Knitting Factory Facing Possible Closure by City

UPDATE: via LAist, here’s a link to the Notice of Hearing, which notes that there’s also petition “stating the non compliance with the conditions of the Zoning Administrators’ grant approvals” with a whopping 31 signatures and “photographs of illegal activity within the establishment use.”

The Knitting Factory, which opened its doors in a beleaguered, beat down section of Hollywood eight years ago and helped spearhead the neighborhood’s dramatic improvements since, is apparently facing the possibility of revocation of their Conditional Use Permit by LADBS. This would effectively put them out of business:

Dear Friends of The Knitting Factory,

I’m writing this letter to garner support for an upcoming public hearing by the LADBS (Los Angeles Bldg. and Safety) against our venue on Thursday July 17th 2008.

The Los Angeles Building Department is aggressively trying to revoke our CUP (Conditional Use Permit). For those of you who don’t know, a CUP is the conditions that all restaurants, bars, clubs etc must run under in order to keep their doors open. If you lose your CUP, you are essentially closed for business. After eight years in a crime riddled Hollywood corridor, the LADBS and vice state that our venue is a “nuisance” and we do not comply under “upscale restaurant guidelines” (nonsense, food is always served and continues service and will someone please define “upscale” for me). They are also trying to say we do a steady stream of Erotica here, which is absurd, as we’ve only had 3 Adult Entertainment parties over 8 years and 10,000 shows.

Bar owners beware; the city is on a major crack down for what they deem CUP violations.

More info about how you can speak out on behalf of one of Hollywood’s most creative and energetic venues after the jump.

Knitting Factory was lured to this location and has served as the anchor tenant to revamp this neighborhood. Suddenly, as the neighborhood has pushed the drug dealers out, the rents up, built condos and turned our complex from an Entertainment Center to a retail center, we are no longer wanted. When we moved into this location the crime statistics where 3 times higher than the city average, the corner of Hollywood and Sycamore sat only 1 block North of the 18th street Gang. In 2004, this corner was used as the first corner to install cameras as a test to stop crime.

We’ve endured tremendous hardship from 2004 to 2007 in this complex, whilst LA Fitness, DSW, Longs and Fresh and Easy were built around us (joy and thrill to be in a mall) and Galaxy Movie Theatre, Hollywood Ent. Museum, Tower Records all went out of business. We still have “no” visible signage from Hollywood Boulevard except for a banner hanging at the back of the plaza. CIM, the landlord, claims that our cueing is a problem to some of the retail outlets; of course there wasn’t a complaint while the jack hammers blasted for 3 years and our parking structure shut down for 26 weeks. Still, we are jammed to the back of the plaza, with no access to the Sycamore door (by law) and no where to line up our patrons.

Our Public Hearing is scheduled for Thursday July 17th at 10am @ 200 N. Spring St, room 1020. Zoning Administration. I would greatly appreciate anyone willing to get up on our behalf, just show up and be a part of this fiasco, or at least send in a letter to me, supporting the need for Knitting Factory as a live Music venue in the Hollywood corridor.

7 Replies to “Knitting Factory Facing Possible Closure by City”

  1. You could try contacting the city councilperson for the district that KF is in (which, I think, is CD13/Garcetti but don’t quote me on that). Otherwise, I think the best thing you could do is show up at their hearing and make a public statement.

  2. Very sad but welcome the world of redevelopment attracting “better” tenants. The first to move in are usually recruited and given perks to come in ahead of the pack. Once things are rolling and the potential to get a higher sales tax revenue generator in people are easily booted.

  3. something smells fishy here, to say the least.

    31 petition signatures is hardly enough to compete with the hundreds and thousands of attendees the KF has served over the years.

    and it would be simple for any disgruntled neighbor to challenge a CUP over anything, especially since the majority of said attendees often walk right past the neighboring stores ultimately NOT contributing to business.

    if it’s a public nuisance, then that’s one thing that can be easily addressed & remedied: double-check noise levels, monitor foot traffic & line cues, etc.
    if they’re complaining about illegal activity within the venue, i don’t see how the neighboring stores should make it any of their business because the KF is ultimately responsible for what occurs on their premises.

    the fact of the matter is that the KF is sitting on prime real estate in the heart of Hollywood and any developer would love to push out the little guys & make room for a “safer” (read: boring) chain retail store… as if Hollywood was the suburbs?

  4. I’ve never seen them actually serve food at any shows I’ve been to. And once stood in line with urin in the corner for an hr while they delayed the sound check. I’ve been to a couple of shows, expected to see the bands on the larger stage and they crammed us into the main bar area stage, which was about 100 degrees.

    It’s not the place I prefer to see live shows from what little experience I’ve had here. But at the same time I feel for them.

    I wonder why the city would forcibly kick them out by revoking their CUP? The kitting factory is a world famous venue, and you think it would be a perk for the area, not something they want to get rid of.

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