2. This location makes so much more sense, with the Gold Line station located right there. Fig is really taking off.

  3. Hard to say if $4,000 a month is a ‘fair’ price without knowing the square footage of the place but perhaps we can see how much his campaign paid for the same space. Is there a way to see that as a public record?

  4. From a public records search it looks like this is LESS than what the city paid for the old offices on Broadway.

    Date Received
    Last Change Date
    Initiated By
    Steven Kasten
    C-80810 – Lease agrmt for 2217 – 2219 No Broadway (storefront space of approx 2670 sq ft) – term of contract from 11-1-89 to 10-31-92 – total amt $4672 monthly

    • thanks for sharing this information. i appreciate you adding to this conversation in a positive and helpful manner.

    • This says “…Pay MORE than $4000…….” so what is the real amount?
      Both of these guys are dirty scumbags, scratching each others dirty backs.

  5. In really let down that our new councilman wouldn’t insist the owners obey the HPOZ rules, making sure they replace the windows with windows that comply with HPOZ rules. A few years ago when we redid our house in HP we had to prove to the HPOZ board that our windows historically fit the neighborhood. It was not the cheapest way to replace windows and we complied understanding we live in a section of Highlsnd Park that is in a HPOZ. Why dont’t the owners of the building where Cedillo is moving into? It’s a bit fishy to me. I would expect our new councilman to set an example by politely insisting they follow HPOZ rules, replace the windows, and then move in. This sets a very bad example for other landlords that feel they don’t have to follow the rules. FYI: $4000 a month is not expensive for such s space, but I will be watching to see if Mr. Cedillo does anything about allowing the owner to get away with this.

  6. Rose M. Rodriguez

    Welcome to the neighborhood, Councilman Cedillo! I like having the councilman in Highland Park!

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