It’s hard to believe anyone would abandon a home in Hancock Park, but apparently that is the case with 252 South June Street. Built in 1968, the home is not a typical Hancock Park stunner, or even a contributor to the historic character of the neighborhood, but it sold in 2006 for $1,950,00 and online estimates from national real estate websites estimate the house could be worth between $3 million and $3.5 million today.
Nearby neighbor Ann Reiss Lane told the Buzz that sometime about 10 years ago, the house fell into disrepair after the family that lived there lost the house in an apparent foreclosure. Over the intervening years, Lane said, she and several other neighbors have been dealing with the remains of the neglected house, including a rat-infested swimming pool, neglected landscaping, and an abandoned car in the front yard. There was even a fire two years ago.
“I moved into this neighborhood in 1957. I worked for the city for 20 years. I know this city. But I have been unable to get any action on this,” said Lane.
“For what must be 10 years, I have reported, engaged and even contemplated getting an axe myself,” wrote Lane in an email to neighborhood leaders and city officials, begging for someone to take action and execute an abatement order that has been in effect since 2010, when the City’s department of Building and Safety got involved in the matter.
“The city responded to a complaint in February of 2010. The dwelling was found to be vacant and open to unauthorized entry, with improper maintenance and general dilapidation,” Jeff Napier, Chief Inspector and Interim Public Information Officer at City of Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety (LADBS), told the Buzz in an email.
“An Abate Order was issued requiring that the building be secured and that the dwelling be maintained,” Napier continued. “No owner or responsible party complied with the Order at that time, so LADBS executed work orders and had a City Contractor perform the work. Due to the owner’s failure to maintain the property clean and secure, LADBS has chosen to demolish the building and clear the lot. All actions required by law to perform the demolition are being taken at this time,.”
Lane said she has seen progress in the past, but so far no satisfactory solutions.
“With great enthusiasm I reported the arrival of dumpsters, which may have been 6 months ago,” she wrote in an email earlier this week. “Today there are 2 rusting dumpsters sitting in dead landscaping, covered in trash. The parkway is dead and ugly. The signs placed by the city are dirty and bedraggled. And to think I worried about parkway trees!”
In response to her email and our query, LADBS told us they are just waiting for all utility gas service piping to be removed from the property before beginning demolition. And the removal of the pipes is currently in process with the Southern California Gas Company.
We weren’t able to get an exact completion date in time for this story, but CD4 staff said the pipe removal process could take several months.
Meanwhile, Lane told the Buzz she will be 90 in February of next year, and hopes the City might have the house demolished and the neighborhood eyesore removed in time for her birthday in February. Maybe?
[Note: This story was updated Friday, October 25 to include the following information from LADBS officials on the timing of demolition: “The Department is taking all actions required by law to perform the demolition. It is difficult to narrow down a date due to the steps needed to execute this action, but we estimate the middle of December 2019.”]