In 2011, celebrity developer Mohamed Hadid bought 901 Strada Vecchia Road in a quiet, hillside neighborhood of Bel-Air. He quickly demolished the modest home and began extensive grading on the site. By the time City inspectors caught on to this massively disruptive activity – all performed without permits – the land had been irrevocably altered and the neighborhood dramatically changed.
Illegal building through deceit and manipulation
In the seven years that followed, the “Starship Enterprise” rose up – an unpermitted 40,000-square-foot structure looming over the neighborhood that’s nearly four times the maximum allowed size and precariously perched on a 1.2-acre hillside lot. We’ve watched in horror as it has destabilized the delicate hillside and triggered multiple landslides into neighbors’ yards. Yet the globe-trotting developer remains flagrantly unapologetic and is hell-bent on finishing what he calls #themodernhouseofhadid.
Every step of the way, Hadid has brashly defied, evaded, tricked and impeded the City of Los Angeles, leaving a trail of violation notices and revoked permits in his wake. What’s more, Hadid has gone to great lengths to disguise the full scope of his law-breaking from City authorities, using a secret wall to hide a 70-seat IMAX theater, covering up construction with landscaping and tarps, and even tucking away construction workers in underground rooms while building inspections took place.
City bows under developer pressure, ready to wave a white flag
After pleading no contest last year to criminal charges associated with the construction, Hadid claimed he would bring the building into compliance. But there is no sign this is happening. And amazingly, it now appears that City authorities are prepared to give up their years-long struggle to require Hadid to follow the same rules and regulations as the rest of Los Angeles.
For the sake of neighborhood safety and the Rule of Law, the City must follow through on its promise, enforce its laws and hold Mohamed Hadid accountable.
In June 2015, the Board of Building and Safety Commissioners mandated the immediate demolition and removal of all unapproved, unpermitted construction at 901 Strada Vecchia.
We’re still waiting. Why is LADBS ignoring this clear mandate?
“…all the work in question was done outside of the permit and approved plans.”
-Board of Building & Safety Commissioners
FEBRUARY 13, 2018
Appeal Filing Regarding LADBS’ Improper Approval of Erosion Control Plan
Mohamed Hadid purchases 901 Strada Vecchia
Los Angeles Department of Building & Safety (LADBS) inspectors find existing home has been demolished and extensive grading has occurred without permits
LADBS issues first of 12+ Orders to Comply, requiring all work to stop
Hadid receives permits to build a two-story house
All permits for 901 Strada Vecchia revoked
Work continues illegally and without permits
The Board of Building and Safety Commissioners denies Hadid's appeal for an extension and requires immediate demolition of all unauthorized construction
Unpermitted construction continues
Hadid pleads no contest to criminal charges. Superior Court imposes three-year probation, fines and community service. Hadid ordered to immediately stabilize the hillside.
"Fix it and fix it soon."
Superior Court Judge Eric Harmon, July 20, 2017
Grading starts again at 901 Strada Vecchia