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  #1  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2007, 8:56 AM
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Wink LOS ANGELES | LA Central (2 Towers) | 575' - 51 FLOORS | 455' - 37 FLOORS

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Old Posted Aug 12, 2007, 8:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Westsidelife View Post


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I like it. More density for LA, plus the pedestrian movement is good...
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Old Posted Aug 12, 2007, 9:05 PM
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http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/...opinion-center

Why the rush to Manhattanize L.A.?
There seems to be little public debate about the dramatic remaking of Los Angeles into a left-coast New York.


By Joel Kotkin
August 12, 2007

Last week, the City Council voted 12 to 0 to approve a sweeping set of zoning changes that will encourage larger and more dense development downtown.

The new rules are only the latest move toward the Manhattanization of Los Angeles.
There's also the renewed interest in extending the Red Line subway to the ocean. And there's billionaire Phil Anschutz's plan to create a Times Square for Los Angeles near Staples Center, as well as billionaire Eli Broad's aim to duplicate New York's 5th Avenue along Grand Avenue. There's even talk, in planning circles, of building mini-condos and apartments at -- what else? -- Manhhattanite sizes of 250 to 350 square feet.

Los Angeles, the first great modern metropolis with multiple urban cores, seems determined to remake its urban DNA -- and fashion itself, to one degree or another, in the image of New York City.
Bruce B. Brugmann, the populist publisher of the San Francisco Bay Guardian, coined the term "Manhattanization" in the 1970s to describe just what we're seeing. Broadly speaking, it refers to a vertical urbanism in which the entire city serves as a bedroom for a dominant urban core that is chock-full of cultural attractions. Density is a premium value in a successfully Manhattanized city, producing economies of scale, extraordinary concentrations of skills and an entertaining street scene. Human activities are more important than sunlight, nature or individual privacy.

Such development is peculiarly suited for Manhattan Island, a geographically constrained and remarkably stable lump of rock on which the city grew rapidly in the heyday of water and rail transportation. It's not so clear, however, that L.A., which has been expanding outward for more than 100 years and is famously sun drenched, car crazy, blessed with natural beauty and earthquake prone, should follow a similar course.

At the very least, such a dramatic change should be the topic of serious debate among politicians, city officials and the public. But so far, the debate about higher density in L.A. has been as contentious as public discussions in the former Soviet Union.

Why is this happening? One reason for the city's apparent lock-step march to Manhattanization is that big developers are increasingly dominating and politicizing land-use decisions, much as they do in New York City. The $4-billion "Atlantic Yards" project in New York is an example. The proposal would add about 6,500 mixed-income residential units to the generally low- and mid-rise environment of downtown Brooklyn, making population density in the area among the nation's highest. Despite intense grass-roots opposition, developer Bruce Ratner and his ally, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, have won at least $500 million in subsidies for the project.

"You can't stop [big developer] interests unless you have equally powerful interests on your side," said urban historian Fred Siegel.

Similar developer-driven politics is becoming increasingly common in Los Angeles as well. Land and politics have a long history in the city. But many smaller builders -- people who constructed tract housing or apartments in the 1970s and 1980s -- no longer can play today's complex political game, involving government subsidies, "air rights" to allow more high rises and inclusionary zoning that requires below-market units in new projects. One retail developer told me that he and others like him prefer to build in such places as San Fernando, Burbank and the Inland Empire, where "the development game" is not as complex and politically determined.

That leaves the field largely to big developers with deeper pockets, more lawyers, better political connections and diversified interests that enable them to wait out the city regulatory process. "A decade or two ago," said Robert Scott, who served on the Los Angeles Planning Commission from 1993 to 2003, "you could still build pretty much by the existing code. But the process has become less and less accessible" to smaller players.

In part, that's because city policies have promoted, at least in principle, such social goals as affordable housing and "smart growth" -- building condos and apartments near commercial areas and transit lines. But the side effect of these policies has been to make the development process impenetrable to all but the most well-heeled, Scott says.

What opposition there is to Manhattanization is relatively isolated -- like the citizen recall effort against Westside City Councilman Jack Weiss, who is considered by some of his constituents to be too friendly with big developers. Weiss alienated them when he embraced construction of two 47-story condominium towers in Century City, calling the project a perfect example of smart growth. Homeowner groups strongly opposed the development because they contended that it would add to already heavy traffic congestion in the area. (Chicago-based JMB Realty, the project's developer, eventually agreed to create a $5-million fund to soften the environmental effects of the towers, and a dispute about who controls it sparked the recall effort against Weiss.)

But only a handful of local politicians -- including, most notably, Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky -- seem to recognize that some Angelenos think that adding density to our already crowded region won't necessarily improve the quality of life. He recently told a gathering of neighborhood councils that "the gulf" between City Hall and the community over land use and development "gets wider every day."

The paucity of official opposition to Manhattanization reflects, in part, changes in L.A. politics. As recently as the 1990s, the city's political scene was a fractious game, with distinct voices representing different neighborhoods, ethnic groups, labor and business associations. Opposition to further high-density development was particularly strong in the San Fernando Valley. There, such grass-roots-oriented City Council members as Joel Wachs and Ernani Bernardi paid more attention to the interests of their constituents than to those of developers and unions. Bernardi, for instance, was a constant foe of the city's redevelopment agency, which long promoted high-density growth, and he and Wachs often challenged downtown development proposals tied to taxpayer subsidies.

Today, small developers, who often had local supporters, are out, and citywide and national players are in. Prime examples are New York-based Related Cos. (Grand Avenue), Anschutz Entertainment Group (L.A. Live), JMB Realty (condo towers in Century City), Astani Enterprises (downtown condos), J.H. Snyder Co. (NoHo Commons), as well as the shopping-mall giant Westfield, which has proposed building in the west Valley what would be one of the largest malls in Southern California.

These companies, along with other developers, have become substantial contributors to the campaigns and causes of local politicians. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's campaign to control the L.A. Unified School District, for instance, was a recent beneficiary. Because it was an issue campaign (rather than a political race), there were no limits on contributions, and many big developers with projects pending or already underway in the city were generous in their giving.

For example, Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) gave $125,000 to the mayor's Committee for Government Excellence and Accountability, set up to lobby for a bill that would have given him significant control over L.A. Unified, and to Partnership for Better Schools, which spearheaded Villaraigosa's successful drive to win a majority on the school board. Other contributors to the two committees included developer J.H. Snyder Co. ($100,000); AP Properties, a JMB Realty affiliate ($100,000); Astani Enterprises ($100,000) and Westfield ($100,000).

Term limits also may encourage developer-driven politics. Before voters limited their time in office to two consecutive four-year terms in 1993, council members often represented their districts for decades without having to worry much about challengers. Bernardi, for instance, served 32 years on the City Council.

But in the era of term limits, ambitious council members facing the end of their terms have to begin fundraising for their next race for elected office almost immediately after election day. Given the high cost of modern campaigns, they have no incentive to alienate wealthy developers who could bankroll them. True, individual contributions to political campaigns are capped. But big developers have subcontractors, lobbyists and lawyers who can add even more dollars.

This may partly explain why the City Council -- even those members who represent the Valley and South Los Angeles and might logically be skeptical about subsidies for downtown developers -- has largely bought into the mayor's vision of "elegant density" to keep pace with rising demand for housing. For instance, not only did council members vote 12 to 0 on last week's zoning overhaul, but earlier this year, the vote to lease public land and grant about $66 million in tax breaks over 20 years to the developer of the Grand Avenue project was 13 to 0 by the City Council and 4 to 1 by the L.A. County Board of Supervisors. And in 2005, AEG received $270 million in financial help from the city for L.A. Live. The vote: 14 to 0.

There is nothing necessarily wrong with unanimity. The problem is the lack of rigorous debate or much public discussion. For instance, the council's decision last week to change downtown's zoning rules involved virtually no debate at all.

Ever higher density downtown -- and in other parts of the city -- may be one answer for L.A.'s housing shortage. Although it's hard to see studio or one-bedroom apartments as a big help for working- or middle-class families.

But the current Manhattanization poses many risks. Traffic congestion is likely to get worse before it gets better because the city's transit system is not sufficient to get people out of their cars now or in the immediate future. Too much construction of expensive high-density space, particularly downtown, could create a glut, which could dampen prices and force developers to seek renters rather than buyers. Already, the trend is toward rentals, rather than sales, in the downtown market.

Ultimately, it comes down to whether Los Angeles will have a serious debate about where it is headed. Jumping blindly on the Manhattan express, without considering the implications for the city and its many great neighborhoods, is not a promising first step.

Joel Kotkin is a presidential fellow in urban futures at Chapman University. He is author of "The City: A Global History" and is working on a book about America's future.
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  #4  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2007, 9:43 PM
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I've said it before and I'll say it again. Joel Kotkin is an ass clown.
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  #5  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2007, 11:43 PM
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LMAO - compare the land area of Manhattan to Los Angeles - its not going to 'Manhattanize' itself.

Awesome looking site, it looks like something that could easily be built.
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  #6  
Old Posted Aug 12, 2007, 11:57 PM
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What would be better for a city? To Manhattanize? Or to LAize? (sprawl even more)

As to this project, it will be nice infill, as well as add more density. From a design standpoint, I find the rendering bland. But the real thing could easily look better.
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Old Posted Aug 13, 2007, 5:14 AM
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I feel that "Manhattanization" is simplay a term divised by people who are anti-development. L.A. will never be Manhattan, but I don't mean that in a bad way. Los Angeles will always be Los Angeles, building new skycrapers will not change that.

Yes to outrightly say, "lets give L.A. a Times Square and a Fifth Avenue," is a little ridiculous. Cities should look to foster and build upon a unique individual identity, and not imitate others (and Los Angeles already has a fantastically unique identity.)

But to those who frown on the loss of the multiple-urban-core existence that is L.A., they are worrying for no reason. Unless you downzone the other centers of L.A. (and knock down a lot of tall buildings), you won't lose those other cores, and if you want to preserve them, build them up more as well! (Century City, the Miracle Mile, Santa Monica, Hollywood, etc. aren't going anywhere!)

One could even argue that Long Island City in Queens, downtown Brooklyn, the Financial District, Midtown are "multiple urban cores" of New York City.

As the city grows in population, it needs to grow in density of development. Just because Manhattan was the original dense city, doesn't mean to densify is to "Manhattanize".
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  #8  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2007, 5:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephenapolis View Post
What would be better for a city? To Manhattanize? Or to LAize? (sprawl even more)
I hope in the next few decades, "Los Angelesization" will come to mean something different than sprawl. i hope it comes to mean linear densification with hgih rises rising along main thoroughfares built on top of mass transit lines and connected by nodes. it wont be hyperurban core of manhattan and it wont be the evenly distributed urbanized sprawl of tokyo, but more like a spiderweb design. LA has the template for it and it'd really be the only city of its kind in the u.s. like that.

as far as the render for LA Central is concerned i'll just say this: when it comes to building skyscrapers in DTLA, beggars cant be choosers. the design could be a lot better than this.
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Old Posted Aug 13, 2007, 7:18 AM
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I coined the term 'Los Angelesization.'

Lol.
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  #10  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2007, 11:52 AM
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I coined the term 'Los Angelesization.'

Lol.
Say it 3 times very fast...
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Old Posted Aug 13, 2007, 4:01 PM
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I tried. Saying Zzyzx is easier.

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Old Posted Aug 13, 2007, 5:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Echo Park View Post
I hope in the next few decades, "Los Angelesization" will come to mean something different than sprawl. i hope it comes to mean linear densification with hgih rises rising along main thoroughfares built on top of mass transit lines and connected by nodes. it wont be hyperurban core of manhattan and it wont be the evenly distributed urbanized sprawl of tokyo, but more like a spiderweb design. LA has the template for it and it'd really be the only city of its kind in the u.s. like that.

as far as the render for LA Central is concerned i'll just say this: when it comes to building skyscrapers in DTLA, beggars cant be choosers. the design could be a lot better than this.

I think this is spot on. I lived in LA for 10 years and feel that this pattern of growth is what is most likley to occur. The density in West LA near the Santa Monica border and places like Century City are certainly a more accurate barometer for growth around desireable areas.

I also agree the towers are a touch bland, but a very welcome development.
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Old Posted Aug 13, 2007, 5:32 PM
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^ For non-locals, Zzyzx is actually the name of a territory and road off the 15 freeway on the way to Vegas.
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Old Posted Sep 15, 2007, 12:40 AM
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Originally Posted by kenratboy View Post
LMAO - compare the land area of Manhattan to Los Angeles - its not going to 'Manhattanize' itself.
LMAO?

Just look at our basin....it's just about filled up.
Since people will continue to come to our sunshine paradise, unless something similar to my idea about tunneling under the San Gabriel Mountains to Palmdale and Victorville is approved, we will experience a Super-Boom of high-rises that will make us the Manhatten of the West Coast.

@StatenIslander237: Ha, dude, seriously, Los Angeles WILL become bigger than New York City in the coming decades.

People that really like the Big Apple just deep down inside know it.
But they keep on continuing with their comments such as "give me a break" or "LMFAO" because they just are having a tough time dealing with.
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Old Posted Sep 15, 2007, 1:00 AM
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Dude..seriously..LA will never rival Manhattan in terms of skyscrapers.
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Old Posted Sep 15, 2007, 1:47 AM
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So...

LA Central should've officially broken ground already. K3d reported on August 21 that LA Central was to break ground in three weeks. Well, three and a half weeks have gone by since then, any word as to the status quo? A simple 'yes' or 'no' will do.
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Old Posted Sep 15, 2007, 1:54 AM
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As for the design being bland, I don't mind that at all. I like bland (basically another word for simple) designs, just not cookie-cutter ones.
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Old Posted Sep 16, 2007, 9:48 PM
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September 15, 2007

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L.A. Central Site
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Old Posted Sep 19, 2007, 1:04 AM
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Dude..seriously..LA will never rival Manhattan in terms of skyscrapers.

You should try saying that when numbers clearly show more people are coming into Southern California than the Northeastern States.

In fact, don't you guys remember on the News that 60 million people will live in California by 2050?

Right now California has about 39 million people.
Southern California boasts 25 million people.

If the current average increases across the state continue, than Southern California will have AT LEAST 40 million by 2050.

Therefore, I think we should be realistic.
There is no way New York City will continue it's claim of having the most skyscrapers much longer.
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Old Posted Sep 19, 2007, 11:35 PM
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JDRCRASH, From the City High-rise list on Skyscraper Page, New York has about 5 times as many high-rises as LA. And in the past couple years, New York has been building more than LA, so we are not even starting to catch up, in fact we are falling behind. Even if this trend reverses, think how many projects actually start in any given year. Ten if we start having really good years? You’re a lot younger than I am, but I don’t think either of us has enough years left in us to see LA win this race.

We in LA shouldn’t see it as a race and should concentrate our efforts to make LA the best that it can be and a place where people enjoying living.



Quote:
Originally posted by colemonkee
For non-locals, Zzyzx is actually the name of a territory and road off the 15 freeway on the way to Vegas.
Fact: Also the name of the lowest grossing movie of all time.



Thank you all for putting up with my completely off the topic post.

Last edited by DowntownCharlieBrown; Sep 20, 2007 at 4:47 AM.
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