Neighborhood-Changing Mega Development Issues: Hard to Tell Beverly Hills and LA Apart

MEMO TO LAT COLUMNIST MICHAEL HILTZIK: In your Sunday, October 22, 2016, column about Measure HH in Beverly Hills, are you sure you only talking about Beverly Hills. There are numerous identical issues in your article with Rick Caruso's planned 20+ story luxury project at 333 South LaCienega, at the site of the former Loehman’s. store. 

Mr. Caruso has pledged $500,000 to the condo association at the adjacent Weatherly Tower if he gets approval for his project. When suggested that he lop off some floors to make the building less obtrusive, he stated, "It doesn't pencil out."  As my mother used to say, "Nebbuch," Yiddish for awww, too bad.  

Mr. Caruso wants the Loehman’s parcel to be rezoned, and he is trying mightily to push approval through before the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative comes to the ballot on March 7, 2017.  Why do you think he is in such a hurry?  

Mr. Caruso's drawings illustrate a green space at the promontory of the property, much like the proposed Beverly Hills project, and like the proposed Beverly Hills green space, the "park" will be available only selectively to tenants of his very high end apartments and to customers of the proposed street level restaurant and stores - not to the public.  Patrolling security will filter others from using the space, and it will be closed at night.  

Oh, but Mr. Caruso has promised that he will install a plaque at sidewalk level thanking the local homeowner's association for their cooperation.  That's a great sop, isn't it?  Install a plaque that can be urinated upon by passersby in exchange for local agreement to build 20 stories in a low rise and mid-rise corridor, and nearby 1-2 story residential neighborhoods. 

Armistead Maupin wrote of "Tales Of The City".  You need to write about "Tales Of Our Broken City".  I ask you Mr. Hiltzik, how much more money does a billionaire need?  


(Toby Horn serves on the board of the Beverly Wilshire Homes Association, which has hired an attorney to challenge any City Council parcel-specific legislative actions that will permit the Caruso project.)