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L.A. City Council OKs 12-story Westside condo near Beverly Center

The Los Angeles City Council voted today to approve a 12-story condominium building near the Beverly Center that had drawn fire for months from neighborhood activists and a nearby hotel.

The vote will allow MCLV Properties LLC to demolish 84 apartments at the corner of 3rd Street and Wetherly Drive and build a new, single residential building containing 95 condominiums.

Opponents had included the Burton Way Foundation, a nonprofit group focused on the neighborhood near the Beverly Center, and Burton Way Hotels, the owners of the nearby Four Seasons Hotel. Both said weeks ago that the city planned to provide more height than the zoning allowed, because a portion of the site allowed buildings no taller than 45 feet.

The fight involved roughly a dozen City Hall lobbyists, lawyers and consultants.

Before the vote neither side would say whether foes of the project had forged a written agreement with MCLV to avert a legal fight. But Councilman Paul Koretz said he believed he had fashioned a compromise that would prevent the homeowners group and the owners of the Four Seasons Hotel from suing to stop the project.

As part of that compromise, the developer agreed to redesign the project and reduce its height from 14 to 12 stories, he said.

"I think everyone has reluctantly bought off on it," said Koretz, who represents the area.

MCLV attorney R.J. Comer, one of the project's lobbyists, refused to say whether his client had reached any form of private agreement with Harald Hahn, president of the Burton Way Foundation. Hahn referred The Times to his lawyer, who had no comment.

In addition to Comer, MCLV relied on such lobbyists as Steve Afriat and Kristen Montet Lonner, who previously handled land use issues for former City Councilwoman Cindy Miscikowski. The developer also had support from the county Federation of Labor, which spent more than $20,000 on Koretz's behalf in the May election.

Opponents of the project had their own firepower. Burton Way Hotels retained lobbyists John Ek and Rick Taylor, as well as outreach consultant Doane Liu, a onetime deputy mayor in the administration of former Mayor James Hahn.

Neighbors near the site had their own team, including elections attorney Frederic Woocher, who represents at least two of the council's 15 members.

-- David Zahniser at L.A. City Hall

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Comments () | Archives (11)

Once again, it proves our city is run by and for developers. I would like to know who voted for and against this project. Beware. We will not forget your vote. If you don't believe me, ask Jack Weiss, now out of elective office.

what a bunch of NIMBY's and for you who cant figure that out Not In My BackYard! Do YOU own that property - i dont think so...Capitalism is wonderful - like when they built the place YOU LIVE IN.

LAJay, im interested in what plan you and your like have for the city? would you like a no growth scenario for Los Angeles? these new projects bring in revenue and improve the city. what you should be focusing on is getting more rail built in LA, and West Los Angeles by contacting your representatives and demanding more money for subways.

Money always wins. Greed sucks.

MORE...bootlicking politicians who seem to be concerned with which lobbyist, and or corporate masters (who's contributing to their NEVER ENDING campaign funds) than the people give them a job.

As for the pea brains that brag about unrestrained construction garbage and development, intelligent people care about the quality of life in their neighborhoods rather than how many cheap buildings can be built by greedy foreign speculators.

Lets face it, LA is an old city that is now going verticle and not horzontal. More taller building to come, but for now with this bad economy all condo and office building have been put on hold because they would sit empty. Revenue always beats out traffic conjection. Not in my back yard saying, proves that when a community hates a project those same people shop in the store years later. Smart growth is the key, upgrading intersections and improving traffic flow.

People like LAjay are the spiteful and mean-spirited NIMBYs who oppose every single thing, whether it be developments like this or solutions to the traffic problems they complain about like the Pico-Olympic, which would have been in operation on a trial basis by now instead of being litigated with a waste of our taxpayer dollars. If these people sue, more wasted money we need for cops, firefighters, fixing our streets and sidewalks and public safety.

And the claims of the nearby Four Seasons Hotel are pretty self-serving: "We got ours, now go away, we don't want anyone else around." The new project is a nice residential building, not even a competitor hotel or business that would draw a lot of traffic. They as a hotel with restaurants and banquet facilities are hardly ones who deserve to talk.

Hey homeowners! Stop watering your lawn.

We need your water to supply our tall buildings. Call us anti-green.

This developer bought every apartment building on the block in order to develop the property. He was not asking to build according to what the existing zoning allowed; he wanted a much more massive project than he paid the sellers for. The neighborhood has every right to argue that the developer can't get everything that he wants, and the developer should expect to have to compromise. There is no shortage of overpriced, luxury condos, so there isn't really any public benefit to granting everything to the developer and ignoring the rest of the neighborhood.

LA is still attractive enough to promote growth. This is not our curse; it is our blessing. This growth becomes painful, however, if we do not plan for it, but rather bury our heads in the sand and merely decry the political deals which greased the growth. We can make our inevitable growth much more tolerable by demanding accommodations like the one extracted from this developer to subsidize housing for employees of nearby employers (in this case, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center) to reduce traffic for all of us. Even better, we should insist developers contribute to local mass transit (in this case, the Westside Subway) to keep our ever denser neighborhoods moving.

evry one in city council voted in favor of developer mclv , the special interest and lobbys won again .
evry thing that is done in city hall is pay to play
i just wonder how long is goin to take for the federal govement to open a investigation on city hall and putt all of this crooks where they belong in jail
or is it goin to take for los angeles file chapter 11 for the federal goverment to see whats really goin on in l.a.


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L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
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