After years of crime and a teenager being shot and killed outside the venue, Crash Mansion LA nightclub may be in danger of being closed down.
Zoning Administrator Lourdes Green is reviewing testimony from an April 28 hearing on whether the venue has complied with regulations implemented two years ago. She is expected to issue her ruling this summer, according to Los Angeles Downtown News.
"We expect for Lourdes Green to revoke their conditional use permit because this place needs to start from brand new, from scratch," LA Police Department Sgt. Dan Gonzalez told the paper. "We’ve had too many crimes, too many issues with the community and too many issues with the operators not being able to comply with the CUP."
The April hearing was said to be a routine update on the venue and not related to the January shooting. Gonzalez said 19-year-old Joseph Cosina was shot and killed in the club’s parking lot January 4 in the aftermath of a dance-floor fight.
The club’s operator, Top Shelf, said the venue has turned over a new leaf and has proof to back up that claim. A representative for the venue wasn’t available for comment at press time but the Los Angeles Downtown News noted that Top Shelf representatives said they would appeal any decision to shut down Crash Mansion.
Top Shelf said safety, cleanliness and management of the venue have improved since the company took over the former Grand Avenue Night Club in July 2007 brought in big names like George Clinton and Grandmaster Flash.
"If it wasn’t for one terribly tragic incident that happened to take place in our parking lot, I don’t think we would be in front of the zoning administrator," Ed Brady, Top Shelf’s director of operations, told the paper.
Gary Warfel, president of the Titan Organization that owns the Crash Mansion building and surrounding property, said the venue inherited the previous owner’s bad record and pointed out that permit revocation efforts began before Titan bought the property in October 2006.
Between February 2003 and August 2006 at least 43 crime reports were filed involving the club. A 1 a.m. closing time was imposed in 2006, along with 21 other operating conditions to help cut down on crime associated with the venue, including vandalism, assault, robberies and driving under the influence.
Brady said the shooting, while tragic, was an isolated event under Top Shelf’s management, according to the Downtown News.
Although the January shooting happened 30 minutes after the city-imposed closing time, and the LAPD suspects the club stayed open late multiple times in the months after the shooting, Gonzalez said he has noticed Top Shelf’s effort to comply by posting signs notifying patrons of the closing time.
The Titan Organization hopes Crash Mansion can keep running as a downtown Los Angeles hotspot until its proposed mixed-use development with two high-rises breaks ground and takes its place as early as the third quarter of 2009.