Cultural Heritage Commission to Discuss Status of 800 Traction

The disputed property at 800 Traction Ave. in Los Angeles’ Arts District. (JUNKO YOSHIDA/Rafu Shimpo)

The Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission will again hear testimony about the status of the 800 Traction Ave. building on Thursday, Dec. 7, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. in Room 1010 at City Hall, 200 Spring St., Los Angeles.

At issue is the impending eviction of artists, some of whom have lived at the building for decades, by the new owner, DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners. Members of the Arts District and Little Tokyo communities have been resisting the evictions for the past four months.

According to the 800 Traction Ave. Support Committee, “They have contributed to the prosperity of the Arts District and the cultural life of Little Tokyo for years … The owners want to kick them out and turn a profit.

“DLJ applied for ‘cultural historic monument’ status for 800 Traction, once a famous coffee and spice factory, so they can get millions in tax breaks once the tenants are gone. It is one of the first artist-in-residence buildings remaining in today’s Arts District.

“On Oct. 5, the L.A. City Cultural Heritage Commission told DLJ to work with the community to gather the history of Japanese American artists/residents of the building in response to the community who protested DLJ’s omission [of that information in its initial application].