Grace Yoo Grace Yoo

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Joanne O’Donnell has overturned the city’s approval of Michael Hakim’s 27-story, 269-unit Koreatown apartment development, CatalinaTower. Environmental Justice Collaborative, Friends of the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative and LTL Attorneys brought the case against the developer, claiming the city violated CEQA because it did not require the project obtain an environmental impact report. CatalinaTower was a controversial project in the Koreatown market that had been seeking approval for more than a decade. The project was planned on a residential street where most building heights do not exceed three stories. Ultimately, the judge agreed that there was a CEQA violation, overturning the approval. We sat down with Grace Yoo of EJC and LTL attorney Prashanth Chennakesavan to talk about the case and what’s next. What was the impetus for bringing CEQA litigation against the CatalinaTower project?

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.

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