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Possible Rosslyn Sale Sparks Heated Conversation

By Eric Richardson
Published: Thursday, March 19, 2009, at 03:21PM
Rosslyn Hotel Sign Eric Richardson [Flickr]

The Hotel Rosslyn sign on 5th street.

While there wasn't one consistent message to the opinions expressed Tuesday night about the possible sale of the Rosslyn Hotel to affordable housing provider Common Ground, those that spoke at a neighborhood Town Hall certainly had opinions.

Many of those who spoke at the event expressed concern over any plan that would disrupt the building's current tenant mix.

Common Ground originated in New York City, where it has a history of renovating historic hotels near Times Square into buildings that house low-income working class and formerly homeless tenants. At Tuesday's Town Hall, organized by the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council, Los Angeles Field Director Beth Sandor told how the organization's buildings feature ground floor retail and on-site services for tenants.

She was not able to give specifics on Common Ground's plans for the building, which is in escrow a second time after an early purchase attempt failed late last year.

Brady Westwater kicked off public comment by questioning why the organization chose this particular building for purchase instead of one currently empty or poorly operated. He and several other speakers praised the building's current diverse tenant mix.

Other speakers expressed concern at the fate of their particular units under Common Ground's ownership.

Common Ground is one of the partners in the County's Project 50 effort, which operates a medical office across the street.

The Rosslyn Hotel, located on the southwest corner of 5th and Main, was built in 1923. A website for the building advertises 170 – 200 square foot "Full Bathroom Apartments" for $550 per month.

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