Kilroy Reality Corporation and AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) have separately filed appeals to the Hollywood Palladium Project, a development set to erect two residential and retail towers behind the concert venue on Sunset Boulevard. Kilroy has stated that despite their attempts to work with CH Palladium, LLC., the project’s developer, the proposed towers do not fit with the context of the neighborhood and their density is too great for the area.
According to the Palladium Residence’s website, the project intends to maintain the Palladium as a historic venue while adding two buildings up to 28 stories and approximately 350 feet in height on parking lots around the Palladium. The buildings, totaling 864,000 square feet, will either contain up to 731 residential units, or 598 residential units and up to 250 hotel rooms, as well as related restaurant and meeting space.
Kilroy is appealing the project’s tentative tract map and challenging the sufficiency of its final environmental impact report. The appeal states that the Palladium Residences project, submitted for approval by CH Palladium, LLC, presents “a massive and inappropriately dense wall of residential units that will dominate the area, (literally) overshadow the Palladium, and cause a whole host of environmental impacts that have been ignored or minimalized by the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) and Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR).”
Doug Haines, from the La Mirada Neighborhood Association, said this type of project has the potential to overwhelm the Hollywood community, and should be brought down to scale with the rest of the city.
“What it comes down to, if you look at all of the projects being proposed recently, is that there is a huge influx of massive development in this area, alongside which there are no proposals to improve existing infrastructure. That means it could take an hour to go three blocks in Hollywood at night. No one will be able to move or get around as the density of the area increases dramatically,” Haines said.
Milagros Lizarraga, chairwoman of the Central Hollywood Neighborhood Council, said that density was one of the key concerns among stakeholders in the community.
“Density is one of the main issues in Hollywood, as buildings are going higher so are the prices, and the traffic is getting very bad. There are many complaints about it,” Lizarraga said.
According to CH Palladium, LLC’s project website, “it is estimated that the project will create approximately 4,000 construction jobs, approximately 500 permanent jobs and nearly $10 million annually in new tax revenues for critically important public services such as fire and police protection.”
Though the Central Hollywood Neighborhood Council voted in support of the Palladium project, it did so with the provision that certain conditions were met. The conditions include that residences do not provide unbundled parking and affordable housing be made available so that the people who work in Hollywood can afford to live in the buildings, which many speculate will be expensive.
In addition to being largely disproportionate to what exists now in Hollywood, the two buildings would not fit with the urban design guidelines the city has spent years establishing, according to Phillip Tate, vice president of development and government affairs at Kilroy.
“We want to work with the Palladium team to develop a scale and size of project that’s in scale of the neighborhood,” said David Simon, executive vice president of Kilroy.
AHF is also concerned with the effects that the proposed Palladium project could have on the city, as the foundation owns and rents property in Hollywood, where it runs healthcare centers, testing sites and thrift stores, and has its headquarters.
“We have heard from many community members who are concerned that the impact of this massive project on them is not being considered, and we feel a responsibility to do what we can to preserve the character of this community,” said Liza Brereton, in-house counsel for AHF. “AHF is not against development, but we are concerned about the negative consequences of recent unbridled development in Hollywood that is inconsistent with both its character and with the Los Angeles General Plan.“
One of the points that the appeals cite is a parking structure, which is currently set to have four floors underground and 10 floors above. The 14 -floor parking structure would be larger than most buildings in its immediate surroundings on Sunset Boulevard, according to Tate.
Carl Ripaldi, environment chair for the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council, said the proposed project’s cumulative effects on the city should be considered.
“Right now, with over 60 projects in construction or in planning in Hollywood, I see a disconnect with the level of development that’s going on and the projection of growth in population,” Ripaldi said. “We also need better infrastructure in the city to support this kind of growth.”
Another concern on many community members’ minds boils down to questioning the precedent that the project sets for future developers who potentially want to build even larger structures in Hollywood.
“It is totally out of scale, and would set the tone for future projects that would potentially bust limitations on height and square footage, resulting in an unattractive building,” Haines said.
Both appeals will be considered when the Palladium Residential Project goes before the city planning commission later this year. The developer is seeking a recommendation for approval on its requests for a general plan amendment and a zone change.
Representatives from the CH Palladium, LLC returned a call just before press time saying they have had discussions and negotiations with stakeholders in the city, including the Hollywood Heritage foundation, to select the design that is best for the neighborhood. They noted that they have the support of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, a few neighborhood councils and 2,900 signed supporter cards from the community.
There is no Hollywood Community Plan that covers commercial properties. A major portion of this project is commercial.
The commercial portion of the 1988 Hollywood Community Plan expired in 2010 and Judge Goodman rejected the 2012 Update in January 2014.
There are different ways to look at this problem:
(1) The developers have a free hand to build anything that they want since there is no community plan for commercial
(2) The project is unlawful because there is no commercial part to the applicable 1988 Hywd Com Plan.
There are complicated behind the scenes events of which the public is unaware. Follow the money is a wise maxim when bizarre things occur like approving these towers.
The public needs to follow the facts, but they cannot not as they lack the info. The money trial may be innocent or the money trial may involve corruption. People may speculate one way or the other but those who know don’t seem to be forthcoming:
(1) Most the attorneys who sue these projects not only get their attorney fees, but they also get significant bonuses over and above their attorney fees. These bonuses are called “Lodestar” — extra fees because the litigation is very complicated and provided a public benefit.
(2) Let’s look at the Hollywood Community Plan litigation, which was the essence of simple. The City Atty knew that the Hywd Com Plan could not survive a legal challenge. If ever there was a CEQA case where no lodestar was merited, the Hywd Com Plan was it.
Where did all this extra loot in the Hywd Com Plan go?
First let’s see how much extra money was involved in The Hollywood Community Plan Litigation.
One atty had $450,883 in atty fees but the judge approved $780,000. That’s $329,117.00 more than atty fees. Where did this money go?
Another atty had $299,262.50 in atty fees, but the judge approved approx $670,000.00 which was $370,000.00 more than atty fees. Where did this money go?
Another atty billed about $182,000 but the judge approved $250,000.00 which was $68,400.00 more than atty fees (and this atty was not even representing one of the petitioners in the litigation)
Another attorney billed about $127,000.00 and was paid $127,000.00 which was ZERO extra dollars. Later the court ordered that this atty PAY $27,600 because he asked that the City prepare a new Notice of Preparation for the new Update date to the Hywd Com Plan. This raises an interesting question, “What happens when one hand does not wash the other?”
Total payments above the attorney fees for a case which the City Atty admitted was a lost cause even before the City Council approved it? Approx $770,300.00!
Where did this $770,000.00 end up? Why did the judges subsequently attack the only atty who did NOT seek hundreds of thousands of dollars which may or may not have gone into slush funds to distribute to “helpful friends”?
One thing is certain. You will never find out because no one will ever get a court order to follow the money trial.
Ofcourse The Hollywood Chamber supports this, it is the biggest proponent of the overdeveloped higher density Hollywood. They set up a PAC to get their pro development candidates elected. The PAC is funded by Millennium (their biggest donor) and all the other wealthy mega developers, some are supporters of this project. They got Garcetti and O’Farrell elected but after that people caught on and anyone who lives in Hollywood and cares about the future of Hollywood would not dare vote for their pro development, anything goes in Hollywood, candidates, so none of their other candidates got elected. The president of the Chamber calls Hollywood his neighborhood. He lives nowhere near Hollywood nor do most of those involved there. He wouldn’t dare after what he has unleashed on Hollywood. He doesn’t hear the gun shots at night from the nightclub bar brawls or see what LAPD goes through to try and control the crime, nor does he have to try to drive kids around to and from schools, after school activities with gridlock in addition to constant street closures that are abusive. The supporters of this project according to Palladium Residents website are mostly developers and Millennium lobbyists and employees now involved in Millennium’s Hollywood Cap Park. All the O’Farrell/Garcetti pro development crew. The Hollywood Chamber Pres. drew the line in the sand long ago between him and the real residents of Hollywood, who he looks upon with disdain, name calls to the press, and has created a war with his nasty snarkey comments about those thousands that reside in the Hills. All those Hollywood ‘consumers’ that keep his member businesses going in Hollywood. Many have taken our business to other parts, rather than support businesses that are Hollywood Chamber Members.
‘2900 signed supporter cards’? From where? Certainly not from anyone at any of the meetings I attended. Unless as with all the other heatedly opposed projects they were signed by CIM, BID, Hollywood Chamber people, all the groups the developers threw money at (a la Millennium).The churches, the schools, the Y, all the non profits in the area, on and on and on. Millennium covered all bases,to garner support. This is what developers do. They contribute to and buy every community org. in the area, then get to say they are supporters,half the time they don’t even know what the project is, nor do they care.
NIMBYs just want to get LA back to the bad old days of the 1980s when the stupidly imposed growth controls began making LA completely unaffordable and created hundreds of square miles of environmentally unfriendly sprawl in the inland empire. Thanks guys!
NIMBY, Ivan? Darn right. This is my back yard and I don’t want it and I won’t be put on the defensive but those who don’t have a clue. Where do you live? I’m guessing it’s some place that won’t be directly affected by the horrendous traffic these things will generate. The sprawl was happening long before the 1980’s, Ivan. These developers love coming in claiming broad resident support. They destroy the surrounding community, then sell it to foreign interests. Thanks, but I’ll pass. Just because the developer says an area needs it doesn’t make it so.
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How can something that is about exactly as tall and dense as the buildings across Sunset and Argyle be “out of scale”