Re “Miracle Mile’s Mirabel moves ahead,” Aug. 27 issue
We have owned a home on Masselin Avenue in the Miracle Mile for 35 years. We moved here because we loved the architecture, the location, the community spirit, the diversity and the many cultural options.
Recently, we spent five hours in the Zoom meeting when [the Mid City West Community Council] voted in favor of the Mirabel project at Cochran and Wilshire despite the strong objections voiced by most of the speakers from the neighborhood.
We were quite frankly stunned that such a project would be approved for the Miracle Mile area. In fact, the 19 board members who voted for the project completely ignored the concerns of the neighborhood and seemed to have made their decision well in advance of the meeting, despite a huge majority of objections voiced prior to the vote.
Because this project will bring more traffic and parking problems, violate the aesthetic harmony and community spirit of the neighborhood because of its size and style, and do nothing to address L.A.’s housing problems, we can only assume that the board members who voted for the project are hoping for some personal gain or have not fully considered the ramifications of such a project.
Some board members mentioned that the developer’s inclusion of 38 moderate and affordable units in addition to the 310 luxury apartments justified approval. In fact, adding such astronomically priced apartments to the city’s abundance of luxury housing will only cause house prices and rents to rise further and defeat anything gained with the 38 reasonable units offered by the developer of the Mirabel. In addition, what will become of the reasonably priced units in the future? Will they remain reasonably priced for future occupants? Will the number of affordable units increase as needed if the city’s housing problems continue to worsen? Doubtful!
The board has done a disservice to the neighborhood and the city, and we can only hope that the city council will recognize that this is not a project the city or the Miracle Mile need.
Ellen and Alan Ehrlich
I find the first sentence of this article pretty misleading: “A 42-story, mixed-use building planned for the Miracle Mile was approved by the Mid City West Community Council earlier this month.”
“Mixed-use building” obscures what this building primarily is, an exorbitantly expensive apartment building, [with] 310 out of 348 units (89%) set to be ultra-luxury. And ultra-luxury in this case means around $20K a month to rent. While Wally Marks refuses to release the cost of rent (likely because he knows how appalling it sounds), in a public Zoom meeting he said that he expects the building to be in the top three most expensive apartments to rent in the city. The most expensive building to rent in L.A. – the Ten Thousand in Century City – has similar amenities and is a similar height to The Mirabel, and rents between $10K-$65K a month. If The Mirabel is in the same league, we can expect the same prices.
At the two planning and land use committee meetings about this development, 83% of the public comments made were in opposition to the project. At the MCWCC meeting, the vast majority of the public comments made were in opposition to this project. In this article, the PLUC chair quote makes it seem as though there was a balance of perspectives shared. This was not the case. This was a situation in which there was and is a very clear and large majority in opposition to this project.
The MCWCC vote of endorsement completely disregarded the community’s voice and went against their stated mission of being “… more responsive to our local needs and requests …”
The article also fails to discuss gentrification. What effect will injecting 310-plus of the most affluent individuals into a low-to-moderate income neighborhood have? Rents will go up, people will be displaced, homelessness will increase, small businesses will shutter and businesses that cater to the elite will move in. This development will completely shift the center of gravity in this rent-stabilized low-to-moderate income neighborhood. And that center will move toward those who already have everything.
The MCWCC board members praised the 38 affordable units, arguing 38 units is better than 0. This fails to take into account the far more than 38 low-income folks who will have to move out of this neighborhood once they no longer can afford to live here, and the far more than 38 low-income folks who will never get a chance to move to a neighborhood that might have once been within their financial reach.
This article seems slanted toward the developers, and does not provide an accurate picture of the widespread community objection to this building. It also fails to take into account the context in Los Angeles in which this building is being proposed, and that context is 60,000-plus people who are unsheltered, an affordable housing shortage, a high vacancy rate among luxury units (more than 100,000 luxury units in L.A. currently sit vacant), gentrification all over the city and deepening wealth inequality. Against this backdrop, the MCWCC vote to approve this building was fueling class warfare.
director of outreach
Sixth Street Miracle Mile Neighborhood Association
Contrary to what you may have been told, the residents are NOT in agreement with putting this behemoth in our neighborhood. As you can imagine, no one who has lived through the Metro construction wants to do this for another three years. There is enough congestion, not enough parking and amenities for the people who already live here. No one cares about the residents, least of all [Councilman] David Ryu, whose job it is to speak for us. He has lost my vote and every one of my neighbors’. This neighborhood has gone to pieces in the last five years and instead of dealing with congestion and lack of parking and the ever growing homeless situation, they put up a huge building that no one can afford to live in.
We are not happy, we are livid.
This project is outrageous. I live across the street, in a rent-controlled unit, from what’s now a Staples, but will soon be a massive pit. In its current form, my neighborhood provides plenty of rent-controlled housing for working people of modest means – exactly the kinds of people who could benefit from the opening of the Purple Line. Many of us moved here because we can walk to surrounding grocery stores and utilize existing bus lines to get to work. This building will, in effect, drive us out of the neighborhood. During a public presentation, I asked Marks what he thought the construction of this absurd obelisk for the wealthy would do to my life. “It’ll be a hardship,” he said, before conservatively estimating construction would take three years. [Councilman David] Ryu is clearly riding the fence until the runoff concludes. If he had any real conviction, he would oppose this project on its face.
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