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Glendale OKs designs for Armenian American Museum, surrounding park

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An aerial view of the museum.

The museum survives its first round of design reviews

Glendale’s future Armenian American Museum took a step forward last week when the Glendale City Council approved preliminary designs for the building and surrounding Glendale Central Park.

Urbanize LA reports the council is moving ahead with negotiations to lease city property near Brand Boulevard and Colorado Street, where the museum would rise, to the Armenian American Museum and Cultural Center of California. The 95-year lease is $1 dollar per year for the first 55 years.

Berdj Karapetian, chairman of the museum’s executive committee, called the benchmark an “historic milestone.”

Designs by Glendale-based Alajajian Marcoosi Architects show a roughly rectangular building, with a dynamic and jagged exterior. The facade of the museum is meant to echo both the Verdugo Mountains in Glendale and the mountains of Armenia.

The three-story museum would be served by a three-level parking garage, to be built under the structure.

The block surrounding the museum would be reworked to create more park space as part of an interconnected but ultimately separate project called the Central Park Block master design.

 Via City of Glendale
One of the proposed reworkings of the block surrounding the Armenian American Museum.

Led by SWA Group, the plan proposes replacing some surface parking on the block and adding landscaping and park features to create 92,000 square feet of open space within the block. (That would also help to make up for the grassy space lost by building the museum.)

A handful of different designs for the block are in the mix right now, but all of the proposed updates include a play area for kids, a central grassy open space, a “sculpture walk,” and on-site stormwater treatment to clean rain runoff as it flows through the space.

Both projects are scheduled to return to the City Council in this summer.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCyx_TtGw5k?rel=0&]
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Here’s what $475K buys around LA

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See what that price gets you across Los Angeles, from Long Beach to Mt. Washington

Welcome to Curbed Comparisons, where we explore what you can rent or buy for a certain dollar amount in various LA ’hoods. We’ve found five homes and condos within $10,000 of today’s price: $475,000.

 Via Thomas Gutierrez, Luis Martinez, Global Premier Properties

This cozy Sunland home has two bedrooms and a bathroom, with 900 square feet of living space. Best of all, it sits on a spacious 7,252-square-foot lot, with a large backyard and patio shaded by an avocado tree. There’s also an attached garage and a shed in the back with some extra storage space. Asking price is $479,999.

Meanwhile, over in the Hollywood Hills is this one-bedroom condo on the third-floor of a 1960s building in the Cahuenga Pass. The unit has 879 square feet of living space, with an updated kitchen, a renovated bathroom, and a walk-in closet. Building amenities include a swimming pool, community room, and barbecue area. Asking price is $479,900, with HOA dues of $371 per month.

 Via Justin Braune, XCPTD Realty

Down in Long Beach is this two-bedroom, one-bath home that received a thorough overhaul three years ago. Equipped with a new roof and solar panels, the 850-square-foot residence sits on a 3,391-square-foot lot with a detached garage and a wooden deck in the back with room for outdoor seating. Asking price is $475,000.

 Via Joel Valmonte and John Fontamillas, RE/MAX

This El Sereno residence appears to have been significantly updated since it last sold a decade ago. It’s got two bedrooms and one bathroom, with 682 square feet of living space. Inside, the home has new flooring and wide windows that keep it nice and airy. Sitting on a 4,998-square-foot lot with a detached garage, the house is listed for $479,000.

 Via Bradley Holmes, Pacific Union

This Mt. Washington home is tiny but charming. Only 470 square feet in size, the house has an open floor plan with hardwood floors, sliding glass doors, and wood-paneled walls. The bedroom area doesn’t have a door, but does come with a closet. There’s also a sun room with views around the neighborhood. Sitting on a 1,737-square-foot lot, the home is asking $465,000.

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Be the second-ever owner of this warm ’70s Glendale post and beam asking $1.6M

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It’s asking a cool $1.6 million

Take one look at this dreamy Glendale post and beam, and it’s easy to see why it’s only had one owner in its 40-year existence.

Designed by architect Richard Kemp as his own family residence, this 1978 classic is ideally situated to cantilever over a creek. The home is encircled by oaks and sycamores, and the handsome interiors echo their surroundings with beamed ceilings and a wealth of gleaming wood. Floor-to-ceiling windows bring the outside in.

The house holds four bedrooms, three retro-cool bathrooms, a spacious kitchen (with what look to be original cabinets), and, over the fireplace, a stylish copper mantel.

The dwelling sits on a 1.4-acre property tucked into Glendale’s Scholl Canyon, an area north of the 134 Freeway and the famous Eagle Rock formation.

The house is listed for $1.595 million.









Venice after Snap

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A building converted into Snap, Inc. offices is seen on the Venice Beach boardwalk on March 11, 2017 in Venice.

Commercial brokers expect a new wave of startups will fill space left by Snapchat’s departure

When Snapchat’s parent company Snap announced earlier this year that it would sublease half of its 400,000 square feet of Venice office space, residents who blamed the messaging app for ruining the neighborhood’s character were relieved.

But commercial real estate brokers predict Snap’s influence on the neighborhood will remain.

Snap dramatically drove up office rents when it arrived five years ago. Now, the company is headed to Santa Monica, leaving behind a collection of small offices across Venice that have benefitted from million of dollars worth of renovations and upgrades, according to Michael Springer, a commercial agent with Halton Pardee + Partners.

The tenants that fill that space are likely to be other tech companies and startups, says Springer.

“Their legacy opens the doors for similar startups and tech companies,” he says.

Snap arrived in Venice in 2013 and purchased an array of small spaces, starting with a beachfront bungalow and expanding to smaller, separate facilities. Instead of the large, central headquarters common to tech firms, Snap created a decentralized campus spread out among the Venice and Marina del Rey communities.

“Prior to Snapchat’s arrival, it wasn’t viewed as an office hub, it was a quirky beach town,” says Steve Basham, a senior market analyst at CoStar. “Over the last few years, it’s changed the character of the area, and there’s been lots of local resistance to the takeover. Snap took virtually all the available office space in Venice.”

By taking up a majority of the supply-constrained Venice office market, Snap drove a significant increase in prices.

Basham says office space in Venice has hovered at roughly $70 per square foot for several years, “about as pricy as LA gets.” In comparison, rents are about $64 a square foot in Beverly Hills and $62 in Santa Monica. The LA metro average is $38.

Office space in Venice comes a premium, says Springer, triple that of Culver City. But the proximity to the rest of the Silicon Beach tech scene, including Google and Facebook, which also have offices here, will make the constellation of former Snap spaces attractive to smaller tech firms.

The 45,000-square-foot Thornton Lofts space on the Venice Boardwalk will be especially prized.

The recent decision to leave, and dump so much space on the market at once, will momentarily depress rent and have a “negative effect on the mom-and-pop” property owners, Springer says. But he sees this as a good change for the area’s tech scene in the long run.

“I definitely see this as a way for Silicon Beach to flourish, and get new blood,” he says. “There hasn’t been any inventory in Venice, and now there’s going to be a bigger mix of companies.”

Basham agrees. “Growth prospects are strong. There’s a dense concentration of high-end employers, a recipe for continued strength in that area,” he says.

Springer expects the new arrivals to be companies with extensive funding—“established, mature companies won’t pay those rents”—and could see Northern California tech companies setting up shop.

Snap will now concentrate its growth in Santa Monica. The $18.7 billion company is relocating and consolidating many employees in existing offices there.

It’s leasing a significant amount of space in a Santa Monica business park, as well as almost 80,000 square feet at the Santa Monica Airport.

Rent control ballot measure moving forward, with Mayor Garcetti’s support

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Mayor Eric Garcetti and tenant advocates rallied in support of Costa Hawkins repeal Monday.

Mayor Eric Garcetti is lending support to the initiative

Carrying signs that read “The Rent is Too Damn High,” Los Angeles tenant advocates announced today that they have gathered enough signatures for a November ballot initiative to repeal California’s Costa Hawkins Rental Housing Act.

Repealing Costa Hawkins would give California cities the option to expand rent control. In Los Angeles, the law prevents the city from applying rent control to buildings constructed after October 1978.

In the midst of a massive statewide shortage of affordable housing, supporters of the repeal say cities need more leeway to keep rents affordable for longtime residents.

“Sacramento took that away,” said Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti.

The mayor joined LA’s rally on Monday, which was timed to correspond with similar events in Oakland and Sacramento. Garcetti is the highest-profile political figure to lend his support to the ballot measure so far.

In the face of rising rents, he asked voters to “give the power back to the cities where you live—to the representatives that you elected—to do something about it.”

Garcetti did not elaborate on what changes to LA’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance he might push for should the repeal effort succeed. Press secretary Alex Comisar tells Curbed that the mayor is primarily focused on expanding local control over the rules.

“Mayor Garcetti believes we need every tool available to end this housing crisis, and protect families from being forced out of their communities by rising rents,” Comisar wrote in an email.

Costa Hawkins went into effect in 1995. It prohibits cities from capping rent increases for properties built after February of the same year. In Los Angeles, the bill also froze in place the terms of the city’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance, meaning that only buildings constructed prior to October 1978 are subject to rent control.

The bill also exempts single-family residences from rent control laws and allows landlords to that re-list rent-controlled units at market rate prices after tenants move out.

The latter provision gives property owners more chance to profit on their investments when area rents are high, but renter advocates say that market rates aren’t affordable to many residents.

Activists, with the support of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, launched the repeal initiative in October. Since then, they say they’ve gathered over 565,000 signatures. That’s well over the 365,880 needed to qualify the measure for the November ballot,

The ballot initiative follows an attempt earlier this year to repeal Costa Hawkins in the state legislature; that bill failed to advance past a committee vote.

If Monday’s news conference was any indication, the ballot measure faces a fierce battle from property owners and their representatives. Opponents of rent control and members of a group called the Fair Housing Coalition of Los Angeles picketed the event, and at one point confronted speakers at the podium, warning that new rent control measures would only worsen the city’s affordable housing shortage.

“Property owners are the legs the city stands on,” said coalition member Candice Graham.

Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Helathcare Foundation—LA’s top political donor in 2016—promised the organization would help to overcome a pitched fight from the state’s “real estate lobby.”

Garcetti was similarly optimistic. “I know we can get this done in November,” he said.

Two-bedrooms are renting for $6,600 in new Hollywood tower next to Capitol Records

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The 18-story tower holds 144 apartments with a bevy of amenities

A wavy, 18-story apartment tower next to the Capitol Records building in Hollywood is complete and ready for wealthy tenants. Developer Related Companies announced today that it has officially opened Argyle House.

The Large Architecture-designed high-rise sits at the corner of Yucca and Argyle, offering views of the Hollywood Hills and proximity to the entertainment and restaurants in the heart of Hollywood.

Tenants will have to be well-off to afford the rent. Studios start at $3,395, and one-bedrooms begin at $4,395. A two-bedroom apartment will cost at least $6,595. For the supremely deep-pocketed, there’s also a penthouse—it rents for an undisclosed price.

Gino Canori, Related California’s chief development officer, told the Los Angeles Times that he imaginespower agents, tech entrepreneurs and studio executives” occupying the building’s 114 units.

Apartment interiors, designed by Marmol Radziner, include double-paned floor-to-ceiling windows, Caesarstone counters, high-end kitchen appliances, oak floors, and a Nest smart thermostat. Each unit also has its own balcony.

A few helpful services are also included in the rent—“weekly hotel-style tidying up by a housekeeper” and, via an app, a weekly grocery delivery and fridge-stocking, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Related is also working on the high-profile, Frank Gehry-designed, mixed-use project in Downtown LA, just across the street from the Walt Disney Concert Hall. That development is expected to begin construction this fall.

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Case Study House No. 18 asking $10M in Pacific Palisades

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The post and beam-style residence has walls of glass and a large brick fireplace.

Called West House, the 1948 residence was designed by Rodney Walker

One of Los Angeles’s few remaining Case Study houses is looking for a new owner.

Designed by Rodney Walker, Case Study House No. 18 (aka West House), was built in 1948 as part of the Case Study program, sponsored by Arts & Architecture. The influential series transformed modern architecture and helped make Los Angeles into an important center of postwar homebuilding and midcentury design style.

This particular residence is perched on a hillside in Pacific Palisades, right next door to several other homes designed for the program, including the Eames House. Last sold in 2015 for $6.5 million, it retains original features, including tile floors, walls of glass, and a large brick fireplace that divides the living room from a dining area.

The 1,701-square-foot house has two bedrooms and two bathrooms. Other features include beamed ceilings, built-in shelving, and sliding doors leading out to a grassy yard with brick patios and views of Will Rogers State Beach.

The home sits on a roughly half-acre lot with room for new development. Actually, if one luxurious residence isn’t enough for you, the property is being listed with plans included for a second structure conceived by design firm Olson Kundig.

Naturally, none of this comes cheap. Asking price is $10 million.

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Glammed-up 1920s Mission-Revival in Glendale asking $1.8M

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On a street-to-street lot with majestic views

From the outside, this new listing in Glendale’s Adams Hill looks much the same as it did when it was built in 1924. Its insides, however, are quite a different story.

The 3,060-square-foot home last traded hands for just $680,000 in December 2016. Since then, it’s been outfitted with new wood floors, new lighting, all-new bathrooms, and a new kitchen replete with stainless appliances, marble countertops, and a marble island.

The house has also undergone a bit of spatial reconfiguration. Previously a five-bedroom, it’s now got four—two on the main level, a top-floor master suite, and a one-bedroom guest suite with kitchenette on the lower level.

One aspect that needed no updating: the property’s stunning vistas, which can be admired from a number of decks and patios on the 9,988-square-foot street to street lot.

Asking price for the revamped residence—which will host an open house from 2 to 5 p.m. this Sunday—is $1.795 million.











Is developer CIM Group planning a hotel in West Adams?

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The 43-room hotel would have a ground-floor restaurant with a bar

Busy developer CIM Group might be behind a proposed 43-room hotel in West Adams.

The plans, filed with the city planning department earlier this year and discussed by the West Adams Neighborhood Council this week, call for a three-story hotel and a ground-floor restaurant with a bar to rise at 5170 West Adams Boulevard, just east of Adams and Redondo.

The addresses listed in the filing correspond to two one-story commercial buildings.

The applicant is listed as 5170 W. Adams (LA), an LLC with ties to CIM Group. The LLC is registered to 4700 Wilshire Boulevard, CIM’s headquarters.

This project might seem small for CIM Group. The developer is better known for taller, glassy projects like its under-construction, 34-story tower in Downtown’s South Park, or the forcibly vacated Hollywood residential tower Sunset/Gordon.

But this hotel wouldn’t be the only CIM Group project in the neighborhood. The developer recently ramped up activity on a project on Western and 24th Street that would turn a vacant medical facility into 60 live/work lofts and a rooftop restaurant.

The complete list of Los Angeles destruction movies

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Filmmakers love to destroy LA

Whether out of convenience or laziness or a deeply-felt animosity for their hometown, filmmakers love fake-destroying Los Angeles.

It just looks so right with flames leaping up every 20 blocks or so. Deadspin’s The Concourse blog has done the very important statistical work on Hollywood’s on-screen destruction of American cities and found Los Angeles has been totaled only slightly less than New York (and that’s counting “Gotham” and not counting outlying areas of Southern California).

Starting with the spooky aliens of War of the Worlds in 1953, Los Angeles has been assaulted by giants, mutant ants, earthquakes, tidal waves, volcanos, ice, global warming, dirty bombs, errant superheroes, zombies, ancient Mayan prophesies, meteors, and, finally, sharknados.

Below is every filmic destruction by type of attack. Enjoy.


Monster Attacks

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4zftlf3OR0?rel=0&]

Them!, 1954
War of the Colossal Beast, 1958
Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, 1958 (Tarzana)
Reptilian, 1999
Mega Shark vs. Crocosaurus, 2010

Climatic Events

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUAtoGaqnIo?rel=0&]

Tidal Wave: No Escape, 1997
Ice, 1998
The Day After Tomorrow, 2004

Geologic Events

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yftHosO0eUo?rel=0&]

Earthquake, 1974
The Great Los Angeles Earthquake, 1990
Volcano, 1997
10.5, 2004
10.5: Apocalypse, 2006
2012, 2009
This is the End, 2013
San Andreas, 2015

Infections

Night of the Comet, 1984
Gangs of the Dead, 2006
Silent Night, Zombie Night, 2009
Zombieland, 2009

Mankind

Panic in Year Zero!, 1962
Miracle Mile, 1988
Waterborne, 2005
Right at Your Door, 2006
Next, 2007

Alien Attacks

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uL90PFju5g?rel=0&]

War of the Worlds, 1953
Independence Day, 1996
Skyline, 2010
Battle: Los Angeles, 2011

Space Rocks

The Apocalypse, 2007
Meteor Apocalypse, 2009

Superhero Battles

Hancock, 2008

Sharknado

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udcb-kQs-GU?rel=0&]

Sharknado, 2013

Bel Air open house featuring runway models, ‘artisan sushi’ is busted up by cops

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Runway models, champagne, and “artisan sushi”

No longer the priciest listing in the United States, the Bel Air spec mansion known as “Billionaire” is nonetheless gaining plenty of attention from real estate professionals.

An open house held Tuesday for brokers and luxury agents drew such an enormous crowd that the police shut down the event less than three hours in, as reported by the Real Deal.

Agent Shawn Elliott of Nest Seekers International, who is listing the property with Rayni and Branden Williams of Hilton and Hyland, estimates that the event drew more than 1,000 guests.

“It was a social media frenzy,” he tells Curbed.

Elliot says he was flattered by the turnout, but disappointed that the unusually extravagant open house had to end early.

“We had runway models serving champagne and artisan sushi,” he says. “To be shut down after two hours when it was supposed to be a five-hour event was frustrating.”

The home first hit the market in early 2017 with a $250 million price tag—the highest in the nation at the time. Measuring in at 38,000 square feet, it was built by developer Bruce Makowsky, who in 2014 sold a similarly luxurious home in Beverly Hills to Minecraft creator Markus Persson.

You can put my game room in that room over there please ;) #airwolf #924belairroad

A post shared by Britanni J (@britannijohnson) on Apr 17, 2018 at 6:33pm PDT

The house was de-listed last summer, and Elliot says the property was in escrow before a deal broke down. That sale, he maintains, would have been close to the current asking price of $188 million. Elliot says multiple offers have come in since the home reappeared on the market, and that he expects more to come in this week.

When it does sell, Elliot says, “there’s no question it will be the highest priced home sold in the United States.”

That record is held by a Hamptons estate that fetched $147 million in 2014.

Equipped with amenities like a helipad, a four-lane bowling alley, and a James Bond-themed movie theater, the home may have added mystique for buyers given its sheer size. A recent city crackdown on mansion development in tony hillside communities like Bel Air put new restrictions on enormous homes like this one.

“You can never build this house again,” says Elliot. “I call it the eighth wonder of the world.”

Crossroads of the World development jumps forward with big change-up

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The development would be made up of eight mixed-use buildings and one commercial building along the eastern border of the existing Crossroads complex.

The project once threatened the landmarked building, but will now incorporate it

The development that would remake the area around Hollywood’s old-timey Crossroads of the World is moving forward, and its plans have been tweaked once more.

A public hearing notice posted online Tuesday shows Harridge Development Group will now preserve and incorporate the newly landmarked The Hollywood Reporter building into its plans to erect hundreds of units of housing, a 308-room hotel, and 190,00 square feet of commercial space.

In a statement, Harridge says it’s “excited that Crossroads Hollywood is at this important milestone.”

The notice is for the project’s first big hearing before the city planning department, set for May 15.

Prior to the landmarking, the plan was to demolish the THR building, which was home to the magazine for more 50 years.

The notice reveals another change: Harridge no longer wants to realign Las Palmas Avenue between Selma Avenue and Sunset Boulevard. (Earlier plans had called for the street to be altered to cut through the block more diagonally.)

Additionally, the development will include more affordable residential units: 105 instead of 84. In total, the project will hold 950 apartments and condos.

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Beautifully preserved 1950s ranch near Griffith Park asks $2.2M

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Just down the block from Griffith Park

It seems only fitting that this new listing in Los Feliz was completed the same year as the Capitol Records building (1956), because the ranch-style residence is pret-ty jazzy.

Located on North Vermont Avenue just below Cockerham Drive, the 2,665-square-foot home isn’t visible from the street thanks to its elevated lot position and surrounding fence, which is a bit of a pity for passersby, who miss out on its handsome river rock-accented facade.

The river rock motif continues inside the house with an impressive double-sided stone fireplace that anchors both the living room and den. Complementing the stonework are hardwood floors, wood paneling, a built-in bar, period light fixtures, and glass sliders that open up to the rear patio and yard.

The three-bedroom home’s vintage kitchen and three baths are remarkably intact.

On a 9,844-square-foot lot with a two-car garage, the well-preserved property is listed with an asking price of $2.199 million.

LA committee endorses fast-tracking Elon Musk’s tunneling plans

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A rendering of a car in one of Musk’s proposed tunnels.

Test tunnels for the “Loop” would be exempt from environmental analysis

A City Council committee is recommending that Los Angeles expedite Elon Musk’s plans to drill tunnels under Sepulveda Boulevard.

The public works and gang reduction committee on Wednesday approved a motion from Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz, who represents the Westside, to exempt Musk’s plans from environmental analysis. The motion now heads to the full City Council for approval.

Musk’s Hawthorne-based the Boring Company wants to drill a 2.7-mile “proof of concept” tunnel beneath Sepulveda Boulevard on the Westside, roughly from Pico Boulevard to Washington Boulevard.

The tunnel would be used as a testing ground for Musk’s “Loop” system, a series of underground tubes for cars, pedestrians, and bicyclists. Musk claims that pods would speed through the tunnels at speeds of up to 150 mph, easing traffic in Los Angeles.

“It is a proof-of-concept, basically [an] excavation tunnel,” said Bob Blumenfield, a City Councilmember who serves on the public works committee. “What we are approving [today] is not a public transit system.”

The motion aims to exempt the project—which City Councilmember David Ryu called “revolutionary”—from California’s Environmental Quality Act.

The keystone environmental law requires large construction projects to undergo exhaustive environmental analysis, and experts say it poses one of the biggest hurdles to the tunneling project.

In many cases, CEQA review can take years. For example, environmental analysis for Metro’s 1.9-mile Regional Connector took 2 years and 8 months.

But there’s confusion over whether the city of Los Angeles can even dole out a CEQA exemption for Musk’s project.

In a letter to Musk, Metro CEO Phil Washington says Metro, not the city, has the final say on transportation projects in Los Angeles County.

“It’s important for you to know that based on Metro’s legal authority through state law, all plans proposed for the design, construction, and implementation of public mass transit systems or projects in Los Angeles County must be submitted to Metro for approval,” Washington wrote.

“I suggest that Metro and the Boring Company commit to cooperating through our respective planning and engineering efforts to ensure that our projects are compatible.”

Metro is planning its own transportation project for the Sepulveda corridor, which will one day link the Valley, the Westside, and LAX.

The mayor of Culver City also sent a letter to Los Angeles on Wednesday asserting that because a portion of the tunnel would run through Culver City’s boundaries, LA’s exemption would be invalid.

Juan Matute, associate director of the UCLA Lewis Center and the Institute of Transportation Studies, agrees with Metro.

He says he suspects that any analysis or exemption would require cooperation from Metro, the cities of Los Angeles and Culver City, and the LA County Flood Control District.

Several letters from the public submitted to the city of Los Angeles are critical of the proposed exemption.

“It would, in essence, sell off one of the most valuable underground rights of way in LA County to a private entity, potentially prohibiting, or vastly increasing the cost of, a major transit project,” Mehmet Berker, a cartographer, wrote.

An initial environmental analysis for Metro’s Sepulveda corridor has not yet been completed—and its alignment has not yet been determined—but a repeated concern is whether Musk’s tunnels might one-day conflict with Metro’s project.

“Environmental review can be a lengthy process. And I would see why if your MO is to ‘move fast and break stuff’ that you wouldn’t want to do that,” says Matute. “But CEQA is designed to avoid using the ‘move fast and break stuff’ modus operandi for projects that affect the environment of California. That is its purpose.”

On Wednesday, the city’s public works committee backed two amendments proposed by Blumenfield. One stipulates that the city of Los Angeles would be indemnified from legal costs accrued from the project. The other would require Metro and the Boring Company to coordinate so tunnels don’t conflict with future Metro projects.

As friends, family mourn cyclist killed by speeding driver in South LA, deaths rack up

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LAPD is offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the driver who struck and killed Frederick Frazier.

In less than a week, three more people have died in hit-and-runs

The Los Angeles Police Department released video Tuesday of a lethal hit-and-run in South Los Angeles that has rattled the region’s bicycling community.

The video shows the driver of a white Porsche Cayenne hitting 22-year-old Frederick Frazier, known as Woon to his friends, from behind on April 10 as he rode his bike on Manchester Boulevard, near Normandie Avenue.

Police say the video also shows the driver, who fled the scene, was “no doubt” speeding.

Experts say the odds of surviving a crash are greatly impacted by speed. It’s one of the reasons why city transportation planners are trying to get drivers in LA to slow down.

It has been a deadly and emotional week for LA’s bicycling community. The day after Frazier was killed, another hit-and-run driver plowed her vehicle into a memorial ride organized by his friends and family, hospitalizing 25-year-old Quatrell Stallings of Los Angeles.

Stallings’ injuries weren’t life-threatening. But in less than a week since that crash, three more people—two on bikes and one in a wheelchair—were killed after they were hit by cars in South Los Angeles.

On Friday night, a driver struck and killed 52-year-old Alfredo Ortiz while he walked in the crosswalk at the intersection of Imperial Highway and Figueroa Street. The driver didn’t stop.

Early Sunday morning, 57-year-old Gregory Moore was struck and killed by another hit-and-run driver while crossing the intersection in a wheelchair at Century Boulevard and Main Street.

Early Monday morning, a driver struck 60-year-old Christopher White as he rode his bicycle at Century and Avalon boulevards. White was then run over by other drivers, “all of which left the scene,” reports the Los Angeles Daily News.

According to the Los Angeles Times, all three crashes were hit-and-runs.

At a press conference Tuesday, LAPD announced a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the hit-and-run driver who struck Frazier. Police also released images and video of the vehicle that killed Frazier and of the suspected driver.

The most powerful moments came during a commanding speech from Beverly Owens, Frazier’s mother, who moved police and reporters to tears.

“My child was 22 years old, and he was in the prime of his life. He worked full time, and he could have driven his car, but he wanted to get his miles in so he chose to ride his bike,” she said. “He didn’t deserve to die because he wanted to ride his bike.”

Owens said her son started riding a bike after he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.

“My baby worked, and he took care of us. Every two weeks when he got paid, that’s how we paid our rent. That’s how we survived. He took care of us,” she said.

Owens also urged the driver of the Porsche to come forward.

“Do the right thing, because from the depths of my soul ’till I die and God calls me back to be with my child, I will be looking for you at every breath I’ve got,” she said. “God sees you, and he knows. He knows.”

“When the smoke clears, when the cameras leave, when everybody leaves. I’m at home with nobody, with my baby gone. All I had of value in this whole gummy, disgusting, low-down earth, you took it away. And I guarded it with my life. I guarded it the best I could. And you killed him.”

Friend Keiven Muñoz said Frazier’s death, and the collision at his memorial that injured Stallings, have galvanized a broad swath of South LA’s bike community to fight for safer streets.

“Right now, all the cyclists are trying to stand up and trying to get attention from city hall,” said Muñoz. “We’re doing all this, but not many people are really catching the intention of what we’re doing. They’ve got to understand that people’s young ones, they’re going to sooner or later get interested in riding bikes. They’re going to be riding in the streets, and we want better and safer streets with bike lanes for them.”

Tuesday’s press conference came a day after Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s state of the city address. Safe streets activists have criticized the mayor for not using that platform to address the city’s efforts to reduce the number of pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers who are killed in traffic crashes on LA’s streets.

In 2015, Garcetti issued an order to eliminate traffic deaths on LA’s streets by 2025 under a plan called Vision Zero.

But the initiative has had a slow start, and a number of Vision Zero projects have faced backlash from residents, leading some city leaders to walk back support for some Vision Zero projects. Meanwhile, the number of pedestrian deaths caused by traffic crashes in Los Angeles has since soared by more than 80 percent.

Later on Tuesday, the mayor’s office announced it will recommend more than tripling the Vision Zero budget to $91 million annually.

“Our streets are not safe or healthy. They will never be until action is taken and people walking and biking are given the same rights as people in vehicles,” says Dana Variano, spokesperson for the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition.

LA’s $350M soccer stadium is now open

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The venue in Exposition Park holds shops, a dazzling array of <a href="https://la.eater.com/2018/4/16/17243604/concessions-food-full-lineup-banc-california-la-football-club-opening">food options</a>, and conference space.

The $350 million stadium seats 22,000 and will host its first game later this month

The much-awaited soccer stadium in Exposition Park opens today near USC.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony marks the first time the stadium gates have opened to the public. Today is also the first time that the stadium’s home team—the Major League Soccer franchise the Los Angeles Football Club—trained in the space. The team will play its first game in the stadium later this month.

In addition to a soccer field, the $350 million venue holds shops, a dazzling array of food options, and conference space.

The 22,000-seat, Gensler-designed stadium has been under construction since 2016. The site was previously occupied by the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena.

The stadium isn’t the only major project in Exposition park right now. The planned George Lucas Museum of Narrative Art broke ground in March. That $1 billion museum will bring a spacey new building and 12 acres of open space to a spot now occupied by parking lots.

Exposition Park’s flurry of construction fits in with a recently revealed master plan for the area that would prepare it to be a centerpiece of the city’s 2028 Olympics festivities.

April 29.

A post shared by Banc of California Stadium (@bancofcaliforniastadium) on Mar 15, 2018 at 9:42am PDT

LAFC new stadium

A post shared by Jaime Torres (@gsp798) on Apr 17, 2018 at 10:29am PDT

@lafc x @seoulsausage Coming soon 2018…✊️

A post shared by Seoul Sausage Company (@seoulsausage) on Apr 12, 2018 at 1:39pm PDT

Coming along nicely.

A post shared by Banc of California Stadium (@bancofcaliforniastadium) on Feb 28, 2018 at 11:16am PST

 
 
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