Darling, did you notice the homeless encampment by the freeway? It’s gone.
Where do you think they went?
That was last week. Yesterday, flames of a suspicious origin erupted from the lower floor of 7101 Sepulveda Blvd, a mile or so north. Vacant for 25 years, the building once housed a college for paralegals. With wood framing, the flames reached the upper floors quickly.
Directly adjacent is an empty lot at 7111 Sepulveda, site of the former Farmer’s Ranch Market. Permits were approved for 180 units almost two years ago, but ground was never broken on the project. The eyesore vacancy at 7101, a plinth for cell phone towers and Van Nuys’ most unloved structure, was rumored to be a hindrance.
Guess where the 405 encampment moved to? Guess how long it took them to crack open the back door of 7101 and pilfer wiring and play with matches? If you own the building, you get an insurance settlement. If you own the lot next door, you get south-facing light for your mixed-use development. If you live in the neighborhood, you’re quietly gratified to see something, anything, done with the place.
Everybody wins. Just how locked was that back door, anyway?
*photos courtesy LAFD