Challenges Persist Against Celebrity Developer

Developer Mohamed Hadid Facing Criminal Charges Over Bel-Air Mansion
– Los Angeles Times

The Los Angeles Times interviewed Manatt's Victor De la Cruz, a partner in the firm's Real Estate and Land Use practice, about his representation of a Bel-Air resident against celebrity developer Mohamed Hadid, who is facing criminal charges over allegations that he failed to halt construction and demolish unapproved features of an illegally constructed mansion in the client's neighborhood. The New York Times also covered the matter.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Hadid was charged with three misdemeanor counts related to the lavish mansion that he is constructing, which has drawn the ire of his Bel-Air neighbors, who worry the massive property is destabilizing slopes surrounding their own homes. Charges against Hadid include illegal use of land, building without a permit, and failure to obey orders from the L.A. Department of Building and Safety to make the construction fall within the city provisions or demolish the mansion's illegally built features. The city attorney's office brought criminal charges against the owner of the property, 901 Strada LLC, and recently added Hadid himself to the complaint.

De la Cruz told the newspaper that his client, who lives below the hilltop mansion, was pleased that Hadid could "no longer hide behind an LLC," adding that his client is especially worried about El Niño, which is forecast to bring torrential rain in the coming months.

"There are real safety concerns about the stability of the hillside, and Hadid still has to demolish the majority of the home," said De la Cruz.

The matter was also covered by The New York Times in an article titled "A Mansion, a Shell Company and Resentment in Bel Air," which further reports that the project is in extensive violation of the building code, according to city officials. To read The New York Times article, click here.

Read the article here