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  #9401  
Old Posted Aug 4, 2020, 6:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atlas View Post
I'm usually not a big fan of Frank Gehry's work but that looks great.
Gehry as a designer is like the Haute couture designers of Paris. The Haute couture can be pretty bizarre, i.e his collapsing walls. Kind of like someone sucked half the air out of an inflatable. However, when he pulls it back a little for commercial consumption it's quite spectacular. Thinking the Beekman in New York, I like Disney Hall, and this current L.A. project among others.
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  #9402  
Old Posted Aug 4, 2020, 7:03 PM
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While I don't find the power poles that pleasing in dense urban areas, I'd be lying if I said that I don't find them very charming in areas like Silver Lake. I don't know what it is about them, but I would be pretty sad to see them go.
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  #9403  
Old Posted Aug 4, 2020, 9:38 PM
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Originally Posted by delts145 View Post
Haha, I didn't realize Japan had so many above ground power lines!
I recall a former SSP regular who'd post here frequently several yrs ago & was fairly demanding about urbanism in LA. He often used NYC as an example of what dtla should strive for.

This topic came up back then, probably due to postings similar to the ones above....where some ppl think a lack of enough highrises hurts LA, whereas I say we should be so lucky if that were the only problem facing the city. He said something about graffiti on fwy underpasses and power poles not really bothering him.

I went whoa!, huh?!, ha-ha. His comment made me realize how unpredictable everyone is. incidentally, his ssp online name had "beauty" in it. however, I'm fairly sure he at least also disliked surface parking lots.

this is a major entry into dtla....the 9th st offramp. Hopefully, the olympiad proj will make up for some of this.

Certain ppl may be more bothered there aren't 80-90 story towers in the background or that there are no stores to walk by. Personally, if those were the only problems with areas like this in dtla, we in LA would be quite lucky....



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  #9404  
Old Posted Aug 4, 2020, 9:46 PM
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I wish more powerlines were put underground.
I feel that things like trees or which trees are put in streets are determined based on powerlines. Palm trees are often taller than the lines or you have to plant shorter trees below the lines. Or have no trees. Certain trees planted like the common ficus trees that uproot sidewalks often grow at the level of the lower powerlines. A strong wind can snap the wires or even cause a tree fire if the wire is snaped and live.
Here are some google links of how some trees in relation to the wires.
Highland Park - https://goo.gl/maps/AnbiF6o1WUD6z7HH6
Lincoln Heights - https://goo.gl/maps/EcwCsJ4Qrwso6695A
Cypress Park - https://goo.gl/maps/E5v4wNANjocdMYrC8

So my issue is powerlines/poles are limiting the beauty of LA by limiting the kind of trees that can be planted under them. Lately LA has been planting a lot of sycamore oak trees that can grow 20-50+ feet along the street providing shade and filtered light. Other areas are planting Gingko trees which grow similar heights. Other popular trees of similar height are Jacarandas. On major streets were powerlines are located, they cant plant those type of shade trees, so you have to do either shadeless palm trees or limited short trees under 20 feet like crepe myrtles.
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  #9405  
Old Posted Aug 4, 2020, 10:37 PM
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Originally Posted by saybanana View Post
I wish more powerlines were put underground.
I feel that things like trees or which trees are put in streets are determined based on powerlines. Palm trees are often taller than the lines or you have to plant shorter trees below the lines. Or have no trees. Certain trees planted like the common ficus trees that uproot sidewalks often grow at the level of the lower powerlines. A strong wind can snap the wires or even cause a tree fire if the wire is snaped and live.
Here are some google links of how some trees in relation to the wires.
Highland Park - https://goo.gl/maps/AnbiF6o1WUD6z7HH6
Lincoln Heights - https://goo.gl/maps/EcwCsJ4Qrwso6695A
Cypress Park - https://goo.gl/maps/E5v4wNANjocdMYrC8

So my issue is powerlines/poles are limiting the beauty of LA by limiting the kind of trees that can be planted under them. Lately LA has been planting a lot of sycamore oak trees that can grow 20-50+ feet along the street providing shade and filtered light. Other areas are planting Gingko trees which grow similar heights. Other popular trees of similar height are Jacarandas. On major streets were powerlines are located, they cant plant those type of shade trees, so you have to do either shadeless palm trees or limited short trees under 20 feet like crepe myrtles.

I definitely don't disagree there and I will always choose trees over powerlines, but there is something I find absolutely charming about tree covered streets with powerlines zig-zagging over them.
https://goo.gl/maps/byfVZondU2v9zoVc8

https://goo.gl/maps/NKxHeNg1XdSwcc5Q9

https://goo.gl/maps/jTTN3ka7Vb4WxK8W7

It's just a weird quark I like about LA. It's definitely a flaw, but I would be sad to see them go in a lot of cases. That said, the image from South Park is ugly as sin, and those lines need to be buried.
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  #9406  
Old Posted Aug 5, 2020, 1:44 AM
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Im with citywatch on this. I hate overhead power lines and it infuriates me that the city of LA doesn't actively pursue undergrounding them like other cities in the county have. At the bare min, major streets shouldn't have them up and exposed. As mentioned by others, it limits trees that could be planted, allow for trash and graffiti and are ugly as fuck
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  #9407  
Old Posted Aug 5, 2020, 2:42 AM
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This morning I had to take a shopping trip from downtown to the Lowes at the midtown shopping center on Pico and San Vincente. I took Pico all the way. Like me, I'm sure a few of you have also caught this same vision of how many incredible development opportunities there are along Pico. My thoughts continually stray and daydream as I pass by certain areas around Hoover, or Normandie, and especially the area around Country Club Park/Arlington through Crenshaw. There are so many cool old bygone era store fronts and apt. buildings with great old architectural history that's still intact. So many stretches that scream for a chance to be a Village Center with an incredible Latino restaurant scene, clubs galore and urban chic apartments developed. I'm sure the day will come when we'll see vibrant, charming village cores crop up along Pico in these areas I mentioned. The bones are there now, they're just not quite ready to be the sort of village cores that we would call metro wide destination points. For right now however, we'll have to wait for the managerie of power lines to some day be buried. Whether the power lines are buried first in order to encourage the development potential, or developers realize the potential and bury the lines along with their restoration/reuse developments, the lines will have to be buried.

As much as I like Larchmont, the charm factor potential along Pico in several long stretches even exceeds the Larchmont stretch.

Oh, I wanted to ask if any of you have heard of upcoming major development across from the Home Depot on Wilshire? I noticed a lot of those underdeveloped sites across from Home Depot are now boarded up as if there's some pending demolition. I've been wondering for a few years how long it would take for that Wilshire stretch between MacArthur Park and Downtown to catch up with the redevelopment on Wilshire's west side of the Park. Someday we might even see the Westlake Theater restored. That would be a happy day.

Last edited by delts145; Aug 5, 2020 at 3:13 AM.
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  #9408  
Old Posted Aug 5, 2020, 4:13 AM
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Power lines I can handle. I kinda like them in grittier parts of the city. As long as LA doesn't end up carpeted in commie blocks, looking like Brazil or some other third world country it's all good
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  #9409  
Old Posted Aug 5, 2020, 11:00 AM
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Pico at Figueroa hotel u/c above ground now

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  #9410  
Old Posted Aug 5, 2020, 3:13 PM
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Nice! The next tower to watch rise after Gehry. Next order up: Brookfield tower between 7th and 8th.
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  #9411  
Old Posted Aug 5, 2020, 9:27 PM
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I kinda wonder if people will be able to jump from the Circa podium to the hotel podium. Also It does seem really close from the Fig side Circa Tower to the Hotel tower. The Flower towers seem to have a lot spacing because of that parking podium that extends on Circa's Flower side. Must have been nice to have an unobstructed view looking south, but now, not so much.
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  #9412  
Old Posted Aug 5, 2020, 9:35 PM
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Is there a thread for the Pico at Figueroa hotel?

Nice to see 3 5-700 footers rising downtown simultaneously, not to mention Century City Plaza.

5 buildings that high is a lot for LA at one time
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  #9413  
Old Posted Aug 6, 2020, 2:44 AM
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I think there was more 3-4 years ago. Oceanwide Plaza is also technically still u/c lol. But it seems there's more towers going up in the neighborhoods than in while.

That said, i can see another boom starting next year as well. Housing still needs to get built.
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  #9414  
Old Posted Aug 6, 2020, 3:27 AM
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Bad news...

https://www.latimes.com/california/s...ShBaOIcfi78U2I

Quote:
Federal officials have charged Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar in an ongoing pay-to-play probe, accusing him of running a criminal enterprise fueled by bribes from real estate developers seeking to build in his downtown district.

It is unclear, however, what might happen to the as-yet unbuilt skyscrapers planned by the executives who allegedly provided those bribes. Several council members have called for the city to reassess approvals for real estate projects mentioned in the criminal case, arguing that the building plans have been tainted by the scandal.

“I would be disgusted if we had to drive through downtown Los Angeles for generations and see buildings marking the city skyline that were achieved through bribery and corruption,” said Councilman Paul Krekorian, who has also proposed barring developers implicated in criminal conduct from getting any future approvals.

But the question of what the city should — or can — do to thwart such projects could hinge on a long list of factors, including how far along developers are in the building process, what kind of approvals they have obtained, and what can be proved about the alleged bribery in the federal case, according to land use attorneys interviewed by The Times.


The situation boggled some lawyers. “I’ve never seen anything like this,” said land use attorney C.J. Laffer.

‘They’re all tainted by it.’ Federal corruption cases deal new blow to trust in City Hall

Investigators have pinpointed at least four projects involved in the alleged bribery scheme, according to the criminal complaint against Huizar. Although prosecutors have not identified those projects or their developers by name, key details in the document make clear that they are scrutinizing:

• A 20-story residential tower planned at the corner of Hill Street and Olympic Boulevard.
• Plans to replace the Luxe City Center Hotel across from the L.A. Live entertainment complex with new towers.
• A 77-story skyscraper proposed for property occupied by the L.A. Grand Hotel Downtown on Figueroa Street.
• A 35-story tower being built in the Arts District.

None of the real estate developers mentioned in the criminal complaint have been arrested or publicly charged. The 77-story skyscraper has yet to get city approval; the other three have been approved but not yet completed. The furthest along is the Arts District tower, which started work this year to prepare the Mateo Street site.

L.A. has taken an initial step to obstruct one of those projects: In June, city officials said they would push to revoke approvals for alcoholic beverages and entertainment at the Luxe City Center Hotel. City Atty. Mike Feuer said it was necessary “to preserve transparency, fairness, and integrity” in city decisions, calling the project “the product of corruption.”

Blocking those approvals for alcohol and entertainment, however, would not otherwise stop the redevelopment project from moving forward. Other approvals for the Luxe project are still under review, according to city officials.

Rob Glushon, an attorney who represented neighbors suing over the Arts District project, said that legal deadlines to lodge new challenges over city approvals for the projects have probably passed. But one possibility, Glushon said, could be for the city attorney to sue the developers to invalidate the project approvals based on fraud.

“I’ve never seen that done,” Glushon said. “But it would send a powerful message to developers that they risk the loss of city approvals if they participate in criminal conduct.”

Environmental and land use attorney Mitchell Tsai likewise said the city could argue that “you secured these entitlements under false pretenses.” But “it really depends on the specific facts surrounding each development,” Tsai said.

Several attorneys said such cases could hinge on “vested rights,” which give California developers the right to complete a project even after government officials change the rules about what can be built.

One of the ways to gain such rights, under California law, is if a developer has spent a significant amount of money in “good faith reliance” on a permit issued by the government. The Huizar case could pose a question for the courts: Whether a real estate developer that has allegedly bribed an official can have “good faith reliance” on the resulting permit.

Builders can also gain vested rights by getting a kind of city approval that specifically provides them; the Arts District project obtained such an approval, according to the planning department.

Another route is entering into a development agreement for a project, attorneys said. Under such an agreement, a developer agrees to provide additional benefits for the community — such as funding for affordable housing or infrastructure improvements — in exchange for getting those vested rights for an extended period of time. The Luxe City Center Hotel project has such an agreement.

Council members want the city attorney to examine whether Government Code 1090, which prohibits officials from being “financially interested” in contracts they agree to, could void any development agreements.

William Fulton, founder and publisher of the California Planning and Development Report newsletter, said L.A.'s situation could test whether that law applies to development agreements. He pointed out that Santa Monica officials unraveled such an agreement six years ago in the face of community opposition to a planned project.

“There’s been a lot of debate about when an approval can be undone, but I don’t think it’s ever been tested in a bribery context,” Fulton said. If the courts decide against it, “I wouldn’t be surprised to see a state bill to address this.”

Another possible question, in court, is whether bribing one member of the City Council can invalidate an approval that was granted by the entire council. In Los Angeles, council members tend to defer to the official who represents the area where a building project is planned, but development decisions are ultimately voted on by the full council.

The alleged bribes mentioned in the criminal complaint against Huizar include $600,000 for a loan to help the councilman quietly settle a sexual harassment lawsuit; hundreds of thousands of dollars handed over in a paper bag; free flights on private jets, gambling chips and meals; and damaging information on former aides suing Huizar.

Developer Dae Yong Lee, whose company has pursued the Hill Street project, is cooperating with the investigation, according to his attorney, who said they “look forward to a swift resolution clearing his name.”

An attorney for Shenzhen Hazens, which got approval to redevelop the Luxe City Center Hotel, did not respond to a request for comment. The firm seeking to build the 77-story skyscraper, Shenzhen New World Group, could not be reached.



Carmel Partners, which pushed for the Arts District project, said it had put one of its executives on leave but said that members of its executive committees did not knowingly participate in any pay-to-play scheme involving Huizar.

Even if the four projects mentioned in the case had already been built, courts have sometimes taken action to invalidate permits or tear down buildings that are partly or fully constructed.

Perhaps the most infamous case is the Bel Air mega-mansion developed by Mohamed Hadid, who faced criminal charges and a civil lawsuit over a home that city officials said was far bigger than approved. In December, a judge ordered that the unfinished mansion be torn down to the slab, but Hadid has appealed, and the structure still stands.

In Hollywood, a legal battle over a new tower at Sunset Boulevard and Gordon Street led a judge to invalidate its construction permits, eventually forcing residents to move out. The City Council later voted to approve the project a second time.

Attorney Robert P. Silverstein, who represented the group that sued over the Sunset and Gordon project, argued that if the permits could be invalidated in that case, “why can’t that happen in the far more egregious situation of criminal fraud, bribery and corruption of public officials?” He argued that federal officials should pursue criminal and civil forfeiture proceedings against the building owners.

In the Arts District, a group of nearby residents sent a letter to Carmel Partners urging the firm to reassess its project on Mateo Street, “since its permitting and approval process was corrupt and unreliable.” Among their concerns are traffic and safety impacts and the height of the tower, which was slated to be the tallest building in the neighborhood when approved.

Residents have debated whether to urge the city to toss out its approvals entirely, amid concerns that such a demand could backfire, said Erica Berger, a resident of the nearby Molino Street Lofts.

Another group, the nonprofit Affordable Housing for Artists, argued that the project needed more affordable housing, saying that Huizar had “traded away” such housing in a “corrupt exchange for political contributions and other monetary considerations,” as alleged by federal prosecutors.

“If they want to continue that project, they should start from scratch,” its director Jonathan Jerald said.

Carmel Partners has argued that the project, including its share of affordable units, was shaped by community concerns and said its political contributions were not the reason it won approval.

Times staff writer David Zahniser contributed to this report.

Last edited by Jun; Aug 6, 2020 at 4:08 AM.
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  #9415  
Old Posted Aug 6, 2020, 3:34 AM
JDRCRASH JDRCRASH is offline
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^ Should’ve been expected. That low-hanging fruit was too tempting for Silverstein to not pick.
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  #9416  
Old Posted Aug 6, 2020, 4:26 AM
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I doubt anything will happen to the U/C tower in The Arts District, and, let's face it, the other three towers were probably never gonna happen anyway.
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  #9417  
Old Posted Aug 6, 2020, 6:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Illithid Dude View Post
I doubt anything will happen to the U/C tower in The Arts District, and, let's face it, the other three towers were probably never gonna happen anyway.
I think that rings true especially when it comes to LUXE given it is chinese money, which is now almost non-existent due to them turning off the flow. That is super sad because it would have really completed the LA Live area and lined that part with large LED screens. Oceanwide needs to be sold and resumed. Enough is enough, already!
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  #9418  
Old Posted Aug 6, 2020, 1:54 PM
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I think Oceanwide will eventually be sold and resumed. Real Estate is typically a good investment in a downturn as it will hold it's value over a longer period of time. The one in SF is picking back up already. I think you just have smart institutional or REIT buyers waiting for the price to drop so they can pick it up for ~$0.60 on the $1.00.
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  #9419  
Old Posted Aug 6, 2020, 5:15 PM
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I feel like this type of corruption isn't that surprising unfortunately, did anyone actually expect the new tallest (333 fig) to get built anyway?

I wonder if they'll keep trying though, or at least try to get the project approved.

Quote:
None of the real estate developers mentioned in the criminal complaint have been arrested or publicly charged. The 77-story skyscraper has yet to get city approval; the other three have been approved but not yet completed. The furthest along is the Arts District tower, which started work this year to prepare the Mateo Street site.
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  #9420  
Old Posted Aug 6, 2020, 7:27 PM
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At least he pleads not guilty?

https://commercialobserver.com/2020/...uption-scheme/

Quote:
LA Councilman Pleads Not Guilty in Real Estate Corruption Scheme

Huizar was indicted on 34 felony charges involving multiple developers
Quote:
Councilman Jose Huizar — the former chairman of the Planning and Land Use Management Committee — pleaded not guilty this week to charges alleging he led a “criminal enterprise that shaped the development landscape in Los Angeles.”

Huizar was indicted on 34 charges of bribery, racketeering, money laundering, extortion, wire fraud, tax evasion, and more nefarious activities involving illegal deals with real estate developers, the Los Angeles Times reported.
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