Park La Brea is under “gentle pressure” by residents and City Hall to upgrade and repair its elevators… soon.
City Fire Dept. paramedics have responded 41 times to rescue people stuck in broken elevators the past year.
Make that 43, as a few more people were pried out from elevators last month, said Jon Neustadter, a member of Park La Brea Renters United.
The newly formed group cited several problems with elevators in the 14-story towers.
Among them were residents unable to access their apartments on the upper floors, an elderly resident’s arm was crushed from a faulty elevator door, waits up to half an hour and more, or, worse, being trapped inside one of the elevators on an upper floor with an alarm not connected to a patrol unit.
Councilman Tom LaBonge and Barry Friesen, head inspector for the city Dept. of Housing, met with the residents at Hollywood City Hall last month.
Following a town hall meeting in October, LaBonge wrote in a letter to PLB management, “I have received daily complaints from Park La Brea residents about broken elevators… It is very important that Park La Brea use all resources at its disposal to get all of the elevators upgraded and repaired as soon as possible. The situation must not continue.”
Chris Scroggin, acting general manager and senior vice president of Prime Group—owners of PLB—said a management plan is in place and problems have been identified.
To date, 14 of the PLB’s 36 elevators have been upgraded.
Two more elevators are scheduled for the time-consuming job of repair and modernization; the remainder will be upgraded at a rate of two buildings, or four elevators, per year.
While Scroggin acknowledged there had been problems, “It’s gotten a lot better,” he said. “The worst is behind us, but that’s not to say we’re not going to have problems going forward.”
Improved communication is a key component in solving safety issues, both sides agreed.
Some elevators are original to the 1945 apartment complex. But even the newer ones are breaking down, sometimes both elevators at once, say the residents.
“We want to apply gentle pressure for them to do much better to improve the reliability of these old elevators,” added Neustadter.