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Old May 14th, 2008, 10:44 PM   #81
LAsam
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phattonez View Post
What's ruined Westwood Village is not tall buildings or density, but neglect and lack of a cohesive vision.
I had this same discussion with some relatives of mine recently... and I took the EXACT same position you are taking here. Couldn't agree with you more.
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Old May 14th, 2008, 10:56 PM   #82
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What did your relatives think that the solution was? And I'd be interested in hearing what other people have to say about this too.
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Old May 22nd, 2008, 04:20 AM   #83
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Finally!! Rosendahl is the shhhhhhh! First he pushes for the Green Line now this! Can he please become city czar!
http://la.curbed.com/archives/2008/0...esign_stan.php
New Design Standards Set for Westchester, Venice
The City Council has moved ahead with "community-friendly" (read: awesome) design standards for new buildings in Venice and Westchester, councilman Bill Rosendahl announced today. Expect more pedestrian-friendly, urban streets along Lincoln Boulevard from the Santa Monica border to Maxella Avenue, and on Manchester Avenue in Westchester. The Community Design Overlay districts (CDOs) will set new guidelines for future developments, like enforcing new buildings to be constructed closer to sidewalks, forcing parking lots to be underground or hidden in the back, putting ground-floor retail in parking lot structures, and making sure 60% of new storefront space consists of windows. There's also a lot of tree planting and a designation that upper floors of buildings should have design features like columns and balconies; sculptures and landscaping are also encouraged. Drive-thru businesses will be banned, except for gas stations and car washes. Whoa—can we get this citywide?
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Old May 22nd, 2008, 09:10 AM   #84
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"Drive-thru businesses will be banned"? What does that mean, that means fast food locations and starbucks with drive-thrus and stuff?
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Old May 22nd, 2008, 09:54 AM   #85
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banning drive-thrus are a little tough. especially for those who don't want to pay for parking just to get a burger.

most of that stuff sounds great, but variety counts. los angeles would be pointless as a world-class city if the whole place looked the same
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Old June 25th, 2008, 10:17 AM   #86
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UCLA Medical Center preps for its biggest operation:
Moving Day!

Mel Melcon/LATimes


Capping months of preparation, an army of healthcare professionals Sunday will transfer 350 patients to their new hospital across the street.

By Martha Groves, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
June 25, 2008
On Sunday, 2,100 doctors, nurses, technicians and managers at UCLA Medical Center participated in a task of epic proportions: moving to the gleaming new hospital across the street.

Although the distance is short, the details are daunting. The shift to the new Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center required military-style precision. Using 30 ambulances and 80 gurneys, three teams of professionals transfered 350 patients -- many of them hooked up to monitors and respirators -- at the rate of one every two minutes.

Getting the hospital ready involved installing 18,000 pieces of furniture, 2,800 computers, 1,700 networked medical devices, 3,100 phones and 580 flat-panel TVs; ordering and stocking fresh gauze, linens and pharmaceuticals for 65 departments; rehearsing rescue-helicopter landings on the two new helipads; and ensuring that every radiologist, pharmacist and surgeon will know how to navigate the building and operate the latest in high-tech equipment from Day 1.

The long-awaited move to what UCLA officials describe as the nation's most up-to-date hospital has been eight years in the planning.

The 1-million-square-foot building, which visitors have likened to a concert hall or museum, was designed by C.C. "Didi" Pei and his firm, Pei Partnership of New York, with guidance from his father, architect I.M. Pei. It replaces the 53-year-old center that was heavily damaged in the 1994 Northridge earthquake.
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Old June 25th, 2008, 08:29 PM   #87
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What's that roundabout there? They just paved that street. Did they get rid of the roundabout idea?
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Old June 25th, 2008, 08:37 PM   #88
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What's to come for the old hospital?
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Old June 26th, 2008, 08:35 AM   #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LAsam View Post
What's to come for the old hospital?
The 1-million-square-foot building, which visitors have likened to a concert hall or museum, was designed by C.C. "Didi" Pei and his firm, Pei Partnership of New York, with guidance from his father, architect I.M. Pei. It replaces the 53-year-old center that was heavily damaged in the 1994 Northridge earthquake.

After it is "decommissioned" as a hospital, that structure will continue to house the David Geffen School of Medicine, the UCLA School of Dentistry and the UCLA School of Public Health.
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Old July 11th, 2008, 05:41 AM   #90
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Beverly Hills residents to vote on hotel proposal

The plan to turn the Beverly Hilton into a high-rise Waldorf-Astoria hotel and condo complex is put on the fall ballot. Opponents say it would create traffic and parking problems.

By Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
July 10, 2008

Beverly Hills residents fighting a developer's plan to turn the Beverly Hilton on Wilshire Boulevard into a high-rise Waldorf-Astoria hotel and condominium complex succeeded Tuesday in placing the issue on the November ballot.

After the City Council voted 3 to 2 in favor of the hotel project in May, opponents began circulating a petition to place the issue on the ballot.

On Tuesday, the City Council certified that the petition contained the required number of signatures, 2,754, more than 10% of registered voters, and voted unanimously to place the issue on the November ballot.

"What the developer had presented was just too large and massive," said Beverly Hills Mayor Barry Brucker, who voted against the proposal in May.

"The city prides itself on its passion for quality of life and achieving a complementary balance" between commercial and residential development, he said.

Developer Oasis West, which staged an advertising campaign against the petition, still plans to pursue the project, a spokeswoman said.

"We look forward to the vote in November and are confident that the residents of Beverly Hills will confirm the council's approval of the project," said Corrine Verdery, Oasis West's senior vice president in charge of the Beverly Hilton Revitalization Project.

Oasis West wants to overhaul the 9-acre property, replacing the Hilton with a 170-room, 12-story Waldorf-Astoria hotel -- 47 fewer rooms and four added stories.

It would be the West Coast's first version of the New York landmark.

Plans also include two condominium high-rises: a six- to eight-story tower with 26 to 36 units and a 16- to 18-story tower with 64 to 74 units, according to a statement.

A two-story conference center would be replaced, and a park added with 4.5 acres of landscaping and gardens.

The developer has promised to spend as much as $10 million on traffic improvements and estimates that in 30 years, the project would generate $750 million in revenue for the city.

Opponents fear the proposed hotel complex is too big for the city, would worsen traffic and disrupt local parking.

They say the burden the project would impose on the city in terms of water and other services would far outweigh the property tax benefits, and note that the developers do not plan to offer free parking to the estimated 800 employees.

Larry Larson, a longtime Beverly Hills resident and lawyer, spearheaded the petition effort as treasurer of the Citizens Right to Decide Committee, which he said planned to stage a campaign to build opposition to the project before the November vote.

"We're going to get the true facts out -- how much financial benefit perhaps the city is going to get," Larson said.

If most voters reject the hotel complex plans in November, Oasis West will still have a year to submit new designs to the city Planning Commission.

Larson said it was too early to say what changes would make the project acceptable to his group and other opponents, but said some changes would be necessary, including free employee parking and smaller condominium towers.
molly.hennessy-fiske @latimes.com
Los Angeles Times
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Old July 18th, 2008, 06:13 AM   #91
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Development threatens the funky life of Marina de Rey
The locals -- old-timers who live on their little boats -- have a lot to lose as development encroaches.
By Scott Gold, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
7:46 PM PDT, July 17, 2008

All along, Carla Andrus' life seemed landlocked, literally and figuratively: she was born in Utah, raised in Watts and was scraping by in a tiny apartment near downtown L.A. when, one night, her husband came across a magazine ad for classic wooden boats being built in Marina del Rey. That, he told her -- teak decks, billowed sails -- looked more like the life he'd once fancied for himself.

"Well," she said, "load up the truck," and the words would amount to her salvation.

They moved onto a boat in Marina del Rey, the largest man-made pleasure boat harbor in the world and one of the great assets, and enigmas, of L.A. County's 75-mile coastline. After her divorce, she bought the 22-foot sailboat Seguin for $1,400 -- still the most cash she has ever held in her hands at any one time. As of today, Andrus has lived on a boat for half of her 55 years.

The life is not for everyone, Andrus acknowledges. When she stands up, her head brushes the weathered tarp that is her roof. Her bedroll consumes the entirety of the floor space, and when she lies down, her belongings are all within arm's reach: a tiny alarm clock, a tiny bottle of olive oil, three tiny houseplants. "I know the boat could use a couple things, maybe a little varnish," she said. "But to me, it's heaven."

It is a way of life that is under duress in Marina del Rey, where a building boom has added a layer of turmoil to a timeworn throwback.

More than a dozen development projects worth several billion dollars have been built or proposed -- projects that could add 3,000 apartments, as well as hundreds of hotel rooms and tens of thousands of square feet of restaurant and retail space, to an 800-acre area that has only 8,500 residents to begin with.

The most vocal among them are lined up at the docks and pledging to do battle: "live-aboards" like Andrus, boaters, old-timers alarmed to see their local diner closed to make room for "mixed-use" construction. Most, however, say it would be an oversimplification, even a falsehood, to give them the usual no-growth labels.

Instead, they contend, the trouble is that government regulators have forgotten that the marina was built on public land for public recreation. The county earns rent from the businesses that lease the waterfront -- and, cash-strapped, has become intent on maximizing profit.

The activists say the marina's economy is ballooning, with skyrocketing rents and new rules -- against boats that are small, old and decrepit -- that seemed designed to push out the working class. The funky character of the marina, where salty live-aboards have long rubbed shoulders with yacht owners, is being lost.

They point, for instance, to the area known as Mother's Beach, a popular horseshoe-shaped beach at Admiralty Way and Via Marina.

The beach is popular with locals and visitors, from young mothers who gather regularly and gave the beach its name to families who hold extravagant weekend barbecues replete with exotic ethnic dishes and vases of flowers atop picnic tables.

Developers would like to surround it with hotels, new apartments, restaurants and retail, which would probably push aside picnic tables and parking spaces and effectively turn it, critics argue, into a private beach on public land.

"So you can see that we're not anti-development activists. We're humanists," said Bruce Russell, 79, a retiree who has lived here since 2000. "They could do marvelous things here. But if you just ask the developers what they want -- and you don't ask the people who live here -- what do you think you're going to get?"

Marina del Rey is a cash cow. Everyone agrees on that, if nothing else.

The leases will generate more than $35 million this year, much of which goes into the county's main bank accounts and is used to pay for law enforcement, healthcare programs and the like. That figure could double once the development is complete, and that doesn't even include other revenue, such as hotel bed taxes.

"We've got a 45-year-old asset that should be the crown jewel of the county," said Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe. "We need to pick up the pace."

The county has competing agendas: public recreation and raising as much money as it can from the leases. David O. Levine, president of the Marina del Rey Lessees Assn. and chief of staff to Jerry B. Epstein, a prominent lessee, said both agendas can be pursued at once, "but it requires some common sense."

Levine's company has proposed tearing down the dated 202-unit Del Rey Shores apartments and replacing it with a 544-unit apartment complex, a project that would cost more than $130 million.

In 2001, the company submitted its proposal to extend its lease. After a series of public hearings, the county's Small Craft Harbor Commission and county supervisors voted to negotiate a new lease. Then a design committee had to weigh in. Regional planners held five hearings; their approval was appealed to supervisors, who turned down the appeal after two more hearings.

Then, a nearby condo association sued to block the project. Last month, a judge threw out most of the lawsuit, Levine said, but sent a technical question involving displaced soil back to the county. Earlier this month, supervisors approved an exhaustive process for resolving that issue, including more public hearings and a 45-day public comment period before actual soil analysis could even begin. The condo association could still appeal the dismissal of the rest of the suit.

"We started this," Levine said, "before George Bush was inaugurated."

Don't feel too sorry for them, says Nancy Vernon Marino. She's lived here for 20 years and, like many locals, says it's hard to overstate how much even the already completed development has disrupted lives -- and even the wind.

Marino belongs to a small sailing cooperative and recently tried to pass a test that would enable her to check out a class of sailboat. The test required her to show that she could make delicate enough maneuvers to rescue a passenger who fell overboard.

It required deft maneuvering, but she said she would have been fine if she hadn't taken the test next to the Esprit, a new luxury apartment complex. The complex features Berber carpets and sells itself as "urban, urbane and utterly Westside," but it is so big, Marino said, that it has disrupted the area wind patterns.

"I flunked," Marino said.

Tonight, Andrus will lie down on the floor of the Seguin, wrapped in her sleeping bag under the stars, her head pointed toward the stern.

"From the first day I was here, it was like I was free," Andrus said the other day as she got ready to go to work at an after-school program, where she is an instructor.

She pays $375 a month for the slip. That's about what she can afford on her $12,000 salary. The alternative is scary, she said -- "maybe a cardboard box downtown." But the marina has lost hundreds of slips in recent years and one development is expected to cut in half the number of slips in her little marina.

"If people only knew what was being taken away from them, there would be a riot," she said. "I feel so lucky. And when you have real gratitude, it becomes your responsibility to make sure this opportunity isn't lost forever."

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Old July 18th, 2008, 10:28 AM   #92
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This is one of the more interesting articles I've read in a while regarding developement in the area, and proposes the most emotional arguments.
This is the age old question: How far is too far? Where do you draw the line? Mother's Beach? How can you not feel for that? I didn't know that slips were being replaced, and I didn't think that the area was receiving that much attention- as far as developement. Why developement would take out the actual slips for the 'vehicles' that use them, the reason for the harbor to be there in the first place, is beyond me. I simply cannot believe that future proposals would endanger their being. Still, the arguments are well thought out.
This is one of those non-bullshit areas that are unique in the Los Angeles metro. Santa Monica is another. Hollywood is another yet, like Beverly Hills and the south bay and it's communities............. all wanting to be left alone by the people who already live there- NOT IN MY BACKYARD!
Cities have to be developed in the best possible way; They HAVE to move forward. If they remain stagnant, they die. When cities die, guess who moves out? Everyone. Nimbies remain, to inherit an environment they did not sign on for, a landscape unfamiliar to them.
They leave last, in denial of what they are ultimately responsible for. A developement of their own they will never "own up" to.
(Anything falling apart at The Marina should be replaced. Any other towers should be considered. No more replacing boat slips. You don't develop to make the harbor smaller! That would be killing the hand that feeds you.)
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Old July 18th, 2008, 10:30 AM   #93
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um.. what
I have never ever ever thought of marina del rey as funky. Funky like my rich grandmother's house, maybe...
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Old July 18th, 2008, 11:51 AM   #94
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Marina Del Rey Shores Project Loses Approvals
Thursday, July 17, 2008, by Dakota
What a migraine this thing is: Back in May, a judge ruled that the EIR (environmental impact report) for the mixed-use, 554-unit development at 4201 Via Marina in Marina del Rey was flawed, and now the whole project has been stripped of its approvals, reports The Argonaut's Gary Walker. The project, which'll rise on the site of a 202-unit apartment building called the Del Rey Shores Apartments (that structure will be demolished), also faced opposition aka a lawsuit from a group of homeowners from the Marina Strand Colony Homeowners Association over numerous concerns, including traffic. Still, some people want this thing to go forward, just revised. And "if the Department of Regional Planning fully complies with all of the Board of Supervisors' instructions, there will be another hearing before the board for possible recertification of the EIR and possible restoration of the land use entitlements."
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Old August 14th, 2008, 02:30 PM   #95
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Sinatra and Columbo:
We've Got Pens But No Pals

Posted Aug 12th 2008 8:19PM by TMZ Staff

The builder of the new Beverly Hilton Hotel expansion wants Nancy Sinatra and Peter Falk to keep their two cents to themselves.

A lawsuit filed today against the City Clerk of Bev Hills and the Registrar of Voters of L.A. County claims Sinatra -- mother of singer Nancy Sinatra -- and Falk helped pen misleading details urging voters to put the kibosh on the project.

Their less-than-stellar opinion of the project was set to appear in a ballot pamphlet for the November election -- when celebs (and regular folk) get to vote on it.

Karim Kano, who filed the complaint, wants to stop their comments from making it to the printing press.

TMZ
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Old September 12th, 2008, 05:27 AM   #96
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Santa Monica Place will gain ocean view in major makeover
The Frank Gehry-designed shopping center will feature a broad plaza surrounded by curving walls that open both to the street and toward the beach.
By Roger Vincent, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
10:21 PM PDT, September 10, 2008

The new incarnation of Santa Monica Place, the Frank Gehry-designed shopping center that is getting a major makeover in downtown Santa Monica, will feature a broad plaza surrounded by curving walls that open both to the street and toward the beach.

With flourishes of curved shining material unwinding from a third-story plaza, the $155-million renovation will allow patrons to see the nearby ocean from its rooftop dining level, according to architectural drawings released Wednesday.

The mall's owners, who mostly demolished the original structure, say that upon completion the new center will differ vastly from its predecessor and sport a Bloomingdale's department store instead of longtime anchor Macy's.

Designed by noted Los Angeles architect Gehry early in his career, the old mall, completed in 1980, had an enclosed suburban-style configuration that was incongruously set in one of the most affluent urban shopping districts in the region.

The existing mall is about a block from the beach but does not allow shoppers to see the ocean or local streets. It was one of many inwardly focused shopping centers built during an era when owners wanted to lure customers into a self-contained bubble where there was little to do but shop.

The center's owner, the Santa Monica-based shopping center chain Macerich, launched the renovation in January. The new center, which was designed by the Jerde Partnership, is intended to connect with Third Street Promenad

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Old November 12th, 2008, 01:08 AM   #97
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Expo Phase 2



The Construction Authority is saying that it will likely declare its preferred alternative for a route in early 2009 for the second phase of the Expo Line from Culver City to Santa Monica.
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Old November 13th, 2008, 04:53 AM   #98
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Ambitious mall project moving ahead in Century City
Westfield is pursuing an $800-million development that would move Bloomingdale's, add retail and office space, and replace a Westside landmark with a 49-story tower.
By Martha Groves, The Los Angeles Times
November 12, 2008

Unlike some cash-strapped competitors in the shopping center business, Westfield has nearly $7 billion in the bank and can't wait to start knocking down buildings and digging dirt for an ambitious expansion of its Century City mall.

The $800-million project entails relocating Bloomingdale's, adding retail and office space, razing one of the original twin "Gateway" buildings designed by Welton Becket and replacing it with a 49-story tower with 262 apartments or condos.

Despite a boom in high-rise development in Century City that has surrounding neighborhood groups on high alert, the mall expansion has experienced remarkably smooth sailing for a proposal of its size.

On Thursday, the city Planning Commission is expected to approve the Australian company's environmental impact report, paving the way for passage by the City Council. The project has the backing of Councilman Jack Weiss, who represents Century City and has received more than $8,000 in contributions from Westfield executives for his city attorney campaign.

Westfield has also been a big donor to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, giving him $100,000 for his committee to take over the school district and $50,000 for his 2007 U.S. Conference of Mayors, held in Century City.

The Westfield project reflects a new direction in Century City's core, which for decades featured mostly offices and hotels but is now creating hundreds of upscale residences. Westfield says the mall expansion would add to the "live, work, shop and play" vibe.

Neighborhood groups contend that the project is too big and too tall and will produce too much traffic. But traffic isn't their only concern. They say the development will further strain already inadequate services, from police and fire to schools, libraries and electric and water utilities.

"We have a huge project and no corresponding infrastructure to go with it," said David Tyrone Vahedi, an attorney who is running for City Council in District 5, which includes Century City. "When they're selling these condo units for $3 million, do they tell these people that there's very little police protection? That there's traffic congestion and so few officers that response time is unacceptable?"

For years, Century City and environs have experienced an almost unrivaled building boom. Century City in particular has been a hotbed of construction, with projects including 2000 Avenue of the Stars (which replaced the ABC Entertainment Center) and Westfield's $170-million first-phase redo of the outdoor shopping center, including a rooftop dining deck, enlarged movie theaters and, most recently, a parking system that directs patrons to available spaces (green light overhead) and away from occupied spaces (red light overhead).

Also underway is Related Cos.' 39-story condo tower at the site of the former St. Regis Hotel on Avenue of the Stars. Down the street at the corner of Constellation Boulevard, JMB Realty Corp. of Chicago plans three condo towers.

In nearby Beverly Hills, the Montage resort hotel is scheduled to open this month. And the Beverly Hilton is hoping that a final vote count on Measure H will allow it to proceed with a 12-story Waldorf-Astoria hotel and two luxury condo towers.

Some residents say that the accumulation of projects will inevitably exacerbate traffic problems. Westfield's environmental impact report concluded that the expansion would indeed worsen traffic.

"People are saying, 'We can't take any more density until we have the ability to offer [transit] alternatives,' " said Barbara Broide, president of the Westwood South of Santa Monica Homeowners Assn. "We are hoping that the council district office, the Planning Commission and the City Council all realize that a project of this magnitude can't be built as proposed unless some strong investments are made in the community."

Westfield executives counter that urban density beats sprawl. The company plans to encourage other Century City businesses to participate in a shuttle program for the area's 40,000 employees, and it envisions adding a station to link up with a proposed "Subway to the Sea" or another Metro mass transit program.

"This sort of development will lead to a much better and much more integrated Century City," said Peter Lowy, Westfield's co-chief executive, who heads the company's U.S. operations.

By demolishing two high-rise office towers, he added, Westfield will be reducing peak-hour traffic. (The other structure is the Houlihan Lokey office building on Century Park West, which will be replaced with a five-story parking structure with a rooftop parking level and two existing below-ground levels. The project calls for adding 1,899 spaces, for a total of 4,529 spaces for retail, office and residential.)

Lowy said the company is eager to establish a proper retail frontage on Avenue of the Stars and Santa Monica Boulevard, which would be accomplished in part by relocating Bloomingdale's from the mall's core to the new tower on the avenue.

Westfield acknowledges that it is negotiating with a coalition of neighborhood groups, which are urging the company to contribute funds that could be parceled out to police, fire, schools and other community services. As of Tuesday, no settlement had been reached.

Then there's 1801 Avenue of the Stars, one of the twin glass-and-aluminum gateway buildings featured in the 1961 Century City master plan developed by Welton Becket & Associates. After the 1957 repeal of the city's 150-foot building height limit, Century City was conceived as a high-rise satellite commercial center. The full plan, for a pedestrian-friendly, beautifully landscaped zone, was never realized.

In a Nov. 4 letter, the Los Angeles Conservancy urged the Planning Commission to consider alternatives to demolition. But Westfield contends that it would be impossible to convert the building to condos and build a transit station.

"I think there's a lot that's good about this project," Weiss said. "At this point in time, with this economy, it would be public policy malpractice to tell someone who wants to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in your community to go take a hike," he said.

Groves is a Times staff writer.

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Old November 14th, 2008, 04:35 AM   #99
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Westfield gets OK to expand Century City shopping center
The Los Angeles Planning Commission unanimously approves the developer's plans after it agrees to make modifications.
By Martha Groves, The Los Angeles Times
5:59 PM PST, November 13, 2008

The Los Angeles Planning Commission has unanimously approved Westfield Group's plan to expand its Century City shopping center after the developer agreed to make modifications.

The panel devoted several hours to testimony from supporters and detractors before voting to approve the project, which calls for relocating Bloomingdale's, adding parking and replacing an original Welton Becket-designed tower with a 39-story, mixed-use building with 262 condos.

The Comstock Hills Homeowners Assn. had protested the original 49-story plan for the tower and was pleased that Westfield agreed to lop off 10 stories.

The company also announced settlements to satisfy some residents' concerns about traffic improvements.

The $800-million project also entails relocating Bloomingdale's and adding retail and office space.

The Westfield project reflects a new direction in Century City's core, which for decades featured mostly offices and hotels but is now creating hundreds of upscale residences.

Westfield officials said the mall expansion would add to the "live, work, shop and play" vibe.

Neighborhood groups contend that the project is too big and too tall, and would produce too much traffic.

But traffic isn't their only concern. They say the development would further strain already inadequate services, from police and fire to schools, libraries and electric and water utilities.

Groves is a Times staff writer.
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 08:53 AM   #100
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Beverly Hills voters narrowly approve hotel-condo project
The L.A. County registrar-recorder's final tally shows 50.41% voted for the Waldorf-Astoria project, and 49.59% opposed it. Opponents vow to continue the fight in court.
By Martha Groves
December 3, 2008

With November election results finally tabulated and certified Tuesday, Beverly Hills voters have narrowly approved a plan to add a Waldorf-Astoria hotel and two luxury condo towers to the Beverly Hilton complex.

Opponents of Measure H, however, vowed to continue their battle in court. They contend the drawn-out vote was tainted by irregularities.

The Los Angeles County registrar-recorder's office spent the weeks since the Nov. 4 election counting provisional and absentee ballots. The final tally was 7,972 votes in favor, or 50.41%, and 7,843 votes opposed, or 49.59%.

The battle over Measure H sharply divided the affluent community. The City Council earlier this year approved the proposal by a 3-2 vote. But opponents gathered enough signatures to place the measure before voters.

Advocates said the proposal would revitalize the Hilton's site at Wilshire and Santa Monica boulevards and bring in needed revenue for city services. Opponents decried the project as too massive and tall and said it would boost traffic at the already congested intersection.

The plan would entail adding a 12-story, 170-room Waldorf-Astoria hotel and two condo towers, one of them six to eight stories and one 16 to 18 stories. The new hotel rooms would replace 217 Hilton rooms that would be demolished as part of the plan, for a net reduction of 47 rooms. The Waldorf rooms are expected to draw far higher rates, and tax dollars, than the Hilton's.

Beny Alagem, the Hilton's owner, spent more than $3 million to woo voters, holding lavish cocktail parties, sponsoring coffees and distributing elaborate fliers and brochures.

On Tuesday, opponents of the expansion charged that the final count was flawed, "because they were counting questionable provisional ballots," said Larry Larson, treasurer of the anti-Measure H group Citizens Right to Decide Committee. Larson said he personally reported to the registrar a couple who he says live in Los Angeles but voted provisionally in Beverly Hills on election day.

Larson said his group plans to pin down evidence of tainted ballots and then take its case to court. "You have to convince the judge it's more likely than not that, but for these tainted ballots, Measure H would have lost," he said.

Marie Garvey, a Beverly Hilton spokeswoman, said: "We have full faith in the county's process." She added that the Hilton planned to begin construction on the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in 2009, after the January Golden Globe Awards show, which is to be held at the Hilton. The aim, she said, is to "develop a world-class project worthy of Beverly Hills."

At least one Beverly Hills official said the matter appeared to be resolved in his mind.

"I voted no on Measure H because of its mass and size," said Beverly Hills Mayor Barry Brucker. "But I'm respectful of the process and the outcome. Now we need to move forward to make certain the project is the best it can possibly be."

Aware of voter fraud allegations, he added that he planned to push the state to require voters to show identification at polling places.

"I find it so odd that that would not . . . be required at the polling place, just to ensure the election process is followed to the letter of the law," he said.

Groves is a Times staff writer.
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