A monthly newsletter published by United Neighborhoods for Los Angeles.
UN4LA's mission is to bring communities together to plan for a sustainable future. This city's growth must be shaped by community engagement, not developer dollars.
SKYSCRAPERS AND VACANCY RATES KEEP RISING DOWNTOWN
According to real estate research group CoStar, Downtown has a 12% vacancy rate. But has that stopped City Hall from approving a slew of new high-rises? Of course not. The Department of City Planning never allows reality to get in the way of rampant real estate specualtion. The 35-story Perla has just broken ground at Fourth and Broadway. The City Planning Commission just approved a 33-story high-rise at Seventh and Maple. Earlier this year Mack Urban completed 362 luxury units at Pico and Olive, and now they're working on the second phase, a 32-story mixed-use tower. And to top it all off, a 70-story tower is planned for the corner of Eleventh and Olive.
While some of these projects include a percentage of affordable units, the vast majority of this new housing will be completely unaffordable to Angelenos earning the area median income. And there are many more luxury units on the way. Here's a round up from the Downtown News.
Updates on 116 Downtown Projects
CITY WANTS TO KEEP RESIDENTS FROM APPEALING BAD PROJECTS
Anybody who's been following development in Los Angeles for any length of time knows that the Department of City Planning will approve almost any project, no matter how bad it is. This has led to an increasing number of project appeals, and apparently some folks at City Hall are looking for a way to slow that trend down. In order to discourage appeals, the City Administrative Officer has suggested raising the filing fee to $13,000. Many residents are outraged, and some are wondering how the City arrived at this outlandish figure. You can read more in this article from the Los Feliz Ledger.
Locals React to City’s Proposed $13K Appeals Fee Hike
SNAPCHAT INVADES VENICE, RESIDENTS FIGHT BACK
Over the past few years SnapChat has moved into Venice aggressively, leasing over 20 properties and remaking the community's landscape into a playground for affluent techies. Many Venice residents have had enough. They say the company is displacing longtime residents and small businesses, illegally using residential buildings as office space, making traffic worse than ever, and using private security to intimidate locals.
The community has decided it's time to take a stand. Join the protest on Friday, October 6, at 4:00 pm at Abbot Kinney Blvd. and Brooks Ave.. Follow the link below to get more details on SnapChat's invasion of Venice.
Alliance for Venice
DEVELOPER PLANS LARGE PROJECT ON RIVERFRONT
Atwater residents are up in arms over developer Pan Am Equities plans for a large mixed-use complex bordering the LA River. The project includes 419 residential units, 64,000 sq. ft. of commercial space and a 7-story parking garage. In order to build the project, Pan Am is asking the City to grant a general plan amendment and a zone change. Knowing how much the City hates to disappoint developers, it's likely both requests will be granted. Read all about it in the Atwater Village News.
Gargantuan High-End Project on Riverfront
GOOD NEWS ON THE AFFORDABLE HOUSING FRONT
LA needs affordable housing more than anything else, and there is some good news on this front. Work has already started on AMCAL's Meridian Apartments across the street from the Vermont/Beverly Red Line Station. The building is comprised of 100 units for folks making from 30% to 50% of the area median income.
Also currently under construction are the PATH Metro Villas in Rampart Village. Using funds from Measures H and HHH, the project features 187 permanent supportive housing units, and 88 interim housing beds. Residents will have access to a range of services on-site.
Urbanize LA has posted more info on both of these projects. Links are below.
Meridian Apartments at Vermont and Beverly
Permanent Supportive Housing in Rampart Village
WE'RE LOSING OUR URBAN FOREST
Trees are vital to the health of our environment, but we're losing our urban forest. Earlier this year USC released a study showing that LA's tree cover dropped roughly 14% between 2000 and 2009. McMansions are a big part of the problem, and the study's authors say the City is not planting new trees fast enough to combat the loss. As the climate changes, our urban forest plays a crucial role in fighting rising temperatures and helping to retain stormwater. We need to protect our trees!
McMansions Are Killing L.A.'s Urban Forest