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  #121  
Old Posted Mar 2, 2008, 6:47 PM
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Originally Posted by edluva View Post
^and I can't diasgree with Zev and the NIMBY's either. Hate to say "told you so" but it echos what I've been ridiculed for being negative about since years ago when I said these so-called "transit oriented" developments are a crock of shit and that you're not functionally transit oriented in any real-world sense of the phrase unless you have actual transit to orient yourself to. an isolated subway line does not constitute "transit" for 90+ percent of would-be dwellers and if it's painful to fess up to that reality, then join the mass of jaded politicians who've convinced themselves that densifying without infrastructure is progress. It's good to focus on the positive, but in the end, LA still sucks at nearly everything. LA is the civic equivalent of a loser.

Building TOD's on what little mass transit we have is still better than the alternative. The only porblem is that it won't be affordable to the people who use the transit already.
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  #122  
Old Posted Mar 2, 2008, 10:47 PM
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STEVE LOPEZ
Finally, the masses are roused by rampant development
March 2, 2008

Roy P. Disney, who has lived all his 50 years in Toluca Lake, didn't mince words about what he believes will be the fate of thousands of poor souls living in the southeast San Fernando Valley.

"Our neighborhood will be obliterated," he said as we pulled into the Holiday Inn parking lot in North Hollywood, where a crowd was gathering to speak up against several proposed mega-developments in Universal City and the area just to the north.

Disney, a private investor and a great-nephew of Walt Disney, tossed another dagger as he parked his car.

"Developers' money," he declared with an icy glare, "is like heroin to politicians."

When we walked into the hall, a greeter asked Disney, who was wearing a suit and tie, if he was a developer.

"No, I'm not," Disney answered glibly. "Why, because I'm dressed so well?"

In the rear of the room, developers had set up models of their projects, which include residential units, offices and retail. In all, seven developments are planned for a four-mile stretch on or near Lankershim Boulevard. Everything is still subject to review by local officials, but if approved as is, it adds up to 5,500 new homes, millions of square feet of commerce and tens of thousands of parking spaces.

To Disney, it sounds like a disaster in an area that's already a traffic mess.

I reminded him that California is expected to grow by 6 million people over the next 20 years, and they've got to live somewhere.

Of course they do, Disney said, insisting he's not against development. What annoys him, he said, is the historic lack of planning vision and the absence of a coherent transportation plan in Los Angeles.

He is not alone. In the latest sign that Angelenos have had it with traffic and the leadership vacuum, several hundred people turned out at the meeting. And most of them seemed to believe that their city officials are on course to alter the very look and feel of Los Angeles, that they've all bought into the idea of more density and taller buildings, even if nearby residential neighborhoods are transformed for the worse.

As Roy Disney asked:

"Who voted for this?"

The restless crowd at Thursday night's meeting was rallied by the neighborhood councils of Greater Toluca, Greater Valley Glen, Valley Village, Studio City and North Hollywood, and some of them couldn't resist sharing their thoughts on a large blank notepad that asked a simple question:

"What Is Your Vision?"

Gary Mogil of Studio City grabbed a Sharpie and gave it a workout.

"We don't need any 37-story buildings to block our sun and views," he wrote. "If you want this, move to New York."

Karen Beatton, also of Studio City, was next to grab a pen.

"Keep the personality of our neighborhood," she wrote. "Do not overflow our streets, parking lots, lines in stores. We're already gridlocked."

When the panel discussion began, Terry Davis of the Toluca Lake Neighborhood Assn. noted the absence at the meeting of anyone representing developers for two of the largest projects in the Universal City area.

I think I heard some hissing, and there should have been boos for the L.A. city Planning Department as well. Top officials invited by Davis blew off the meeting.

Two developers who did show, Allen Freeman of JSM Cos. and Cliff Goldstein of J.H. Snyder, looked a bit like captured soldiers brought before an inquisition. Each took pains to emphasize how thrilled they've been to work with the community in designing mutually beneficial projects


"We believe our community needs new housing, and we believe the best place to put it is near transit," Freeman said.

Few could argue with the concept, and I certainly don't. Some of these projects offer elements of exactly what's desperately needed in Los Angeles: jobs, homes, shopping and entertainment in walkable proximity, and built along major transit lines.

But this was a sophisticated audience, and people were quick to note that even "transit-oriented" development was certain to increase traffic. Why else would more than 30,000 parking spaces be built into the seven projects, and why aren't local officials demanding that developers do more to alleviate traffic?

Revved-up residents peppered developers -- and, later, public officials -- with questions about variances and "entitlements" that might be granted, allowing builders to exceed limits on height, square footage, etc.

"What is the cumulative effect on traffic?" demanded Diann Corral, who pointedly reminded developer Freeman that he has proposed three 27-story buildings and several other smaller buildings in one corner of North Hollywood.

"This is, in my opinion, 10 times what's allowed there," said Lisa Sarkin.

When MTA official Alexander Kalamaros described the agency as "master developer" of one of the projects, Deuk Perrin said maybe the MTA should just stick to transit. Did the agency really need to be a party to over-developing the neighborhood, someone else asked.

"Well, I don't know what you mean by over-development," Kalamaros said.

Howls and groans.

"That's cause for ridicule?" Kalamaros asked.

Maybe it is and maybe it isn't, but members of the audience insisted it's ridiculous to consider a cluster of humongous developments when there's virtually no money available for more transit or to update the poorly designed 134-101 freeway interchange.

What that means, of course, is that you don't have to live in the Universal City area to have a stake in this. If the projects all go through, what's now merely a traffic headache will become a full-fledged migraine.

Late in the evening, L.A. City Councilman Tom LaBonge and county Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky rode in on white horses and played the audience like pros, telling people just what they wanted to hear.

The projects are too big, and with scant public money for transit and road improvements, they said. Developers are going to have to scale back on size.

Yaroslavsky accused City Hall of rolling over for developers, something he himself was often accused of in the days of mega-development on the Westside.

"Do you trust them?" I asked Roy Disney as he leaned against a wall near the back of the room, taking it all in.

Yes, he said. But not entirely.

It was all very refreshing, if you ask me.

For far too long, the masses napped while Los Angeles was plundered. They're awake now, grouchy and suspicious, and ready for a fight.
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  #123  
Old Posted Mar 2, 2008, 10:58 PM
Echo Park Echo Park is offline
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^This whole argument is just one major headache. NIMBYs, developers, the MTA and the city coucil all have valid arguments in the fight for development space, but the rhetoric is so hyperbolic and politically charged that these self-interested groups are putting the city in a gridlock--literally and figuratively. I understand NIMBY's worries over mega developments when those towers are going to be inhabited by folks who dont care about mass transit like the ones who already live in similar TODs in downtown and Pasadena. They are going to add more cars in a corner of the valley that is notoriously congested. But it's quotes like the person in the column who complained that the towers were going to block his sunshine and that anyone who disagrees could move to New York. I could, in turn, tell this asinine idiot to move to Phoenix if he wants his sunshine, but how does that move the discussion? Do you see what I mean? In a perfect world, these developers and NIMBYs would unite and DEMAND a real comprehensive mass transit system to satisfy all parties. Of course this won't happen. NIMBYs won't be happy until they've reverted the nations second largest metropolis back to field of ranches. And if they still complain despite having a real transit system, then we can tell them to pack their bags and go fuck off to Phoenix.
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  #124  
Old Posted Mar 3, 2008, 5:13 AM
DJM19 DJM19 is offline
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This NIMBYism is kinda scaring me. Maybe their numbers were insignificant but articles like this can sway opinion as if it were some noble fight. >.<

It is amazing how theres is practically a galaxy's distance between what NIMBY's think about this...and what SMART people think about this. These projects are amazing! NoHo should feel so lucky to even get them! How ungrateful! How short-sided! How aggravating!
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  #125  
Old Posted Mar 3, 2008, 4:08 PM
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Courtesy: http://www.dailybreeze.com/ci_8433270

Culver office tower clears panel
By Kristin S. Agostoni Staff Writer
Article Launched: 03/02/2008 11:39:19 PM PST


A developer planning a 13-story office tower near the busy intersection of Centinela Avenue and Sepulveda Boulevard has cleared its first hurdle, despite concerns the building will worsen traffic tie-ups and block views from the Westchester Bluffs.

That refrain will likely get louder this spring as the towering Entrada office complex heads to the Culver City Council for approval.

The city's planning panel discussed the issue late Wednesday and into the early morning before an audience of mostly Westchester residents.

The 342,000-square-foot building is planned just inside Culver City's southwestern boundary - not far from the San Diego (405) Freeway - and would rise on a parking lot next to the Radisson Hotel. At its highest peak of 220 feet, Entrada would dwarf the adjacent 114-foot hotel building.

Centinela Development Partners has penciled in nine levels of parking - two underground - for a total of 1,248 spaces, and plans to blanket the roof with solar panels.

The company hopes to create a synergy between the Radisson, which it also owns, and the offices, said Lisa Gritzner, a Centinela Development spokeswoman and executive vice president with the government relations firm Cerrell Associates.

"We look forward to bringing this project to the people of Culver City," she said.

After weighing the proposal last week, the planning panel approved a site plan and parcel map and recommended the council approve a height exception. Those motions passed 4-1, with Commissioner Andrew Weissman dissenting, said senior planner Sherry Jordan.
The environmental review won unanimous approval, she said.

David Rockwell, commission vice chairman, said the panel's decisions were also based on a directive that the developers stick to a transportation management plan.

That means tenants of the complex will have to encourage or offer workers incentives to car pool and use public transit, Rockwell said. If benchmarks aren't met within a certain time frame, "there are some financial penalties," he added.

"These things are always a question of balance," Rockwell said, acknowledging the heavy traffic around the site, which is not far from the busy Promenade at Howard Hughes Center and Westfield Fox Hills mall.

"When do you say, enough is enough? Or when do you say, we need to have this office project and put the burden on the developers to kind of neutralize these impacts?"

Based on traffic concerns cited by Culver City and Los Angeles city and county officials, Gritzner said the environmental review studied 33 intersections and identified fixes for all but one - Sepulveda Boulevard and Howard Hughes Parkway, where morning rush-hour traffic is still an issue. In one case, she said, the developer will install a new left-turn lane at a cost of $1 million.

But some say it's unreasonable to move forward even if one intersection remains a problem.

Playa del Rey resident Nora MacLellan, a new addition to the Westchester-Playa del Rey Neighborhood Council, said she believes the panel unfairly weighed economic benefits over traffic concerns.

"Culver City is basically thumbing their nose to the city of Los Angeles," she said.

Others are upset over Entrada's height, which Jordan said is more than triple the 56-foot allowance outlined in city codes. But city officials can make exceptions for projects in certain redevelopment areas, including the land where the tower is planned, she said.

"We're not opposing a 56-foot-tall building. It's the fact that they're seeking three times that amount is crazy," said Westchester Bluffs resident Lorie Alexander.

The Radisson, while tall, "doesn't pierce the horizon" when she looks outside, she said.

And then there's the look of the building, which one commenter picked apart on the Web site www.westchester

parents.org: "It's ugly. Like a giant, melting ice cube."

Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, another opponent, said he plans to reach out to Culver council members in the coming weeks. (Jordan said the council could take up the issue April 14.)

"My constituents contacted me several months ago. We've been to several meetings on this," Rosendahl said. "Of course, they're Culver City, so they can take me with a grain of salt."

But he sees conversation as the key to easing gridlock on the Westside - with the city, the county, which is managing growth in nearby Marina del Rey, and neighboring communities such as Culver City.

"The communication and coordination of the communities is essential," Rosendahl said. "We need to sit together as a team."



So, it's only 6 floors of actual office floors with 9 floors of parking!!! And employees will be encouraged to use public transit? Why bother? You have 1,200 + spaces; is it worth somebody to take a bus [I don't think Expo Line will be nearby] to get there when there is 1,200+ PARKING SPACES AVAILABLE. This is an a** backward mentality "let's provide ample parking, but oh yeah, we would like you to take public transit".
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  #126  
Old Posted Mar 3, 2008, 5:19 PM
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^Frankly I'm surprised that a building like that is even potentially profitable!
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  #127  
Old Posted Mar 3, 2008, 7:14 PM
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There won't be rail service anywhere close to this development. And that area is pretty bad for traffic. But maybe we need the traffic situation to get that even worse to get the general public behind spending the money on a useable rail network.

Also, something tells me that the 13 story figure isn't the total of office and parking. At 220 feet, that would be an average floor height of almost 17 ft, including parking levels. Unless there's a very high lobby floor and a significant crown, there has to be more than 13 total levels above ground.
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  #128  
Old Posted Mar 3, 2008, 7:22 PM
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I hope they don't scale back the $3 Billion NBC Universal Expansion project; it's future KNBC 4 HQ looks sooo high-tech and New York'ish.
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  #129  
Old Posted Mar 3, 2008, 9:31 PM
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The Red Building


Photo: LA Times

From Curbed LA
http://la.curbed.com/archives/2008/0..._wa_46.php?o=0

There's a flurry of activity at the Pacific Design Center, the office tower/mega-showroom for furniture design in West Hollywood. Cesar Pelli's RedBuilding—the Return of the Jedi in his PDC structure trilogy—has its tarps and crane up (all red, of course). Construction workers are scurrying around as well. WeHo News reports all these workers are union folk and that the RedBuilding—expected to open next year—will create 1,933 new construction jobs, 2,691 permanent jobs, and bring in $735,000 in new tax revenue for WeHo. All this good news is a bit marred by the fact that the fountain on the side of the PDC's blue building has gone missing. Any hot tips?




Photos: Curbed LA

The Model:



Photo: Ryan Gierach

http://www.red-building.com/
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  #130  
Old Posted Mar 3, 2008, 11:07 PM
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^ Awesome. I've been waiting for this one to start.
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  #131  
Old Posted Mar 4, 2008, 6:04 AM
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Now THAT is a building that I'd be excited to see get built!

Something like that needs to get built near the Staples Center/LA Live area.
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  #132  
Old Posted Mar 9, 2008, 8:25 PM
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Here's a rendering of the recently approved Verdugo Gardens Project in Downtown Glendale.



Source:http://www.ci.glendale.ca.us/dev-svc..._Final_EIR.asp
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  #133  
Old Posted Mar 9, 2008, 8:47 PM
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an unbelievable change from the current situation on that corner. i cant wait till its built.
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  #134  
Old Posted Mar 11, 2008, 4:21 AM
JDRCRASH JDRCRASH is offline
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Originally Posted by StethJeff View Post
Now THAT is a building that I'd be excited to see get built!

Something like that needs to get built near the Staples Center/LA Live area.
SOME stuff like that being built west of Downtown. But your right, it would look very attractive to have more geometric buildings like that.

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Last edited by JDRCRASH; Mar 12, 2008 at 9:21 PM.
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  #135  
Old Posted Mar 11, 2008, 5:54 AM
DJM19 DJM19 is offline
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I dunno how well that red building would fit downtown.. Maybe just outside of it. Its the best building of the bunch.
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  #136  
Old Posted Mar 11, 2008, 6:48 AM
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Looks like a Ferrari
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  #137  
Old Posted Mar 12, 2008, 6:47 AM
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Originally Posted by JDRCRASH View Post
Alot of that kind of stuff is being built west of Downtown. But your right, it would look very attractive to have more geometric buildings like that.


Dude, NOTHING like that red building is being built downtown or even west of downtown. There may be some cool buildings being built out there but nothing that even comes close to the above building.
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  #138  
Old Posted Mar 12, 2008, 6:50 AM
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Originally Posted by DJM19 View Post
I dunno how well that red building would fit downtown.. Maybe just outside of it. Its the best building of the bunch.
i can kind of see it playing off of the geometric accents of the Staples Center - but i agree that it wouldn't fit in the historic core or some other parts of downtown.
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  #139  
Old Posted Mar 12, 2008, 3:29 PM
JDRCRASH JDRCRASH is offline
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Dude, NOTHING like that red building is being built downtown or even west of downtown. There may be some cool buildings being built out there but nothing that even comes close to the above building.

Not true, at least not in my opinion. The NoHo project to me has the same style.
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  #140  
Old Posted Mar 12, 2008, 8:55 PM
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That Red Building is SEXY!
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