Pricing, images revealed for 507 new apartments at Hollywood and Vine

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Studios start at $2,048 in El Centro, the complex on Hollywood Boulevard

Units in a new apartment complex that has sprung up in the center of Hollywood are starting to hit the rental market, with prices starting from $2,048 for 510-square-foot studios.

The first move-ins are underway, marking the latest milepost in the reworking of Hollywood into a denser jobs center with high-end apartments.

Developers DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners and Clarett West Development released today the first batch of renderings for the complex, newly renamed El Centro. (The duo also developed Eastown, which opened in 2014, across the street.)

El Centro, formerly known as Southblock, is made up four buildings spread between Argyle and El Centro avenues, one block east of Vine Street, a site that was once home to surface parking lots.

The buildings hold a combined 507 apartments, plus amenities for residents that include a saltwater swimming pool, fire pits, and a gym, yoga studio, and sauna. ·

Prices listed for one-bedrooms and two-bedrooms range from $2,658 to $5,300.

The project isn’t quite finished: A neon sign is set to be installed on the roof in the next couple of weeks, and tenants have yet to be announced for the ground-floor commercial spaces.

Zsa Zsa Gabor’s gloriously over-the-top Bel Air mansion sells for $20.8M

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The mansion sold for $20.8 million.

The late actress lived in the home for four decades

The glitzy Bel Air estate where Hollywood icon Zsa Zsa Gabor lived for four decades sold last week for roughly twice the price it went for in 2017, shortly after the actress’s death.

Gabor and her ninth and final husband, Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt, accepted an offer on the house in 2012, but because of an unusual arrangement that allowed the couple to continue living in the home for the rest of Gabor’s life, the sale wasn’t fully completed for another five years.

The home’s new owner, developer Albert Taban (whose firm, Jade Enterprises, is now hard at work in Downtown LA’s South Park neighborhood), reportedly considered redeveloping the property, but eventually put it back on the market in July.

Now, property records show the nearly 9,000-square-foot mansion has found a buyer for a whopping $20.8 million.

Built in 1955, the Regency-style estate is so gloriously over-the-top that HBO’s location scouts selected the property to stand in for Liberace’s house in Behind the Candelabra. Featuring six bedrooms and seven bathrooms, it also boasts parquet floors, mirrored walls, and ornate chandeliers and sconces.

It may not be around for long, though. According to listing material, the sale of the property included plans for a 24,020-square-foot megamansion with a parking garage the size of two single-family homes.

Jade Mills of Coldwell Banker represented the seller in the sale, while Dan Beder of Sotheby’s International Realty represented the buyer.

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See what $850K buys around LA

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A Victorian in Pasadena or a roomy Sawtelle condo?

Welcome to Curbed Comparisons, where we explore what you can rent or buy for a certain dollar amount in various LA ’hoods. We’ve found five homes and condos within $10,000 of today’s price: $850,000.

Front yard
Living room
Back patioCourtesy Nathaniel Cole, Coldwell Banker

Let’s start our search this week in the harbor area, where this San Pedro ranch house offers classic midcentury style with views of the port. Built in 1958, the home was designed by architectural firm Joncich and Lusby. It has two bedrooms and one and a half bathrooms, with 1,632 square feet of living space. The original wood floors and bathroom tile are intact. Sitting on a 5,735-square-foot lot, the house is asking $849,000.

Front of house
Living room
BackyardPhotos by Michael McNamara, courtesy Deasy/Penner

This comfortable-looking 1950 residence sits on a hilly 5,456-square-foot lot in Highland Park. Inside are two bedrooms and two bathrooms, with 945 square feet of living space. Featuring hardwood floors throughout, the home has an open floor plan, with a dining area separating the living room and the roomy kitchen. In front of the house is a two-car garage; behind is a back patio and room for a garden. Asking price is $859,000.

Living room
Child’s bedroom
BalconyVia Cody Coffman, Redfin

This condo is part of a complex built six years ago and sits just a block from the shops and restaurants of Sawtelle Boulevard. The 1,164-square-foot unit has three bedrooms and two bathrooms, with an open living and dining area, along with a sleekly appointed kitchen with stainless steel appliances. Sliding doors lead out to private balconies. Asking price is $848,000, with HOA dues of $470 per month.

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Backyard with gazeboVia Peter Loeffler, Lisa Loeffler, Re/Max

This Victorian residence in Pasadena was built in 1893 and is thus one of the older structures still standing in the city. The 1,927-square-foot house has two bedrooms and two bathrooms, along with a finished basement and an upstairs space that can be used as a third bedroom. Sitting on a 6,785-square-foot lot north of the city’s Playhouse District, the home has a large backyard with plenty of patio space, gardens, a fountain, and a gazebo. Asking price is $849,000.

Front of house
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Swimming poolVia David Bezeau, HomeBay Broker

Here’s a midcentury ranch house in North Hollywood designed by prolific architecture firm Palmer and Krisel. It’s got vaulted ceilings, skylights, clerestory windows, and a large stone fireplace in the living room. Featuring 2,085 square feet of living space, the house also contains five bedrooms and three bathrooms. It sits on a 7,495-square-foot lot, with an attached garage and a swimming pool in the back. Glass sliding doors provide easy indoor-outdoor access. Asking price is $850,000.

Spunky midcentury modern on stilts asks $3.2M in the Hollywood Hills

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The house has walls of glass and a playful, wavy roofline.

Designed by architect Richard Banta, it comes with expansion plans

Perched on the side of a hill above the Sunset Strip, this suave midcentury modern residence is eye-catching enough to have been included in multiple coffee table books on Los Angeles architecture.

It was built in 1959 by residential architect Richard Banta, who lived in the home for two years before putting it up for sale (listing material at the time described it as a “hillside spectacular”).

Property records show the house has two bedrooms and two bathrooms, with 1,181 square feet of living space.

But it’s being sold with plans and permits for a massive addition that would add two bedrooms, four bathrooms, and an additional 3,300 square feet of space to the home. According to the listing, the plans don’t call for any changes to the original dwelling space.

The home’s existing interior features walls of glass, wood floors, and a distinctive folding fan-like ceiling (not unlike the zig-zag shade structures at Dodger Stadium). Propped up on a row of V-shaped stilts, the home offers tremendous views across the surrounding hills and down into the basin.

Last sold in 2010 (for just $565,000), the house is asking $3.2 million.

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Master bedroom
Side yard

Metro mulling routes for rapid bus between North Hollywood and Pasadena

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The bus would run from Pasadena to the North Hollywood Metro station (above).

The transit line would connect the San Gabriel and San Fernando valleys

Metro continues to plan for a new rapid bus line that would connect Pasadena to the San Fernando Valley, providing a new option for commuters along that often overlooked corridor.

The agency is holding four community meetings over the next two weeks to discuss possible routes for the project, which will add 16 to 18 miles of dedicated bus lanes between the North Hollywood Metro station and an eastern terminus somewhere in Pasadena.

According to Metro, commuters traveling along the 134 freeway and the surrounding surface streets which connect the San Gabriel and San Fernando valleys undertake more than 700,000 trips daily, suggesting there’s plenty of demand for convenient transit in that area.

In 2016, Metro launched an express bus between Pasadena and North Hollywood, though ridership in its early months was lower than the agency had anticipated.

Similar to the Orange and Silver lines, the new rapid bus route would travel in bus-only lanes, making it less subject to traffic-related delays during peak commuter hours. Metro projects it will cost $267 million to build, with most of the money coming from the Measure M sales tax initiative.

What’s not clear yet is whether the bus will primarily travel along surface streets or freeways. A technical study released last year found that trips along the freeway option would be up to 28 minutes faster, but would also serve fewer riders.

The freeway option studied by Metro includes nine stations, and bypasses nearly all of Eagle Rock. A route focused on Colorado Boulevard and other streets would have 23 total stops, in North Hollywood, Burbank, Glendale, Eagle Rock, and Pasadena. Metro projects this option would serve about 6,357 riders daily, as opposed to 4,655 for the freeway-focused route.

However the agency chooses to align the new bus route, it’s expected to open between 2022 and 2024. The project is one of 28 that Metro aims to finish in time for the 2028 Olympics.

Lovely 1920s home by Playboy Mansion architect asks $1.7M in Eagle Rock

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The light-filled living room includes an original tile fireplace.

The Spanish-style residence is newly remodeled

Flanked on all sides by trees and lush vegetation, this handsome home in Eagle Rock was built in 1924 for geologist Hoyt Gale.

The USGS researcher chose the spot for its stable foundation and commissioned Playboy Mansion architect Arthur Rolland Kelly to design the Spanish-style home, says a representative from Sotheby’s, which has the listing.

Sitting on a roomy lot with more than a half-acre of land, the house is fronted by a windy staircase that ascends through a neatly landscaped garden. At the top is a long covered patio and a wall of French doors leading into the airy living room.

Featuring three bedrooms and four bathrooms, the property includes 1,950 square feet of living space, with a pair of detached studio units.

The interiors of the main house have recently been remodeled, though the wood floors and original tile fireplace have been left intact. New lighting fixtures have been added throughout, along with freshly installed cabinets, counters, and appliances in the kitchen.

The verdant yard includes pathways and gardens, as well as room for outdoor dining. There’s also a treehouse and a chicken coop all ready to go.

Asking price is $1.749 million.

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Master bedroom
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Striking midcentury modern on an architecturally blessed block in Altadena asking $1.089M

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Restored and updated to perfection

Located in the foothills just south of Mount Lowe, Altadena’s Sunny Oaks Circle is a miniature paradise of pedigreed post-and-beams. In the early 1950s, the tree-lined block became something of a testing ground for the style of California Modernism emerging from USC’s School of Architecture, spearheaded by USC instructor/Case Study architect Calvin Straub.

Along with Straub’s own former residence, Sunny Oaks Circle contains homes by Harold Bissner, Jr., Richard Leitch, Douglas Byles, and the firm of Fetridge, Wilde and Lundy, who produced this dashing specimen that’s now on the market.

Per its listing, the 1,755-square-foot post and beam has been “updated and restored over the last few years with great attention to detail and sensitivity to the home’s architectural integrity.”

Standout features include polished concrete floors, clerestory windows, beamed ceilings, walls of glass, a triangulated brick fireplace, and Bouquet Canyon stone walls.

The three-bedroom home’s kitchen and baths have been revamped, as well as its HVAC and plumbing systems.

On a bucolic lot measuring 8,205 square feet, it’s asking $1.089 million. Open house is scheduled from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Gov. Jerry Brown signs bill removing helmet requirement for e-scooters

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Electric scooter riders over 18 won’t be required to wear helmets.

The state is loosening safety regulations for the vehicles

Californians riding electric scooters will no longer be required to wear helmets, thanks to a bill signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown Wednesday. It will take effect January 1.

Under the new state law, only riders under the age of 18 will be required to don a helmet (though most dockless scooter companies prohibit riders under the age of 18).

The new legislation updates statewide rules for the vehicles, but leaves room for communities to impose stricter safety standards. It’s unclear whether officials in Los Angeles will move to require helmets in the city.

Cities from San Francisco to Santa Monica have rushed to regulate electric scooter travel since companies like Bird and Lime began flooding streets with rentable vehicles that can be picked up and dropped off at nearly any location.

Under a set of regulations approved by the Los Angeles City Council earlier this month, before the governor signed AB 2989, scooter rental companies will be required to notify riders that they must wear a helmet. Marcel Porras, chief sustainability officer for the Department of Transportation, tells Curbed it’s “too early to tell” what kind of helmet requirements the city may impose now that the state law has changed.

The new state law also increases the number of roads scooter users can legally travel on.

A provision of the state’s vehicle code that blocks scooters on streets with speed limits above 25 miles per hour has been updated to allow scooters on thoroughfares with speed limits up to 35 miles per hour.

Riders can use roads with even higher speed limits, as long as there’s a separate bike lane to travel in.

An earlier version of the state bill would have also done away with a requirement that scooter riders have valid drivers licenses, as well as allowing riders to use the vehicles on sidewalks.

As the scooters have proliferated, so too have complaints from residents about crowded sidewalks and unsafe conditions for pedestrians.

In July, Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz went so far as to propose banning the vehicles from city streets while the council ironed out its set of regulations.

At a meeting of the City Council’s public safety committee last month, Koretz questioned whether the city would even be able to enforce those rules once passed.

“If we shut down all of the riders violating the laws, 99 percent of the ridership is gone and the scooter companies are out of business,” he said. “The question is: Is there any appropriate way to enforce these? And I don’t see what that would be.”

Members of LAPD and the City Attorney’s office told the committee that they were unaware of any citations given to riders who weren’t wearing helmets, but that officers had been issuing warnings to these riders and many had simply chosen to abandon the vehicles.

Secluded 1920s retreat in Rustic Canyon seeks $2M

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Photos by David Archer

Fronted by a bridge over Rustic Canyon Creek

This 1924 dwelling, surrounded by trees and fronted by a bridge over Rustic Canyon Creek, doesn’t just look and feel like an artist’s retreat. It actually was one.

In the 1940s, author Christopher Isherwood reportedly took up residence at the two-story home. Isherwood lived in a number of locations in Rustic Canyon and nearby Santa Monica before his death in 1986, and his writing about the canyon featured in the novel A Single Man, which was adapted into a movie.

As the listing notes, the residence is a peaceful hideaway with “easy access to coveted outdoor areas” and “provid[es] the feeling of privacy and remoteness.”

The first floor holds a family room and kitchen ringed in French doors that open out onto a wall of trees, including an old sycamore. The two bedrooms can be found upstairs, where there is also a balcony and a lone bathroom. Other features include hardwood floors, wood beams, and multiple French doors.

Last sold in 2009 for $875,000, the 5,468-square-foot property is now listed for $1.99 million.

Construction on Metro’s Crenshaw/LAX Line months behind schedule

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Tracks for the Crenshaw Line on Crenshaw Boulevard.

Will its fall 2019 opening be delayed?

Construction is lagging behind schedule on Los Angeles’s Crenshaw/LAX Line, and the new rail route may not open on time, according to Metro’s chief program management officer, Richard Clarke.

At a meeting of the Metro board’s construction committee Thursday, Clarke said that Walsh/Shea Corridor Constructors, the firm tasked with building the 8.5-mile light rail line, is five months behind schedule on the project.

Metro aims to open the line to riders in fall of 2019.

Boardmember Jacquelyn Dupont-Walker pressed for details on the delays, including when the train is now expected to be up and running.

“I’m almost afraid to ask,” she said.

Clarke stressed that Metro is working with the contractor to figure out ways to speed up the project, but declined to provide a “finite date” for when riders can expect to be able to make use of the new transit route.

Extending from the intersection of Exposition and Crenshaw boulevards in the north (where riders can transfer to the Expo Line) to Aviation and Century boulevards in the south, the line will pass through the communities of Leimert Park, Baldwin Hills, Hyde Park, and Inglewood.

After the Aviation/Century stop, it will link up with the existing Green Line rail route, though which segment of the Green Line it will be connected to hasn’t yet been determined.

Clarke said Thursday that work on the Crenshaw/LAX Line is 86 percent complete, but that electrical work on the northern part of the line is proving to be much more time consuming than anticipated.

Metro is pushing Walsh/Shea to “increase the resources” on that part of the project, Clarke said.

Planning director says LA could hit the mayor’s housing goal two years early

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Mayor Eric Garcetti set the 100,000 unit goal in 2014.

But “there’s still a lot more we need to do”

Los Angeles may reach a housing goal set by Mayor Eric Garcetti ahead of schedule, according to the city’s planning director, Vince Bertoni.

In 2014, Garcetti announced plans to spur development of 100,000 new units of housing in the city by 2021. Bertoni told the City Council’s planning and land use management committee Tuesday that the Department of City Planning has approved projects containing 106,000 units since then.

Not all of those developments have been completed yet, and some could still fall through. But Bertoni said that, with three years left to hit the mayor’s target, the Department of Building and Safety has already issued building permits for projects totaling 83,000 units.

Given that it often takes up to a year for developers to receive these permits once their plans have been approved, Bertoni predicted that LA could hit its 100,000-unit target as soon as next year.

“We’re probably ahead of track to achieve that number,” he said Tuesday.

Garcetti framed the goal as a crucial element of the city’s efforts to address a statewide housing affordability crisis. But it’s clear there’s plenty of work left on that front.

Since 2014, rents and real estate prices have continued to climb, and the city’s homeless population has ballooned. A recent report from the California Housing Partnership and the Southern California Association of Nonprofit Housing found that LA needs more than 550,000 new units of affordable housing to satisfy renter demand.

“There’s still a lot more we need to do,” Bertoni acknowledged Tuesday.

In spite of LA’s mini building boom since 2014, the city is still behind in meeting goals for affordable housing production.

According to a report released earlier this year by the California Department of Housing and Community Development, the city has produced less than a quarter of the low- and very low-income units needed to satisfy its 2021 targets.

New incentives for developers who include affordable units in projects near transit may help. Established as a result of Measure JJJ, which LA voters approved in 2016, the incentives went into effect last year.

Since then, developers have proposed more than 1,100 units of affordable housing in projects that take advantage of the incentives, according to a planning department report. Nearly 1,700 additional affordable units have been proposed since passage of JJJ, which requires developers of many major projects to set aside a small percentage of housing for lower-income earners.

Bertoni said continuing to encourage construction of housing for people of all income levels would help address the city’s homelessness crisis.

“At the end of the day, people are homeless because they can’t afford to pay the rent or the mortgage to have a place to live on their own,” he said.

First look at women-focused coworking space The Wing, coming to West Hollywood

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The 11,000-square-foot space is slated to open early next year

The Wing, a “women’s-focused coworking and networking space” that began in New York, is expanding to Los Angeles.

The club is planning to touch down in West Hollywood, and images released today show its first LA outpost will be sunny, with a largely pastel palette and walls of windows.

Representatives would not disclose the location, but a city planning staffer says The Wing has filed plans, currently awaiting approval, take up the third floor of the commercial building at 8550 Santa Monica Boulevard.

The company is part of a wave of shared workspaces striving to resemble the posh social clubs of yore—spaces where people are coming not just to work and network, but also to feel like part of a community.

Membership at The Wing is open to those who identify as women or nonbinary, and fees start at $2,350 a year. That’s comparable to the fees at WeWork or membership to social club Soho House, both of which already have locations in West Hollywood.

The 11,000-square-foot space will supply the requisite conference space, phone booths, showers, and in-house cafe needed to get down to business. The design architect for the project is Alda Ly, with interior design by Chiara de Rege.

Allison Turner, vice president of development, says the space was chosen for its outdoor terrace and open floor plan. It was also something of a blank slate, offering The Wing the chance “to make the space our own.”

As images show, the striped awnings and palm trees give the terrace a Hollywood Regency look.

The Wing has multiple locations in New York City as well as outposts in Washington, D.C. and San Francisco.

Opening a West Hollywood outpost was “a direct response to the requests we received from members who were eager to have The Wing in their city,” says Turner.

The West Hollywood club is prepping for a January opening.

Inglewood home values are soaring—blame the NFL stadium?

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The massive venue isn’t open yet, but sellers are already collecting LA’s highest profits

“Inglewood is to be the new home for the Los Angeles Rams and Chargers,” proclaims a listing for a three-bedroom home at the northern edge of the city, just a few miles from the colossal steel husk that will eventually become the world’s most expensive sports arena.

At the end of July, Curbed surveyed more than 80 online real estate listings in the city of Inglewood, where residents are preparing for the arrival of two major sports franchises two decades after the Lakers and Kings departed for the Staples Center in 1999. More than half of the listings mentioned the NFL stadium or the sprawling complex of apartments, restaurants, and retail businesses set to rise right next door.

One listing included just two photos: an exterior shot of a three-bedroom home and a flashy rendering of the future stadium, as if buying a house in Inglewood were equivalent to snagging a seat on the 45-yard line.

Inglewood’s massive new NFL stadium will open to the public in just two short years. Eventually it will be joined by a huge mixed-use development with more than 3,000 units of housing. The projects will thoroughly transform the 300 acres of land where the old Hollywood Park racetrack once stood.

But what about the city around it? Home values in Inglewood are rising quickly. Between January 2016—when the NFL agreed to let the Rams and Chargers relocate to Inglewood—and June of this year, the median price of homes in the city jumped 37.3 percent to $542,100, according to data provided to Curbed by Zillow.

That’s still less than the LA County median of $609,400, but Inglewood is catching up. Home values there rose at roughly double the rate of the county, where prices climbed 18.7 percent over the same time period.

Inglewood home prices went up in the two years leading up to 2016 as well, but at a rate closer to that of the rest of the county: 17 percent, compared to a little under 15 percent countywide.

In less than seven years, the median price of a home in Inglewood has more than doubled.

It’s not just the stadium that’s enticing buyers, says Stuart Gabriel, director of the UCLA Ziman Center for Real Estate.

The arrival of the Crenshaw/LAX rail line, which is set to open next year, along with a proposed arena for the Los Angeles Clippers and new development in and around nearby LAX, could further inflate home values in the area.

The city’s location—close to the beach cities of the South Bay and emerging tech hubs on the Westside—may also be attracting new buyers.

“It’s really the last affordable, extremely well-located community,” says Gabriel.

At an open house in August, realtor Lori Penix showed a family from San Diego around a recently remodeled condo close to the city’s border with LA’s upscale Westchester neighborhood. Stepping across the fresh laminate floors of the living room, the prospective buyers asked whether it would be easy to get from Inglewood to Santa Monica once the Crenshaw/LAX Line opens.

“The station’s only about a mile away,” said Penix, encouragingly.

Scheduled to start service at the end of 2019, the light rail will link the city to the county’s growing rail network, connecting at its northern end to the Expo Line, which began ferrying riders between Downtown LA and Santa Monica in 2016.

Inglewood’s location has always made it a “hot market,” says realtor Janet Singleton, who has 27 years of experience selling homes in the area. But, she says, the stadium and future train “brought more visibility” to buyers who might once have focused their searches on more upscale Westside communities.

Penix, who lives in Inglewood, says buyers from outside the community who have preconceived notions about the city are often surprised by what they find.

“A lot of people come with a certain perception of what the neighborhood is,” she says, “and then they get here and they say, ‘Oh, okay, this is just like Mar Vista.’”

Property owners are reaping the benefits of new interest in the city. Homeowners in Inglewood collected higher profits when selling their residences in 2017 than those in any other city in Los Angeles County, according to sales data released by Zillow.

Those who sold last year did so for a price that was, on average, nearly 80 percent higher than what they paid. The median dollar amount that sellers pocketed in these sales was $186,500 above the last purchase price.

Part of that is because Inglewood sellers held on to their homes for longer than those selling in other areas, allowing more time for the value of those residences to appreciate. The typical Inglewood seller in 2017 had owned their home for 11.6 years, compared to a median of 9.7 years across all cities in the county.

The amount of time sellers have owned their homes can’t entirely explain the city’s rapid price growth. Homeowners in just three other LA County cities saw profits of more than 50 percent when selling in 2017.

But most Inglewood residents don’t stand to benefit from a hot real estate market—the majority of them are renters. Fewer than 35 percent of homes in the city are owner-occupied.

Many renters worry they won’t have a place in the “new Inglewood” that emerges once construction wraps up on major projects like the NFL stadium and the Crenshaw Line, says Woodrow Curry, a member of the tenant coalition Uplift Inglewood, a group that has advocated for citywide rent control and more affordable housing.

“We know how this plays out,” Curry says. “We’ve worked closely with people who have experienced this in their own communities, such as Boyle Heights, Silver Lake, Echo Park… this happens all over.”

Rents in Inglewood haven’t increased as quickly as home values, but that’s little consolation to tenants who’ve faced a 12.2 percent jump in rental prices since 2016, according to CoStar. Countywide, rents have risen 7.4 percent over the same time period.

“There’s undoubtedly going to be a displacement effect for existing residents,” Gabriel says.

Uplift Inglewood launched a ballot initiative earlier this year to bring rent control protections to the city, but the group wasn’t able to gather enough signatures to put the issue before voters in November.

With limits on rent increases unlikely, Curry says he wants city leaders to do more to bring new affordable and senior housing to Inglewood.

Inglewood hasn’t produced a single unit of affordable housing since the end of 2013, when all LA County cities were required to set housing goals for the next seven years, according to a report released earlier this year by the California Department of Housing and Community Development.

“After not having investment in our community for so long, we welcome new development,” says Curry. “We just want that investment to be people and community centered.”

Inglewood has gone through dramatic changes before. Incorporated in 1908, it had a population of 1,536 in 1910. By 1930, after oil was discovered beneath its soil, the number of residents had increased more than tenfold, and that growth continued during and after World War II, fostered in part by the South Bay’s booming aviation industry.

Starting in the 1960s, the city underwent a different kind of change. As LA school districts made plans to desegregate and black and brown residents moved into neighborhoods once governed by racially exclusive covenants, white residents across LA began abandoning some of the region’s most central urban areas.

Inglewood was no exception.

In 1960, the city was more than 99 percent white and home to just 29 black residents, according to U.S. census data. By 1980, 57 percent of Inglewood residents were black and less than 30 percent were white. Between 1970 and 1980, the city lost almost 50,000 white residents while its overall population continued to rise.

Inglewood’s demographics continue to shift. Today, roughly 43 percent of residents are black, while more than 50 percent are Hispanic or Latino, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Gabriel says it’s hard to predict how new development will change the community that now makes up Inglewood because the largest projects are concentrated in a relatively small portion of the city.

“One contending vision is that the combination of Silicon Beach; rail infrastructure; investment coming from the airport, the stadium; and all the rest will ultimately cause a very real, substantive, integrated economic revitalization of Inglewood,” Gabriel says.

“But another possibility is that the stadium will be a self-contained island of economic activity—that people will drive in and out of the stadium from all parts of the LA basin, but that all this economic activity will not extend to the local Main Street.”

Whatever the long-term economic effects of the stadium turn out to be, there’s no question that real estate professionals are taking advantage of the excitement around its impending arrival.

Many listings seem targeted specifically at developers and speculative buyers. “Huge upside potential,” reads an ad for a small three-bedroom residence. “Calling investors,” says another listing, for a two-bedroom on the north side of the city.

Singleton says real estate investors are descending on the area, making it trickier for traditional buyers to close deals.

“Buyers have to be ready to compete,” she says. “They’re up against cash offers all the time.”

Residents who already own their homes also find themselves in a tight spot.

“Buyers who bought their first home in Inglewood are happy to hear what their home is worth,” Singleton says. “But their incomes have not tripled, so they can’t afford to buy up anywhere else.”

Penix says she has also noticed investor interest. But, she maintains, it’s not just the stadium driving buyers to the area.

“Maybe it’s because I live here, but I really feel like it’s like any other part of LA,” she says.

Whether it’s the stadium or other forces driving up real estate prices, Penix says residents have taken notice.

“Some people aren’t loving the changes,” she says. “They get upset when new people come in and try to steer the community, as if people haven’t been asking for the same things for years.”

Curry says he’s worried that more affluent residents will fundamentally alter the city’s identity.

“My fear is that Inglewood loses its spirit,” he says. “We have a history of being a great working-class city… when you change that, you change the spirit of the city.”

Burbank midcentury built by Disneyland designer asks $1.3M

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It was the longtime home of one of Disney’s original imagineers

This modern-style residence in Burbank sits alongside the LA River, less than a mile from Walt Disney Studios.

That must have made things easy for its designer, Disney artist Claude Coats, who built the home for himself in 1940—the same year that the company opened its new headquarters in Burbank.

Coats worked on many of the studio’s classic films from the 1940s and ’50s, and later transitioned to a role as one of the company’s “imagineers,” the artists and designers behind the Disney theme parks.

One of the original architects of Disneyland, Coats worked on many of the park’s most beloved rides, including It’s a Small World, Pirates of the Caribbean, and the Haunted Mansion. A set designer and background artist, Coats is often credited with giving Disneyland’s dark rides a moody and mysterious atmosphere.

His longtime home in Burbank is quite the opposite, with airy interiors and pastel colors throughout. Still owned by the Coats family, the house has recently been remodeled, but has never before been listed on the market.

The 1,807-square-foot residence has three bedrooms and two bathrooms, with a living room that features built-in shelving and a fireplace. The kitchen is equipped with a breakfast nook, and the master bathroom retains some nice vintage tile.

Sitting on a quarter-acre lot, the home has a grassy yard with orange trees and a classic kidney-shaped pool in the back.

Asking price is $1.279 million.

Living room
Back patio

Here’s what $1.1M buys around LA

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We’ve got five options, from Los Feliz to Venice

Welcome to Curbed Comparisons, where we explore what you can rent or buy for a certain dollar amount in various LA ’hoods. We’ve found five homes and condos within $10,000 of today’s price: $1.1 million.

Front yard of house
Living room
BedroomAlex Zarour/Virtually Here Studios, courtesy Dominique Madden, ACME Real Estate

This 1920s bungalow in Highland Park sold last summer (for $590,000), and has been thoroughly transformed since then. Renovated by ResetLA and Vein Design, it’s got new wood floors, light fixtures, appliances, countertops, and cabinetry. The house has three bedrooms and two bathrooms, and skylights and French doors keep it light and airy. Sitting on a 6,743-square-foot lot, the home is asking $1.099 million.

Front yard
Living and dining room
Backyard pergolaVia Rachel Hsieh, Jodi Barmash, Keller Williams

Here’s a cozy two-bedroom residence in Palms with one bathroom and 928 square feet of floor space. Built in 1941, it’s got original hardwood floors, but plumbing and electrical have been upgraded. Behind the house is a pergola-shaded patio and a detached garage that’s been converted into a studio or office space. Sitting on a 4,997-square-foot lot, the house is asking $1.099 million.

Living room
Bedroom 1
Bedroom 2
Patio furnitureVia Penny Muck, Tami Pardee, Halton Pardee and Partners

Blocks from the boardwalk in Venice is this two-bedroom condo with a pair of bathrooms and 1,188 square feet of living space. Featuring tile floors and sliding glass doors, the unit also has a step-down living room equipped with a fireplace. A spacious deck has room for open-air seating and a garden. The building has a swimming pool and a parking garage. Asking price is $1.115 million, with HOA dues of $442 per month.

Front lawn
Living room
Tile bathroomVia Roderick McDaniel, Rodney L. Walker, Huntington Browne

This View Park home needs some TLC, but boasts some lovely original details, from the hardwood floors to the tile bathrooms. Built in 1933, the Spanish-style house has two bedrooms and three bathrooms. Other interior features include beamed ceilings, built-in shelving, and a dramatic winding staircase with wrought iron railings. The house sits on a 8,293-square-foot lot with a large front lawn and a backyard with a detached garage. Asking price is $1.099 million.

Front view of house
BackyardVia Peter Lorimer, PLG Estates

This traditional-style home sits on a compact 3,312-square-foot lot on the eastern edge of Los Feliz. Inside are two bedrooms and two bathroooms, with 1,250 square feet of floor space. The property may be small, but there’s plenty of outdoor space, including a long wooden deck, a tile patio, and a strip of yard below. Asking price is $1.095 million.

What will Metro call its new train lines?

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As Metro’s rail network expands, the agency is considering using letters or numbers to name its lines.

The agency is considering a number or letter system, like the New York subway

As Metro expands its rail network to cover more of the greater Los Angeles area, agency officials are puzzling over what to call the many new transit lines set to open in coming decades.

Right now, every train or rapid bus lines in Metro’s system is named after a color—except the Expo Line. With multiple new routes set to open in time for the 2028 Olympics, including the Crenshaw/LAX Line (also not named after a color) the agency will need to dig deeper into its box of crayons or come up with a new system.

A new report indicates that, after studying the naming conventions used by other transit agencies, Metro has honed in on four options:

  • Name every line after a color
  • Name every line after a number
  • Name every line after a letter
  • Use the existing system, with both colors and words

A sample map of the first option includes a Pink Line, a Lime Line, and even a Lavender Line. The Crenshaw/LAX Line has merged with the eastern part of the Green Line, and the western portion of the existing Green Line is labeled as the Olive Line.

A presentation from Metro notes that this naming system would be simple, but potentially confusing (is that purple or lavender?) and tricky for colorblind people to master.

A system with number or letter names could still make use of the existing color scheme on maps, notes the report, but these options might make the system easier for newcomers to decipher.

Metro line mapVia Metro
A sample map with a color naming system

In focus groups conducted by Metro, a majority of those surveyed preferred the number naming system over all other options, but the presentation notes that this could become confusing if train lines are given the same names as existing bus routes.

However the agency decides to name its new routes, it will have to move quickly if it wants to roll out the changes in time for the train and bus lines to open.

Service is expected to begin on the Crenshaw/LAX Line next year, and in 2021, the Expo Line will link up with the southern part of the Gold Line, creating a new route that will need a name of its own (the northern portion of the Gold Line will merge with the Blue Line at the same time).

Metro staff is recommending that a plan for the new naming system be fully fleshed out by December.

Town House, remnant of Westlake’s glitzy past, targeted for renovations

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A nonprofit wants to purchase and rehabilitate the historic building.

Now a low-income housing complex, it was once a luxurious hotel

Renovations and a change of ownership may be in the works for a historic high-rise near the border of Westlake and Koreatown.

Built in 1929, the Town House, which sits across the street from Lafayette Park, was once among the most luxurious apartment buildings in Los Angeles. It became a city landmark in 1993 and was later converted into a low-income housing complex.

Now, a nonprofit group called Communities for a Better Life is seeking to purchase and rehabilitate the building, though it would still be used as affordable housing.

The organization has requested a $28 million loan from the California Municipal Finance Authority, a state agency that funds housing and infrastructure projects. On Tuesday, the Los Angeles City Council will vote on whether to approve its part of that deal.

It’s not yet clear what kind of renovations the developer plans to undertake on the building, but because of the building’s landmark status, any exterior work will have to be approved by the city’s historic resources office.

 Los Angeles Public Library
The building’s onetime lobby.

The Norman W. Alpaugh-designed building has undergone many changes over the years. When it opened, the Los Angeles Times noted that each unit in the $4 million complex was equipped with seven electronic buttons used to summon maid and valet service.

The collection of Wedgwood china in the building’s restaurant was “the most valuable outside of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.”

At the time the Wilshire corridor was emerging as one of the city’s most fashionable stretches of real estate, known to some boosters as the “Champs Elysees of the Pacific.”

Converted to a hotel in 1937, the Town House was also home to the swanky Zebra Room lounge, where everything from the upholstery to the tableware followed the zebra-stripe theme.

The building sold to Conrad Hilton in 1942 and was for years a popular destination for Hollywood stars, from Bing Crosby to Betty Grable.

Sheraton took over the hotel in 1954, and operated it as the Sheraton Town House until sagging business forced the hotel to close in 1993. Amid threats of demolition, preservationists succeeded in landmarking the building later that year.

Eventually, in 2001, the building became low-income housing, with 142 affordable units. Amenities for residents include access to the building’s Olympic-size swimming pool—one of the first ever constructed in the city.

In LA, more than 20 percent of homebuyers pay in cash

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The share of cash buyers in LA went up slightly in 2018.

But that’s way down since the recession years

In the Los Angeles metro area, where median-priced homes sell for more than $600,000, and residences in the priciest parts of the region routinely command eight-digit prices, nearly one-quarter of all homebuyers pay in cash.

Across the LA region, 23.5 percent of homes sold during the second quarter (April to June) of this year went to all-cash buyers, according to real estate data tracker Attom Data Solutions

The share of buyers paying in cash has gone up slightly over the last year: 21.1 percent of homes sold to cash buyers in the second quarter of 2017.

A high rate of all-cash deals can inflate the value of homes in an area because buyers with the financial means to pay upfront can outbid those who must borrow money from a lender, says Oscar Wei, senior economist for the California Association of Realtors.

“From the standpoint of a buyer, when more people are offering all cash, that means they are at a disadvantage,” he says. “There’s no question about that.”

Part of that is because sellers often prefer cash offers, which result in quicker sales and have less chance of falling through during the escrow process.

But even though the share of buyers making all-cash purchase is up year-over-year, Wei says it is down significantly since the early months of 2013, when more than one-third of buyers were paying purchase prices out of pocket.

As the Los Angeles real estate market recovered from its recession-era collapse, investors and foreign buyers flooded the market at this time looking to capitalize on bargain basement prices.

“Cash was king back then,” says real estate agent Cricket Yee. “It was raining foreclosures, and people that had been saving their cash just for this opportunity were buying everything they could.”

Wei says investor interest has cooled since then, and cash offers aren’t making the same impact on the market today.

“As prices began to increase, investors started backing out,” he says. “They always look at it from a profitability standpoint.”

Yee agrees. She says in recent years she’s noticed a decline in the number of foreign buyers and parents purchasing homes for their children—two common sources of all-cash offers.

Still, the percentage of cash buyers is now nearly four times higher than it was in the second quarter of 2005, when buyers took out loans to pay for almost 94 percent of homes purchased in the LA area.

In the decade prior to the recession, Wei says, all-cash sales accounted for only around 11 percent of purchases.

But the fact that that percentage has more than doubled since then doesn’t necessarily mean there’s been a major uptick in well-heeled buyers. Rather the total number of buyers not paying in cash may have dropped.

Following the 2007 mortgage crisis, banks tightened up lending requirements for prospective buyers to avoid strings of defaults on risky loans like the ones that led up to the financial collapse. Wei says that, while those restrictions have been loosened since then, it’s still tougher to get a loan in 2018 than it was in the years leading up to the recession.

Mortgage interest rates are now on the rise as well, driving up monthly costs for homebuyers taking out loans.

“That really put a wet blanket on the market,” says Yee. Buyers have had to adjust expectations for what’s affordable, she explains, meaning that there’s less competition for homes in the upper price tiers.

But cash buyers don’t have to worry about lending requirements or mortgage interest rates. Wei says higher interest rates may actually make the market more appealing for buyers able to pay full price, since home shoppers worried about their monthly payments will be less likely to bid them up.

That means, barring any new taxes on real estate investors or a global economic meltdown, the share of buyers paying in cash probably won’t drop back down to pre-recession levels. But thanks to record-high prices, it might not rise much either.

“We are certainly not seeing properties at a bargain level,” Wei says.

Sublime midcentury modern by Paul Williams seeks $11.5M

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Revamped by Marmol Radziner and Brad Dunning

Even in the treasure trove of trophy homes known as Trousdale Estates, this property stands out.

Designed in 1958 by the supremely gifted Paul R. Williams, the Asian-influenced modern was the family residence of Michael Garris, an electrical engineer and custom lighting designer whose firm handled the power and lighting systems for many of Williams’ projects.

According to Steven Price’s Trousdale Estates, it remained in the Garris family for 50 years, “nearly preserved in amber.”

The four-bedroom, five-bath residence appeared on the market in 2011, and was quickly snapped up for $3.45 million.

According to Variety and architecture-obsessed blog US Modernist, the buyer was Max Martin, the massively successful Swedish songwriter who’s penned chart-toppers for an impressive number of pop stars, including Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Adele, the Weeknd, and Ariana Grande.

Admirably, bucking the neighborhood trend of razing a vintage midcentury and raising a megamansion in its place (e.g., the behemoth up the block bought by fellow Swede Markus Persson), Martin enlisted architectural designer Brad Dunning along with the firm of Marmol Radziner to give the Garris House a sensitive restoration and refresh.

The Hillcrest Road home emerged from the two-year makeover with its original footprint (just under 4,000 square feet) and statement-making period features (Oriental-style screens, river-rock walls, terrazzo floors, sliding glass doors) intact.

Gone are the less desirable aspects seen in the 2011 listing photos such as popcorn ceilings and bars on the windows(!), while the kitchen, baths, bedrooms, lighting, and other elements have been stylishly upgraded to A-list luxury standards.

On a .63-acre lot with swimming pool, spa, and views to Catalina, the prize property is now listed with an asking price of $11.495 million.

Crossroads of the World redevelopment will raze 82 rent-controlled apartments

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The city struck a deal to give some of the tenants new apartments

The redevelopment of Crossroads of the World—one of the highest-profile projects in booming Hollywood—is poised to bring 950 units of new housing to Sunset Boulevard. But, in order to that, it will bulldoze 82 rent-controlled apartments.

The development plans have been kicking around for three years, but on Wednesday—the day before the city’s planning commission was scheduled to review the project—Los Angeles City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell announced he had struck a deal with the developer to help some tenants who would be displaced by construction.

The agreement will allow remaining tenants of the Sunset Las Palmas apartment building, which sits on the project site, to live in new Crossroads apartments—at the same price they’re paying today.

“I’m confident tenants will be taken care of,” said Samantha Millman, president of the planning commission, which voted unanimously Thursday to endorse the project.

Under the agreement, tenants will be charged “rental rates commensurate to their existing rates” for new apartments of a comparable size. Additionally, annual rent increases will be capped at 3 percent per year, similar to the main provisions of LA’s rent stabilization ordinance.

Representatives for Harridge Development Group told the commission that only about 40 residents still live in the Sunset Las Palmas apartments. By the time the deal was struck, Harridge had already arranged cash buyouts with about half of the building’s tenants.

Under city law, a property owner who knocks down a rent-stabilized building must give tenants money to help pay for relocation costs—but it doesn’t have to offer them replacement units in a new building.

Harridge will deduct the replacement units from the 105 affordable units it had already agreed to set aside for renters with “very low” incomes (this year, the qualifying income limit for a single-person household is $33,950).

That means if all 40 tenants elect to take the new apartments—and do not qualify under the income limits for affordable housing—the Crossroad project will have 65 units of affordable housing.

“It pains me to think about these [rent-stabilized] units coming off the market,” said commissioner Karen Mack. “We’re losing [rent-stabilized] units for middle-class people in Los Angeles. It’s incredible how many people who I talk to who… are having a hard time affording living in the city.”

She wasn’t the only commissioner not totally satisfied with the agreement. Commissioner Renee Dake Wilson wanted the developer to agree to add 82 more affordable units to the project.

But the majority of the commission didn’t back her up; a representative for Harridge told commissioners: “We’re already going above and beyond what we’re required to do.”

The 1.4-million-square-foot Crossroads Hollywood complex would rise up around two Los Angeles landmarks: Crossroads of the World and the former home of The Hollywood Reporter. The latter will remain intact because local preservationists intervened.

The redevelopment will entail the addition of 190,000 square feet of commercial space and a 308-room hotel on a site roughly bordered by Sunset Boulevard and Selma Avenue, east of McCadden Place.

Commissioner Marc Mitchell called it an iconic site that has largely sat dormant.

“This project is long overdue,” he said

Accounting for housing costs, California has nation’s highest poverty rate

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The supplemental poverty measure takes into account the costs of housing, healthcare, and child care.

A new report suggests 19 percent of Californians are impoverished

When factoring in housing costs and other basic necessities, nearly one in five Californians lives in poverty, according to data released this week by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Under these measurements, California’s poverty rate is higher than any other U.S. state—though it has improved since last year, when the Census Bureau reported that 20.4 percent of residents were living below the poverty line.

Those calculations are based on a statistic that the bureau introduced in 2011 called the “supplemental poverty measure.”

Unlike the traditional definition of poverty, which has been in use since the 1960s, the supplemental poverty measure takes into account the costs of housing, healthcare, and child care in the areas where people live.

By traditional measurements, 13.3 percent of Californians are impoverished, slightly under the national rate of 13.4 percent. But using the supplemental poverty measure, that share of residents rises to 19 percent.

The supplemental poverty measure also factors in forms of government assistance like housing subsidies and food stamps, as well as income. So pinpointing exactly why those numbers are so far apart is tricky. But the state’s pricy rents and soaring real estate values aren’t helping.

According to the report, housing costs were likely a key factor in boosting the supplemental poverty measure rate in the 16 states where this number was higher than the traditional poverty measure.

California renters pay around $1,447 per month in rents and utilities, according to the bureau’s latest estimates. That’s more than $300 above what renters can expect to pay nationwide ($1,012 per month).

Home prices in California are also far above those nationwide. For homeowners with a mortgage (as opposed to those who own their homes outright), median home values sit at $529,000. That’s more than twice the nationwide median of $239,800.

In Los Angeles County, real estate prices are even higher, with a median value of $595,400. Renter costs, on the other hand, are actually a bit lower than the statewide median. Renters here pay about $1,402 per month, according to the bureau’s estimates.

That doesn’t mean renters in LA don’t struggle to make ends meet. A recent report from Zillow found that the cost of housing eats up more monthly income in the LA area than in any other major U.S. city.

Property owner facing criminal charges in Hollywood raid wants to build hotel down the street

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He filed the plans two days before police served a search warrant at his other property

Two days before police raided his building on the Walk of Fame, Hollywood property owner Mehdi Bolour filed plans for a hotel project about a half mile away.

Bolour owns a real estate empire in Los Angeles and is named in new plans to build a 12-story, 168-room hotel on Hollywood Boulevard, near Highland Avenue.

Bolour is the president of Denley Investment and Management Company, founded in 1984. Along with his son David, Bolour, either personally, or through his company, trust, or various LLCs, own or has owned dozens of properties across Los Angeles.

His latest project, at 6751 Hollywood, would also entail repurposing an existing seven-story office building into 94 guest rooms. Messages left with Denley were not returned.

Plans for that project were filed Monday. Early Wednesday morning, the Los Angeles Police Department served a search warrant at the former home of iO West comedy theater, finding that more than 60 people had allegedly taken up shelter there.

Bolour now faces criminal charges related to conditions at that property, which he has owned since 1994. City Attorney Mike Feuer said he was trying to prevent an “Oakland Ghost Ship fire from happening” in Hollywood.

Kerry Morrison, executive director of the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance, says Bolour was one of the first property owners she met when she started working at the organization more than 20 years ago.

In her experience, she says, Bolour hasn’t had issues at his other properties. “I do believe that he was caught unaware by the situation,” Morrison says.

In a complaint filed last week, Feuer accuses Bolour of not maintaining the building to city code, not installing smoke alarms and fire extinguishers, altering electrical wiring without a permits, and failing “to maintain in clean and sanitary condition and good repair the walls and ceilings of every room.”

It won’t be the first time he finds himself in court. In 2015, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge ordered Denley and Bolour to pay $2 million in damages to Los Angeles Academy of Arts and Enterprise for “deficient HVAC system” and pest infestations” at the property the charter school leased from them.

Bolour holds some interesting properties in his portfolio. One of his current holdings includes the ornate Belasco Theater in Downtown LA; another is a former gay bathhouse on Ivar Avenue that in its heyday advertised “disco, movies, maze, arcade, pool table, bunk room, snack bar, TV, lounge, gym, steam, sauna, and everything else you’d expect.”

Police raid former comedy club on Walk of Fame, discover LA’s ‘Ghost Ship’

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More than 60 people had been living in the empty building.

Dozens of people were living there, sleeping on cots and air mattresses, with access to basic electronic appliances

Police raided a vacant Hollywood building early Wednesday morning, detaining dozens of people who had been illegally living there.

According to the Los Angeles Police Department, officers executing a search warrant at the building, located at the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Cosmo Street, found 62 adults and four minors in the building, along with “guns and drugs.”

A tweet from the department shows images from inside the building, where occupants were apparently sleeping on cots and air mattresses, with access to basic electronic appliances.

City Attorney Mike Feuer said the building posed a “public safety threat,” and compared it to the Ghost Ship in Oakland, a warehouse which was operating as an unpermitted art gallery and venue until a fire broke out in 2016, killing 36 people.

“Our office continues to work to prevent a tragedy like the Oakland Ghost Ship fire from happening here,” said Feuer.

Los Angeles officials began cracking down on warehouses and commercial buildings being used as illegal dwellings two years ago, shortly after the fire.

According to the Los Angeles Times, some occupants of the Hollywood Boulevard building had been paying up to $400 to live there—though it’s not yet clear who was collecting the money.

The city attorney last week filed 25 criminal charges related to building and fire code violations against property owner Mehdi Boulour, and could eventually file more, according to spokesperson Frank Mateljan.

Vacated building sign
A nuisance abatement notice was posted to the property Wednesday.

The charges indicate that electrical wiring had been illegally installed within the building and that safety devices like fire extinguishers and smoke detectors were absent.

Boulour’s company, Denley Investments, owns several properties along the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Until earlier this year, the structure had housed the iO West comedy theater, which closed in February after 20 years in business. In 2015, the city revoked permits for a nightclub that had also operated in the building.

Serena Williams waiting for a buyer for Bel Air estate

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The house is listed for $10 million

Serena Williams is still on the lookout for a buyer for a mansion she owns in Bel Air, reports Variety.

The tennis superstar purchased the 6,100-square-foot home in 2006 for just over $6.6 million and put it up for sale last year for $12 million. Since then it’s been on and off the market, but was relisted last week for just under $10 million.

Built in 1935, the airy home has six bedrooms and seven bathrooms, with tall ceilings and French doors in the circular living room. Other interior features include marble and wood floors, tray ceilings, ornate light fixtures, and copious amounts of closet space.

The house sits on nearly three acres of land not far from the Stone Canyon Reservoir. The grounds include rambling pathways through foresty surroundings, along with a long swimming pool and a correspondingly elegant pool house.

The home is listed with Greg Piechota and Amit Lalji of Keller Williams.

It’s not the only home Williams owns in LA. Last year she purchased a home near Beverly Hills for $6.7 million.

Living room
Walk-in closet

Serena Williams Lowers Price on Bel Air Estate [Variety]

County picks developer to turn vacant Vermont/Manchester lot into big shopping, housing complex

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Vacant for decades, the site once hosted a swap meet that burned down in the 1992 Uprising

A mixed-use development planned for Vermont and Manchester avenues took another step forward Tuesday, when the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors picked a developer to build the residential and retail portion of the project.

The developer, Bridge Housing Corporation, will be in charge of erecting the complex’s 180 residential units. It still needs to negotiate with the county on the scope of the project. But it has already proposed that 120 units be set aside for tenants making 40 to 60 percent of the area’s median household income.

An additional 55 units would be devoted to homeless residents and would come with access to on-site services like job training or mental health providers.

They’ll all range from studio to three-bedroom units.

This part of the project would also include approximately 62,000 square feet of commercial space. Proposed tenants include a grocery story, a restaurant, shops, and an “occupational training center to be operated by Metro.”

In June, county supervisors selected an operator for the development’s boarding school component, which will train students for jobs in transportation.

The boarding school was hotly contested. The Los Angeles Times reported in June that many critics said the space would be better used as sit-down restaurants and shops, which they say the neighborhood lacks.

In addition to the boarding school and residential and retail elements, the development will also bring a public plaza and a five-story, 400-space parking structure to the site at the northeast corner of Vermont and Manchester avenues.

In April, a court ruling enabled the county to seize the long-vacant four-acre property using eminent domain. The owner, Eli Sasson, had held the property since before the 1992 uprising that followed the Rodney King verdict; during the turmoil the swap meet that occupied the property burned.

The site has sat empty since then, and supervisors and numerous residents of the area attest that it become a nuisance and a blight.

Sasson had planned a high-end retail project that held a groundbreaking in 2015, but it was never built.

Fencing is up at Parker Center, where demolition is getting underway

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A 2012 photo of Parker Center.

A last-ditch effort to save the structure failed

An attempt to halt demolition of Parker Center has failed, and a plan to raze the former headquarters of the Los Angeles Police Department is moving ahead.

Fencing and scaffolding are already in place, and Anna Bahr, a spokesperson for Mayor Eric Garcetti, tells Curbed that hazardous materials are scheduled to be removed from the building beginning next week.

The city will eventually demolish the building to put a 27-story office tower on the site, at a cost of more than $700 million.

Last month, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation and the Coalition to Preserve LA teamed up to file a petition for a temporary restraining order against the city—a move that could have forced the city to halt demolition while the case was being decided.

The petition was denied last month.

AHF and the coalition also unsuccessfully campaigned to save the midcentury building and refurbish it for use as homeless housing.

A “significant postwar addition to the Los Angeles Civic Center,” Parker Center opened in 1955 and was designed by J. E. Stanton and Welton Becket and Associates. The latter firm was also responsible for the Capitol Records Building, Beverly Hilton, and Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

But Garcetti has said the building is contaminated with asbestos and unsound seismically.

It is also tarnished by its association with dark LAPD history—including the Rodney King beating and Rampart Scandal—that many city officials and community members argue makes it unworthy of preservation. That legacy played a large part in the building being denied city landmark status last year.

The city has not said when the building itself will come down.

These dazzling projections will cover Walt Disney Concert Hall

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The images come from the LA Phil’s own archives

One of the most recognizable buildings in Downtown Los Angeles—the Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall—will be used as a canvas later this month.

To celebrate the start of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s new season, colorful patterns will be projected onto the metallic surface of the wavy concert hall for a little more than a week, courtesy of artist Refik Anadol.

Forty-two high-powered projectors will work together to create the images that will temporarily transform the concert hall’s iconic exterior nightly (7:30 to 11:30 p.m.) from September 28 to October 6.

It might not look like it, but the patterns come from the LA Phil’s archives.

Anadol took images, audio, and videos from the philharmonic’s archive and transformed the material into data points that he then reinterpreted as colorful and dynamic patterns.

 Rendering by Refik Anadol Studio
 Rendering by Refik Anadol Studio

While designing the concert hall, Gehry had imagined that LA Phil concerts would be projected live onto the building’s metallic exterior, giving Angelenos inside the concert hall and outside the chance to see the philharmonic play.

Anadol has created similar “data sculptures” for the interior of the Disney concert hall in recent years; Anadol also has a piece created with artist Susan Narduli installed at the Metropolis development in South Park.

County supervisors vote in favor of temporary rent ‘freeze’

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They want to cap rent hikes at 3 percent for six months

Los Angeles County supervisors voted 4 to 1 in favor today of temporarily restricting landlords in unincorporated communities from raising rents more than 3 percent per year.

The so-called rent freeze will have to be voted on again before taking effect. That’s likely to happen in 60 days, and if ultimately approved, it would limit increases to 3 percent per year for six months, using today’s rent levels as the baseline.

(That baseline, proponents say, is critical to stopping landlords from passing big rent hikes ahead of the final adoption.)

It’s a stop gap measure, Supervisor Sheila Kuehl said, while county officials mull a permanent rent stabilization ordinance in Los Angeles County, where a housing crisis is helping fuel a scourge of homelessness.

“They’re on the streets because they can’t afford a rent increase,” Kuehl, who authored today’s proposal, said in an interview with KPCC shortly before the hearing.

Los Angeles County has the highest rate of unsheltered homeless people in the U.S., and, according to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, more than a quarter of those people without shelter fell into homelessness for the first time in 2017.

Nearly half of the 9,205 people experiencing homelessness for the first time said it was due to a loss of employment—or other financial reasons, according to the homeless services authority.

Multiple seniors renting in an apartment complex in East Los Angeles told the Board of Supervisors today they were put on notice that their monthly rents will go up by $350 in November.

“I’m here today to inform you that it’s too much money, and I don’t have enough,” said renter Manuel Galarza, speaking through a translator.

Many renters across Los Angeles are stretched thin.

An analysis from Zillow released last week found that LA renters earning close to the area’s median income have to set aside nearly 47 percent of their paycheck to afford rental payments. That’s the highest amount among all 35 metro areas studied by Zillow, including New York and San Jose.

(The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development classifies those who spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing as “cost-burdened.”)

“The lack of affordability” is “unprecedented,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.

Kuehl said the rent freeze is needed because large corporations are scooping up properties and spiking rents. They care more about big profits, she said, than the wellbeing of their tenants. Because they don’t care, she said, “we will”

But it was mostly “mom and pop” landlords who testified against the proposal, saying that limiting their ability to raise rent at their discretion would stretch their already thin profits.

Janet Gagnon, director of government relations for the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles, called the rent freeze a “lethal injection” for mom and pop property owners and likened supervisors to Dr. Jack Kevorkian.

Property owners, she said, “are being clubbed like baby seals.”

Shirley Tatsuno said she and her husband keep rents below market-rate at the apartment building they own in Alhambra. They increase rents only when they pay to renovate a unit after a tenant moves out, she said.

“Rent control for those who have chosen to keep apartments affordable isn’t fair,” Tatsuno said.

Armed with a new study from UC Berkeley, critics also lambasted rent control as ineffective—a claim challenged by other analysts and urban planners.

Vanessa Carter, a senior data analyst at USC’s Program for Environmental and Regional Equity, said the county’s proposal would be categorized as a “moderate” form of rent regulation, which increases housing stability but does not discourage developers from building new apartments.

“The housing crisis requires a range of strategies, including increasing the supply of affordable housing,” Carter said. But rent regulation, she added, “is an important tool.”

The freeze would would apply only to unincorporated Los Angeles County, affecting about 200,000 renters, according to Kuehl’s office. Under a state law known as Costa-Hawkins, it would apply only to buildings constructed before 1995 and would exclude condos and single-family homes.

Unincorporated communities include those outside the boundaries of the city of Los Angeles, which has its own rent stabilization ordinance. Examples of unincorporated communities include East LA, Marina Del Rey, View Park/Windsor Hills, and Willowbrook. (Click here for a map of unincorporated Los Angeles).


Former Dodger Adrian Gonzalez buys historic home in Hancock Park

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The Mediterranean-style residence was built for Vernon’s unscrupulous founder

Former Dodger first baseman Adrian Gonzalez has purchased a stylish new Los Angeles residence with some historic pedigree.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Gonzalez is the new owner of a Hancock Park estate built for John B. Leonis, an unscrupulous businessman who helped to establish the city of Vernon (and cemented its reputation as one of California’s most corrupt municipalities).

Until last month, when the sale closed, the home had never belonged to anyone outside the Leonis family.

Erected in 1926, the Mediterranean-style home was designed by architect Richard D. King, who also designed Long Beach’s impressive Villa Riviera tower. The house has six bedrooms and 10 bathrooms, with hardwood floors, beamed ceilings, and French doors throughout.

It looks like a nice place to enjoy retirement—if that’s what the 36-year-old Gonzalez has in mind. The longtime Dodgers and Padres first baseman is currently a free agent.

Gonzalez paid $10.5 million for the home, which had been listed by Brett Lawyer of Hilton & Hyland.

Leonis house entryCourtesy of Brett Lawyer/Hilton & Hyland
Leonis house living room
Leonis house dining room
Leonis house fountain

Here’s what $525K buys around LA

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A condo with Downtown views or a mini ranch in the Valley?

Curbed LA comparisons header

Welcome to Curbed Comparisons, where we explore what you can rent or buy for a certain dollar amount in various LA ’hoods. We’ve found five homes and condos within $10,000 of today’s price: $525,000.

Curbed LA comparison horizontal rule gif
Front yard
Living room
BackyardVia Frank Magdaleno, Harcourts Prime Properties

Let’s start with a recently renovated home in San Pedro that was built in 1907. Though the floors, countertops, cabinets, and fixtures are all new, the home’s original coved ceilings and wall niches remain. Featuring two bedrooms and one bathroom, the 880-square-foot house sits on a 4,999-square-foot lot with a grassy backyard and a detached garage. There’s even a basement. Asking price is $529,900.

Modern-style building
Living room and halls
Living roomVia Lorette Murphree, So Cal Dwell

Moving up the coast, this condo sits in a sleek 1960s complex in Playa del Rey. The unit has 855 square feet of floor space, with one bedroom and one and a half bathrooms. The kitchen has been outfitted with new countertops and appliances, and a small office space sits off to the side. A sliding door in the living room leads out to a private covered balcony. Asking price is $520,000, with HOA dues of $300 per month.

Front of house
Living room
BackyardVia Alexander Cabrera, Coldwell Banker

Up in Van Nuys is this quirky two-bedroom home built in 1950. Featuring hardwood and tile floors, it’s got some surprising elements, like a brightly colored tile fireplace and unexpected steps and wall cutouts throughout the house. There are two bedrooms and one bathroom here, with 1,076 square feet of floor space. The home sits on a 6,700-square-foot lot, with a gravel front lawn and a back patio equipped with a hot tub. Asking price is $535,000.

Living room
SpaVia David Kean, Douglas Elliman

Watch LA’s skyline grow from this Wilshire Boulevard condo on the border of Westlake and Downtown LA. The 23rd-floor unit has 680 square feet of living space, with a bathroom and a lofted bedroom that looks down over the open kitchen and living space. A wall of windows provides views of Downtown and beyond. You can find west-facing views from the pool deck, which includes a spa and grilling area. Asking price is $529,000, with pricy HOA dues of $878 per month.

Front of house
Living room
Back yard with goatsVia Jenny Blae, Keller Williams

Is room for a horse on your list of must haves? This Shadow Hills residence sits on a 9,005 square foot lot with four horse stalls and an animal pen. The three-bedroom home has one bathroom and 960 square feet of floor space. Built in 1925, it’s got a rustic feel with pitched ceilings and wood paneling. Out front is a nice porch enclosed by stone walls. Asking price is $525,000.

Cheerful Craftsman bungalow asking $879K in Echo Park

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The two-bedroom cottage sits on an R2-zoned lot

This apple-green Craftsman cottage in the hills of Echo Park may be over a century old, but it looks to have plenty of life left in it yet.

Along with such original character details as hardwood floors, coffered ceilings, wainscoting, and glass doors, the light and bright two-bedroom, one-bath bungalow features an enclosed sun porch with wrap-around windows, an updated kitchen, a bonus loft space in the master bedroom, and a laundry area with new appliances.

The 1,100-square-foot cottage occupies a fairly sizable hillside lot with multiple patios and terraces suitable for gardening or entertaining.

Sweetening the deal, the property is, per its listing, zoned R2, allowing for the addition of a second dwelling unit.

Asking price is $879,000, and open houses are scheduled for Thursday between 6 and 7:30 p.m., Saturday between 2 and 4 p.m., and Sunday between 2 and 5 p.m.

Single-family homes cover almost half of Los Angeles—here’s how that happened

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Just under 50 percent of developable land in LA is zoned for single-family homes.

For better or for worse, LA’s image is a city of ranch homes and Craftsman bungalows

Los Angeles is known for its charming residential streets, lined with grassy parkways and dotted with single-family homes.

There are condo towers and courtyard apartments—but for better or for worse, LA’s image is a city of ranch homes and Craftsman bungalows.

It’s an image that was cemented by decisions that city planners and elected officials made in the decades following LA’s early 20th century boom years, when the city was growing most quickly.

Last month, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson blamed LA’s affordable housing crisis on its abundance of single-family neighborhoods.

Today, close to half of all developable land in the city is still set aside for single-family homes, not apartments or other forms of housing that could hold more people.

Just under two thirds of land in the city of Los Angeles is now zoned to allow residential construction, according to the Department of City Planning. Of that total, more than 75 percent is reserved for single-family homes or duplexes.

Other U.S. cities dedicate similarly large portions of land to single-family housing, but LA’s suburban-style streets stand in stark contrast to the density of big cities such as New York and Chicago.

But that wasn’t always the case.

In 1920, the city introduced its first zoning code, which put LA’s available land into five categories of land use, including single-family home construction. Though this was by far the most popular form of housing in LA’s sprawling urban environment, few parts of the city were off limits to larger projects.

As Andrew Whittemore, professor of land use and environmental planning at the University of North Carolina, points out in his essay “Zoning Los Angeles: a brief history of four regimes,” in 1933, less than 5 percent of the city’s zoned land was exclusively restricted to single-family homes.

Most residential properties at that time fell under a more flexible zoning designation that allowed for many different types of construction—including the bungalow courts and small multifamily buildings that can still be found alongside single-family homes in older neighborhoods like Silver Lake, Hollywood, and Venice.

But LA’s zoning rules became much more restrictive in the following decades.

By 1970, almost half the city was zoned for single-family use only, according to Greg Morrow, director of UC Berkeley’s Real Estate and Design program.

 Liz Kuball
A typical Los Angeles street, lined with trees and dotted with single-family homes.

What happened?

In 1934, Congress passed the National Housing Act, creating the Federal Housing Administration. The new government agency promoted homeownership by guaranteeing home loans with long repayment periods that lenders might have otherwise been unwilling to give (prior to this time, buyers usually had to pay off home loans within five years, meaning that monthly mortgage payments were quite high).

Since taxpayers would be on the hook if buyers failed to pay back these government-backed mortgages, the FHA went to great lengths to minimize the risk of the loans.

Part of that, as Whittemore explains an article published in the Journal of Urban History, meant shying away from loans in neighborhoods that weren’t deemed “safe investment areas.”

To the agency, safe areas for investment were often those where residents were almost entirely white, as redlining maps from the era clearly illustrate. But racial demographics weren’t the only determining factor.

The FHA (now part of Carson’s own department) also at this time discouraged loans in areas where commercial buildings and apartment complexes abutted single-family homes—the idea being that a mix of building types made the neighborhood more susceptible to changes that could negatively affect property values.

In response to these lending policies, city planners across the United States sought to make urban neighborhoods more homogenous, clearly separating building types and creating lot size and setback requirements to make single-family neighborhoods as safe for investment as possible.

The effects of this were particularly felt in cities like Los Angeles, where plenty of land was still available for new developments.

In 1946, when Los Angeles updated its zoning code (creating the system still in use today), the city’s single-family zones were more fully defined—with nearly three pages of restrictions and regulations. Separate classifications were also created for duplexes and “suburban zones,” with similar parking and yard-size requirements.

These zoning rules helped to create the neatly arranged residential communities Angelenos today know and love, but they also severely limited available space for new development. That’s become a pressing concern as LA deals with a severe shortage of affordable housing.

“We’re clinging to this model—the old version of the American Dream,” housing advocate Mark Vallianatos tells Curbed. “It doesn’t make sense to reserve large portions of any city for only one home with a yard and just one family.”

Compounding the housing shortage is the legacy of plans for the city’s development made in the 1970s, when residents and local leaders sought to slow LA’s growth by limiting the amount of housing that developers could build.

As Morrow points out, Los Angeles was zoned to hold up to 10 million residents in 1960. By 1990, the city had capacity for just 3.9 million residents.

Today, that number has increased slightly but so has LA’s population—the city is home to roughly 4 million people. As of 2010, it was zoned to hold just 4.3 million residents.

To accommodate future residents, Vallianatos says single-family neighborhoods could be “sensitively densified.” Planners could allow property owners in these areas to build triplexes and fourplexes there—buildings that allow more people to live in these communities without sacrificing their low-slung character.

But that would likely garner strong resistance from homeowners, who fought hard to preserve, and even expand, LA’s single-family zones when the city introduced its community plans in the 1970s.

Likewise, Los Angeles planners are probably keenly aware of the political risk of tampering with zoning rules in single-family areas.

In the 1980s, the city of Long Beach eased restrictions in these areas to spur construction of affordable housing. Capitalizing on loopholes in this policy, developers replaced historic bungalows with hastily constructed apartment buildings, which critics derisively referred to as “crackerboxes.”

Discussing the city’s new Land Use Element, which will regulate future development, Long Beach planning bureau manager Linda Tatum said in March that allowing these apartments was “absolutely a mistake on the city’s part.”

In Land Use Element maps approved by the Long Beach City Council earlier this year, not a single one of the city’s single-family neighborhoods was altered in any way.

LA officials have shown some willingness to tamper with single-family zoning in areas near transit. In July, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved a plan to adjust the zoning of several single-family blocks near stops on Metro’s Expo Line.

The new zoning rules will allow “neighborhood-scale mixed-use development that creates ground-floor commercial activity” with the “capacity for multifamily housing.”

Vallianatos says that Los Angeles and other nearby cities need to start thinking more seriously about “upzoning,” that is, allowing more dense forms of housing, in order to bring down skyrocketing home prices and reverse the discriminatory policies that kept low-income and non-white residents out of neighborhoods favored by the FHA.

“If you change the zoning a bit, you can keep some of the feel of the neighborhood,” he says. “But you open it up to a much wider diversity of people and ways to live.”

Sportsmen’s Lodge redevelopment hits roadblock

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The landscape plan “just leaves me cold,” commission president says

Plans to build a shopping center on the site of Studio City’s long-running Sportsmen’s Lodge event center are moving forward, with new owners at the helm.

But before construction can begin, the owners need to clear one big planning hurdle—and it might not be easy.

The lodge opened in the late 1930s as simply a “small roadside fishing attraction.” Now a verdant and vital social meeting place, it hosts weddings, bar mitzvahs, and other celebrations.

In its next iteration, it will be redeveloped with a shopping center that spans 100,000 square feet, holding restaurants, a high-end gym, and shops.

Plans for that redevelopment were approved in 2015. But as part of a compromise made with the city, the landscape component must be vetted by LA’s cultural heritage commission. The goal is to ensure the new green spaces “commemorate the look and feel of the former Sportsmen’s Lodge garden.”

 Cbl62 / Wikimedia Commons

That review took place last week—and it did not go well for the new owner, New York-based Midwood Investment and Development.

Commission president Richard Barron said he was “totally, totally against” the design plan.

“I think the aesthetic here is way off,” he said. “The whole thing just leaves me cold. I don’t think you’ve picked up the character of what the original character of this environment was.”

He was so displeased that he went so far as to tell Midwood: “I think maybe you hired the wrong landscape architect.”

The landscape architect is Olin, an esteemed firm that’s also working on the county’s sweeping Los Angeles River master plan update and a huge redevelopment of the Angel’s Landing site in Downtown.

The suburban forest that appears in the black-and-white photos of the glory days of the Sportsmen’s Lodge couldn’t be replicated on the site today, Midwood representative Ben Besley told the commission.

Modern building and health codes and water conservation rules “would not allow what’s there today to be built again, so that’s the challenge,” he said.

Olin’s plan for the site includes water elements, large existing redwood trees, and bridges crossing the water. (Other trees on the site would be either incorporated in the new development or relocated.)

 Los Angeles Public Library photo collection
A fisherman casts a rod into a stocked trout pool at Sportsmen’s Lodge, circa 1960.

One of the central elements of the new design is a large terrace for outdoor dining, set to be built beneath the redwoods. An Olin rep said the perimeter was at “seat-level” and would not block views of the water; but Barron was not convinced.

He said the outer perimeter of the dining terrace formed a sort of wall, blocking the connection to the water for the people sitting on the terrace.

Commissioner Barry Milofsky took issue with the lack of a “natural presence” coming out to the Ventura Boulevard, which runs in front of the site.

“I don’t see that at all. I see two trees at the street and I see a big parking lot.” A lack of connection to the Los Angeles River was also seen as a missed opportunity by Milofsky.

Barron suggested the development team go back to the drawing board.

In an email, a representative for Midwood tells Curbed that because of the commission’s comments, the plans will be changed.

The issue is set to come back to the commission. A second hearing date has not been scheduled.

‘Vintage meets modern’ in Silver Lake bungalow asking $989K

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It’s flawless

Bless the owner of this Silver Lake bungalow who revived it from the doldrums. In three years, the Spanish-style has morphed into an impeccable specimen of “vintage meets modern.”

Built in 1923, the two-bedroom, two-bathroom dwelling boasts arched entryways and original hardwood floors, plus an abundance of natural light and views to the lush front and back yards.

But the two spaces that shine the most are the kitchen and the master bathroom.

The former sports restored vintage steel cabinets in a lovely shade of jade, plus walnut counters, stainless steel appliances, and a Wolf range. The latter is decorated with turquoise tile floors and a matching clawfoot tub as well as a breezy connection to a “private” wooden deck.

The backyard is planted with mature grape vines and pomegranate and fig trees. Another perk: There’s an attached bonus space with a kitchenette and full bath.

The 7,500-square-foot property is about a half mile south of Sunset Junction and is equidistance to nationally-raved-about breakfast spot Sqirl. It’s listed for $989,000.

Midcentury modern ‘trophy’ in Crestwood Hills seeks second-ever owner

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It’s asking $2.45 million

In the same family since it was built in 1950, this home in the architecturally significant Brentwood neighborhood of Crestwood Hills is hitting the market for the first time.

The original owners walked into the sales office of the Crestwood Mutual Housing Association and picked this model out themselves, says The Agency’s Max Nelson, who holds the listing. They picked a doozy.

Designed by A. Quincy Jones, the three-bedroom house is just shy of 2,000 square feet. The house is pretty much pristine, retaining its concrete block interiors, exposed beam ceilings, clerestory windows, and Douglas Fir plywood interiors.

The house is so original, it doesn’t even have central air and heating. The place has been impeccably maintained, Nelson says.

“This is the ultimate opportunity for a midcentury aficionado to restore” a place and bring it into the 21st century, says Nelson.

Mapping Scientology’s impressive LA real estate empire

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Here are 16 prized properties

With a portfolio of properties reportedly worth $400 million in Hollywood alone (paid for in cash no less), the Church of Scientology is undeniably a formidable player in the real estate game.

It’s known for collecting historic buildings, but the CoS isn’t averse to erecting brand-new behemoths, such as its 185,000-square-foot Dissemination and Distribution Printing Center in Commerce, or parts of its massive campus at Sunset and Catalina in East Hollywood, two of 15 prize properties featured in this selective map of Scientology’s Los Angeles empire.

(If you’re hungry for more, a fairly exhaustive compilation of the organization’s holdings can be found in the Xenu Directory.)

— Curbed reporter Elijah Chiland also contributed to this piece.

Alamo Drafthouse now slated to open in DTLA by mid-2019

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The 11-screen theater’s arrival in Downtown Los Angeles is finally approaching

The highly anticipated Los Angeles location of Alamo Drafthouse is set to open by mid-2019, the Texas-based movie theater company announced today.

It’s setting up shop at the southeast corner on the second and third levels of The Bloc, the transit-friendly shopping district on Seventh Street in Downtown LA’s Financial District.

The theater will hold 11 screens and a bar that will also serve as a video store with a curated selection of “film classics and obscurities.”

The theater was originally announced for this location in 2014. It was one of the many flashy new tenants that were brought on to help transform the impenetrable retail fortress, which is located just steps from the Seventh Street/Metro Center station, into an open-air shopping center.

The opening date was originally pegged for 2015, but The Block’s reopening was pushed to 2016 due to construction delays and financing troubles.

Then, in 2017, Drafthouse announced it would open sometime this year. Now, construction is finally getting underway on the theater’s space.

“We finally have the keys to our new space and have started construction on the inside,” the company wrote on its website last month. “We haven’t been able to start building out our space until very important fire and safety work was completed… but we’ve been given the go-ahead to let our crews in and begin to work.”

What $1,700 rents in LA right now

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Apartments in Long Beach, Koreatown, Toluca Lake, and more

Welcome to Curbed Comparisons, where we explore what you can rent or buy for a certain dollar amount in various LA ’hoods. We’ve found five rentals within $100 of today’s price, $1,700. Vote for your favorite below.

 Via Zillow

Halfway between Lafayette and MacArthur parks, this Westlake studio apartment in the historic Wilshire Royale building has beautiful crown molding, updated flooring, and off-street parking. It rents for $1,620.

This one-bedroom apartment Koreatown has parking, a balcony, laminate wood floors, a dishwasher, granite counters, and stainless steel appliances. It rents for $1,795.

 Via Zillow

Down in Long Beach, this one-bedroom apartment is about five blocks from the coast and Bluff Park. It features refinished hardwood floors, granite counters, lush landscaping in the outdoor areas (like the shared patio), and no upstairs or downstairs neighbors. There’s also parking. Rent is $1,795.

 Via Zillow

Over the hill in Toluca Lake, this sweet, 750-square-foot one-bedroom apartment has hardwood floors, an updated bathroom, new windows throughout, and outdoor space. There’s also off-street parking. Rent is $1,600.

 Via Zillow

A stone’s throw from La Brea and Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, this one-bedroom apartment is in a happening and walkable location. Plus, it comes with on-site parking, laundry, and hardwood floors. Rent is $1,695.

Here’s LA’s model for emergency homeless shelters

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The new shelter is located in a parking lot alongside the El Pueblo de Los Angeles historic monument.

The first of the shelters is set to open next week; ramped up enforcement of tents in the area will follow

Homeless residents will start moving in next week to the first emergency shelter built under a plan from Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

The mayor celebrated the end of the shelter’s construction today, giving media tours of the cluster of trailers near El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument that will house nearly four dozen people. It’s set to be a model for similar housing centers around the city, with at least one temporary shelter promised in each of the city’s 15 council districts.

“People in desperate need,” Garcetti said, “need help now.”

The mayor also shared plans to keep the area around the shelter free of tents and makeshift encampments.

“During the daytime, we do need these sidewalks to be clear,” he said.

The shelter at El Pueblo is part of the Mayor’s A Bridge Home initiative, a program that focuses on construction of temporary housing where residents can stay while waiting for permanent residences to become available.

It’s one of the mayor’s signature efforts to combat homelessness in the city of LA, where more than 30,000 residents lack a permanent address.

In recent months, homeless outreach workers have stepped up efforts to house residents living on the streets and sidewalks around El Pueblo, where the shelter is located.

Matt Szabo, Garcetti’s deputy chief of staff, says the same thing will happen at each shelter site built under the mayor’s plan in the 90 days before they open.

Thirty days after the shelters begin operating, Szabo says “intensive enforcement” of city laws preventing residents from storing items on the sidewalk will begin. Sanitation workers will also begin cleaning the area five times per week, removing any unattended items.

Homeless residents living close to the shelter “will have to take the tents down,” says Szabo.

Beds at El Pueblo shelter
Beds inside one of the trailers, divided by cubicle-style partitions.

Garcetti said Wednesday that the shelters are designed to accommodate the number of residents living in a given area, and that it was reasonable to assume that those who continue to camp on sidewalks after the shelters open have recently moved to the area or turned down spots in the shelter.

Orignally planned as a 60-bed facility, the shelter at El Pueblo will open with 45 beds, in part so that residents staying there will have more personal space and privacy.

Designed by Gensler, the housing center consists of five portable trailers arranged around a central wooden deck with common space for residents to dine and socialize.

Benches at El Pueblo shelter
Outdoor seating for residents.

The shelter is pet-friendly and will remain open 24 hours a day, with case managers and staff from The People Concern onsite to connect residents with necessary services, and, eventually permanent housing.

The $2.4 million facility was already underway when Garcetti announced his shelter program in March, but it’s the first project to be completed using funds from the mayor’s program.

Initially, Garcetti promised to spend $20 million building at least one temporary shelter in each of the city’s council districts. Since then, the budget for A Bridge Home has increased to $30 million, with as much as $45 million more on the way from the state.

But proposed shelter sites have provoked outcries from residents in several communities. In Koreatown, resident opposition to a shelter planned near the Wilshire/Vermont subway station was fierce enough that Los Angeles City Councilmember Herb Wesson, who represents the area, is now pursuing two other sites instead.

Shelter locations proposed in Venice, San Pedro, and Wilmington sparked similar complaints.

Szabo says that neighbors are often concerned that shelters will bring more homeless residents to the area, leading to more trash on city streets. That’s one reason, he says, the city is committing to aggressive enforcement and frequent cleanups.

“We are going to provide the resources to ensure that does not happen,” Szabo says. “Until [the public] sees this stuff work, they’re not going to believe that facilities for the homeless are not going to attract the homeless.”

Everything you need to know about riding scooters in LA

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People ride shared electric scooters in Santa Monica. The safest way to scoot: Wear a helmet, avoid sandals, and ride in the street—not on the sidewalk.

LA just passed new scooter regulations. Here’s our updated guide on how to rent and where to ride

Dockless bikes! Smart bikes! Electric bikes! Scooters! Los Angeles is flooded with new options for getting around—they’re part of a new breed of transportation called “micromobility.”

These small vehicles are being touted as replacements for cars: They’re shared, sometimes electric-powered, easier to park, and take up less space on roads.

As these new bikes, e-bikes, and scooters made their way onto LA streets starting in 2017, the debate about whether these modes are sidewalk nuisances or gridlock saviors has dominated the narrative. LA lawmakers recently passed regulations, and some Southern California cities, including Santa Monica, Long Beach, and Culver City, have introduced some forward-thinking policies that might portend a real shift in the way Angelenos get around.

Since the the availability of these micromobility services as well as the regulations vary widely from city to city—and change dramatically from week to week—it’s important to learn what you’re in for before you get scootin’ or pedalin’. Here’s our guide for how to ride, where to go, and what you need to know.

What’s the difference between dockless and docked bike share?

In the past year, a half-dozen dockless companies have deployed their bikes and e-bikes on LA-area streets. While traditional “docked” bike-share systems require that bikes be parked in stations where riders can find them, “dockless” bikes use GPS technology and smartphone apps to help riders locate bikes. In the cities that allow them, they don’t have to be locked to anything, and there are no designated pick-up spots or drop-off points.

Some cities in LA have “smart bikes,” which are also located by app on a smartphone, but they can’t just be left anywhere, they need to be locked. Riders can lock them to designated hubs for no extra cost, or to any public bike rack for a slightly higher fee.

Over the last few months, micromobility companies operating in the LA area have started offering electric bikes and electric scooters, which are dockless as well. These can also be found using apps, which display the location as well as the current battery life (the scooters and bikes get charged at night and put back on streets).

Where can I ride dockless scooters?

If you want to take a dockless scooter for a ride, a bike lane on the Westside is the place to be.

The greatest concentrations of scooter availability at the moment are in Santa Monica and Venice. You’ll also have the best safety infrastructure for riding in Santa Monica, which plans to use funds from its scooter pilot to accelerate the construction of new bike lanes.

On September 17, Santa Monica will launch a new pilot program where four operators—Bird, Lime, Lyft, and Uber—will manage the city’s e-bike and scooter share. In August, when the city’s rankings of the applications were released, Bird and Lime shut down in protest for a day because the companies did not rank in the top four, but the final decision included both operators. Ride-hailing giants Uber and Lyft will both be debuting their scooters in Santa Monica as well.

You can also look for scooters in Culver City, which just launched a pilot program. Long Beach, which has great riding infrastructure, also has its own scooter pilot.

Although many scooters have been migrating eastward from the beach, the problem with riding most places in LA is that there just aren’t enough protected lanes for riders to feel safe.

This is why many people choose to ride scooters on the sidewalk, even though you’re not supposed to. But sidewalk-riding can be dangerous for you, other users of the sidewalk, and cars pulling out of driveways that don’t expect to see someone whizzing by at 15 mph.

Where can’t I ride dockless scooters?

On September 4, the city of LA passed regulations on dockless systems, but has yet to finalize the language of the policy. In the meantime, companies are supposed to apply for temporary permits to operate and will be limited to 3,000 vehicles citywide. Two council districts—District 15 and District 4—are already running pilot programs and have no vehicle caps until the end of 2018.

Previously, the City Council had asked LADOT to issue cease and desist letters to all dockless companies that don’t have permission to operate in the city. But it’s still not clear how the city will enforce the removal of vehicles, and riders are not being ticketed for using them—yet.

The city of Beverly Hills has made dockless electric scooters illegal—you can’t even ride one through city limits, so steer clear. The no-ride zone is clearly marked in all the apps, and riders are being ticketed. West Hollywood has banned the parking of scooters within city limits, but you’re allowed to ride through the city to get somewhere else.

In Santa Monica, the city has put together a guide for riders. Avoid the beach path, where electric scooters of any type are not allowed. Riders are being ticketed and scooters impounded. Also, you cannot ride on the sidewalks anywhere in California, but in Santa Monica it’s heavily enforced. In downtown Santa Monica there are now designated “drop zones” for scooters as well.

How far can I ride them?

As far as you want—kind of.

Technically you could ride Metro Bike anywhere you want as long as you dock it at a station when you’re done. You’ll just be charged for the time.

Similarly, the Bike Share Connect network, which encompasses much of the Westside, has very explicit boundaries outlined for where you can lock up its smart bikes. If you lock up a bike outside of the boundary, you’ll be charged $20.

For electric scooters and electric bikes, you’re limited to how long the battery lasts. Or until you reach the Santa Monica Mountains, whichever comes first.

Do I need to wear a helmet?

If you’re riding a scooter—yes. State law requires operators of electric scooters to wear a helmet, however, a state bill that’s awaiting the governor’s signature would make helmet use on scooters optional for anyone over 18.

Helmet laws for scooters are being most heavily enforced in Santa Monica. If you register on Bird or Lime’s app, they’ll send you one for free.

If you’re riding bike share or a shared e-bike, it’s not required by law unless you’re under 17, but it’s not a bad idea, especially if you’re riding on busy streets.

Do I need any other gear?

Not really. The great part about the design of these bikes and scooters is that they’re designed to be used in regular clothes, even suits, skirts, and dresses. To minimize the potential of your toes getting scraped, you probably don’t want to wear sandals or flip flops, although a lot of people do.

All the bike share bikes have big baskets on the front of them where you can stash your belongings so you don’t even need a special type of bag or purse. Lime’s bikes have a smartphone holder. Scooters, unfortunately, don’t have any kind of storage.

What apps do I need to download?

For most of LA’s micromobility options you’ll need to download an app to locate, unlock, and pay for your rides. To make the most of what LA has to offer, we suggest downloading these apps that will give you a range of options across the region.

Lime: The most expansive of the dockless companies, Lime has pedal bikes, electric-assist bikes, and dockless scooters across a very wide geographic area. Besides the Westside, Lime has lots of bikes and scooters in the Port of LA and Wilmington area, and in Monrovia.

Bird: The Venice-based startup has the best scooter coverage on the Westside, and you can find them fairly regularly as far east as Fairfax.

Razor: Yes, the scooter of your youth now has dockless electric scooters to rent in Long Beach.

Metro Bike: LA’s station-based system has hubs in Downtown, the Port of LA, and Venice. It’s easily the best way to get around Downtown. You can’t pay for rides on the app, but you can register your TAP card to pay for rides that way. You can also pay for walk-up rides at the station kiosks using a credit card.

Social Bicycles: Last year, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and UCLA merged their smart bike systems into the single Bike Share Connect network. Now you can use one bike booked through one app to ride from Hollywood to the beach and a fairly wide area in between. This app will give you access to the entire Bike Share Connect network, from Santa Monica to West Hollywood. You can also ride Long Beach’s bike share using the Social Bicycles app.

Uber: Yes, Uber is best known as a way to book rides in cars. But now Lime-S scooters can be located and booked through Uber’s app, which will also include nearby scooters as part of multimodal itineraries.

Transit: The trip-planning app can locate nearby dockless bikes and scooters, and provide a detailed multimodal itinerary as well as travel time estimates.

How much do bikes and scooters cost to rent?

Generally, all the systems cost $1 to $2 per ride, with additional fees based on the length—as in time—of your trip. There are also monthly and annual plans, and plans for students and employers.

Once you register for each service through an app, you’ll link a credit card to your account, which bills you every time you complete a ride.

All the bike share and scooter companies also have options for subsidized passes. These require applications and eligibility is based on income restrictions. Some also have passes for people who don’t use credit cards. Lime offers a local program where qualified members can get 100 pedal-bike rides for $5.

Can I use my Metro TAP card?

For Metro Bike and Bike Share Connect, yes! When you register your Metro Bike membership on your TAP card, it makes it especially easy to tap out a bike—you won’t even have to use an app. Registered TAP cards also work for Bike Share Connect smart bikes.

The biggest news for Metro Bike is that fares have been slashed to $1.75 per trip, meaning rides are now the same cost as taking a Metro bus or train. Plus, since your Metro Bike account can be linked to your TAP card, you’ll soon be able to “transfer” from bus or rail to a bike, and vice versa, saving you even more money.

Can I ride my bike or scooter on the sidewalk?

If you’re riding a bike, technically, yes—in some cities in LA County. Use this LADOT guide to see where sidewalk-riding is allowed.

Most people don’t know this but riding a bike on the sidewalk is legal in the city of LA. The city acknowledges that sometimes the sidewalk is the safest place to ride on a busy street, and allows it, as long as bike riders do not endanger pedestrians.

California law says you can’t ride an electric scooter on the sidewalk. A bill tried to change that to make the law similar to bikes—but will likely only eliminate helmet requirements. But a lot of people do ride on the sidewalk because there aren’t safe places to ride. When in doubt, walk the bike or scooter.

How do I find the safest place to ride?

Google Maps and the trip-planning apps Transit and Citymapper have decent bike and scooter directions, but the bigger challenge across the LA region is the lack of infrastructure—there are major gaps in the bike route network and few protected lanes.

A handful of LA-area cities like Santa Monica, West Hollywood, and Long Beach have better infrastructure for biking and scooting.

Also, be vigilant about potholes and uneven pavement. Bike share bikes are fairly sturdy and can handle a bumpy, unpredictable road. Scooters have tiny wheels and low clearance and you’ll very likely bottom out. Do not ride the scooters downhill—you won’t be able to stop.

Can I take a dockless bike or scooter on the train?

No, you’re not supposed to. But along many lines, and especially on the Expo Line, most stations have a variety of micromobility options to choose from once you get off.

Can I ride at night?

Yes, you can ride bikes at night. All of the bike share bikes in LA have pedal-powered lights that activate as you ride. Some scooters do have lights but most are taken off the streets to charge them.

Why do I need a drivers’ license to ride a scooter?

Good question. This is perhaps the most incongruous state law to govern what should be a smart alternative to driving, but, in the state of California you must have a valid drivers license to operate an electric scooter. The apps will make you check a box or scan your license before you ride.

For bike share, riders must be 16 and over. Scooter share riders must be 18 and over.

What’s next for LA’s micromobility scene?

Lots more electric bikes. LA’s hills, mild climate, and long distances make it a perfect candidate for more e-bike share. In 2018, Uber bought Jump, which has smart e-bikes in several cities and will be bringing them to Southern California as part of Santa Monica’s pilot program. Lyft, which recently acquired Motivate, the country’s largest bike-share operator, will also be debuting an e-bike in Santa Monica.

Even traditional station-based systems are experimenting with options beyond pedal bikes. In certain parts of the city, Metro Bike plans to add smart bikes that won’t need to be parked in hubs. There’s also a possibility that e-bikes could get added to docked systems. In San Francisco, the Ford-operated station-based GoBike added station-based electric bikes this year.

Finally, many cities are looking at adding bikes that can serve a wide variety of users. In Detroit, MoGo bike share launched a fleet of adaptive bikes including recumbent bikes, tandems, and cargo bikes.

Mapping downtown Long Beach’s sudden development boom

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The city’s Downtown area is rapidly growing, with residential, civic, and commercial projects in the works.

More than a dozen large developments are in the works

When it comes to construction in the Los Angeles area, Downtown LA hogs the spotlight, with skyscrapers and seven-story apartment complexes springing up from South Park to the Arts District.

But another downtown—downtown Long Beach—deserves some attention as well. The core of the city is experiencing a major flurry of development. At a public presentation in late August, Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia rattled off a list of more than 30 projects underway in downtown Long Beach alone.

We’ve rounded up some of the largest and most high-profile developments set to reshape the area in coming years.

101 things to love about Los Angeles

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A love letter to the City of Angels

Like LA’s position between the steep, granite peaks of the San Gabriel Mountains and the unbounded Pacific Ocean, the city’s reputation is stuck between Valley Girl vapidity and a sun-kissed bohemia. Those who call Los Angeles home know which of those stereotypes is true. Yes, the weather is perfect. But there are so many more under-the-radar reasons why people love the City of Angels—moments, places, and experiences that make living here so pleasant and unbelievably magical that sometimes it’s hard to tell whether you’re still alive or have died and gone to heaven. Let’s count the ways we love LA.

1. Colonnades of palm trees. Tall ones, spindly ones, bearded ones, plump ones, palm “trees” aren’t native, but they are the symbol of Los Angeles.

2. Bungalows. In a city that’s never been quite sure where its suburbs are, the Craftsman bungalow is the perfect style of home—compact and easily replicable, yet rustic and seemingly handmade. You can practically reach out and touch the American dream standing on the front porch.

3. The chairs at Union Station. The wide, cushy seats and double-wide armrests of the chairs in the 1939 station harken to a time when train travel was glamorous and comfortable.

4. Keeping $5 in cash in your wallet. So you can always buy a heap of freshly-chopped pineapple, mango, cucumber, coconut, and watermelon slathered in lime, salt, and tajín from a fruit vendor under a rainbow umbrella.

5. Always taking Fountain. To beat rushhour traffic on surface streets, thou must know quicker routes on smaller streets. Bonus points to everyone who doesn’t need Waze.

6. Watching the credits at the end of movies. You’ll probably recognize a name or five.

7. “We want tacos!” Free tacos when the Lakers hold their opponents to under 100 points.

8. Riding the elevator at Miracle Mile’s Wilshire Tower with Ruben Pardo. He’s one of the city’s last elevator operators, and he reminds us “of those curious old days when the city was just discovering the automobile, department stores were the tallest buildings around, and people actually talked to one another in elevators.”

9. Admiring the Watts Towers in passing on every trip along the Blue Line. Los Angeles is filled with extraordinary works of outsider art and homemade installations, but Simon Rodia’s Watts Towers still stand out more than 60 years after the artist finished working on them. Standing nearly 100 feet tall, the towers can be seen for blocks in each direction.

10. Watching movies under the stars at Hollywood Forever. A picnic (with wine, of course) among friends and showy gravestones is a local summer pastime.

11. Apartment buildings with names. Why give someone your address when you can tell them you live at The Commodore? Or Casa Laguna? Perhaps Chateau Chaumont—or maybe even Cheviot Capri?

12. Having a fallback plan. Did your Hollywood dreams fizzle out? You’re always welcome on the Venice Boardwalk. Just put out a jar and start strumming a guitar, or slapping spoons together, or backflipping over things, or whatever it is you do. There’s an audience for it in Venice—at least until Snapchat kicks everyone out in approximately two years.

13. Seeing Catalina on a clear day.26 miles across the sea, Santa Catalina is awaitin’ for me. Santa Catalina, the island of romance, romance, romance.”

14. Recapturing the glory days of America’s favorite almost-sport at Shatto 39 Lanes or Highland Park Bowl. The golden age of bowling has long past in LA (and, really, everywhere), and many classic lanes like Holiday Bowl and Hollywood Star Lanes (where The Dude wiled away his time in The Big Lebowski) are gone. But a few gems remain.

15. Being dazzled by the signs on the old theaters on Broadway. Clifton’s is up and running again, and so are many of Broadway’s historic theaters. Though the street is quickly fancifying, it’s still one of the most lively places in Los Angeles, and at night, when its neon signs are aglow, it really shines.

16. Going on a hike after you get off work. The hills and mountains are our backyard. The best way to unwind from a stressful day is to sweat it out among the mustard flower and oak and cedar trees on trails overlooking the city or the bay.

17. Vincent Thomas Bridge. Eye level with the massive cranes that keep the Port of LA up and running, you can see the cargo ships hulking in and out of the harbor, and the seas of shipping containers stacked in neat rows and columns. Half the nation’s crap is sitting there, waiting to be unloaded, and you’re above it all.

18. Dueling French dip origin stories. Was it Chinatown staple Philippe’s or revived Cole’s in Downtown that first put meat on a roll and soaked it with meat juice? We may never get to the bottom of this, but it’s probably a good idea to eat one sandwich from each establishment as personal research into the matter.

19. Stepping off the Expo Line and smelling the salty air as the doors open. The terminus of the newly extended light rail line ends mere blocks from the beach.

20. Seeing our city depicted (and destroyed) in movies, TV, and songs. From Chinatown to Clueless to L.A. Confidential to Bosch to La La Land to Insecure to CHiPs to Drive to Attack of the 50 Foot Woman to Blade Runner, it never gets old.

21. Reservoirs. In the early part of the 20th century, William Mulholland gave LA the one thing it needed to grow into a sprawling metropolis: water. Starting in 1913, it flowed downhill from Lake Owens through the new Los Angeles Aqueduct, and a collection of urban reservoirs provided a backup supply. Fast forward to the present and federal regulations have made those reservoirs obsolete, leaving the city with a lovely collection of manmade (and only occasionally empty) lakes.

22. Blaming traffic when you’re late. Forgot about your lunch appointment? Just call and say you’re stuck in traffic. It’s not a lie if it’s about to be true.

23. Ruins. Some people say LA has no history. Yet the past is among us in the city’s many fire-wrecked houses, decaying film sets, and abandoned nazi compounds. Some of the best: San Pedro’s sunken city, Murphy Ranch, the old Los Angeles Zoo, the remains of a hotel and railway at Echo Mountain, and the foundation of Paul Williams’ Roberts Ranch House at Solstice Canyon.

24. Low riders. If you’re going to drive everywhere, you might as well do it in style.

25. Angeles National Forest. LA’s got the desert, the beach, and the mountains, and its the mountains that can feel like the farthest departure from city life. In Angeles National Forest, get lost among tall pine trees in high elevation, and go a day without hearing a car alarm or the roar of traffic.

26. LeLand Bryant buildings. Architect LeLand Bryant designed the type of buildings we aspire to live in someday, glamorous French Chateau-style apartments that once served as “pied-a-terres for industry talent that lived in the outer reaches of ‘Hollywoodland.’”

27. Ice cream weather. When it’s perpetually 75-plus degrees, it’s never too cold for Sweet Rose Creamery, Magpies Softserv, Coolhaus, or Mashti Malone.

28. Grocery shopping with celebrities. Trying to act totally normal when you and Kramer both reach for the peanut butter at Whole Foods.

29. The views from the top of parking structures. The stress of finally finding a spot melts away when step out of your car and are greeted by a view of the Hollywood Sign, Griffith Observatory, or Pacific Ocean.

30. Case Study Houses. Arts & Architecture’s Case Study Houses were intended to be low-cost models for family housing in Los Angeles after World War II. With designs by Charles and Ray Eames, Pierre Koenig, and Richard Neutra, they turned out to be magnificent. We’re not the only ones who think so. Nearly a dozen of the houses are now on the National Register of Historic Places.

31. Spotting Angelyne. It’s inexplicably thrilling to see the former billboard queen in her pink Corvette.

32. Running through Palisades Park and not caring about having to dodge tourists, because it’s so beautiful. The skinny park occupies 1.6 miles of prime coastal real estate on Santa Monica’s Sandstone bluffs, and it belongs to the public. Lined with Monterey cypress, eucalyptus, and palm trees, it also holds some fun secrets (there are Batchelder tiles on the massive rock gates at Idaho Avenue and a Camera Obscura at Broadway).

33. Neon. LA’s past as a neon mecca has been captured in photos, compiled into books, and curated in museums, but as the newly relit Jensen’s Recreation Center sign in Echo Park and NoHo’s glowing Circus Liquor clown can attest, neon is still alive and well.

34. Eating a churro and reflecting on the city’s strange 236-year-history at El Pueblo de Los Angeles. LA’s birthplace is a little too quirky to qualify as a tourist trap, and a bit too touristy to draw in a ton of locals.

35. Hopping aboard Angels Flight to get from Grand Central Market to MOCA. The charming, herky-jerky funicular—the world’s shortest railroad—only runs up and down the incline between Hill Street and Grand Avenue’s California Plaza, so you better believe we’re taking it every time we can.

36. Decorative breeze blocks. Found all around Southern California, these elegant concrete blocks allow for privacy with a bit of natural light. Plus, they look cool. It’s a win-win-win.

37. Ciclavia. Waking up early to bike the blocked-off streets before the official event begins is a totally unique way to see the city—miles of empty streets and not a car in sight. Once the event is in full swing, there’s nothing wilder than seeing Wilshire (or Broadway or Venice) flooded with people of all ages on two wheels.

38. The light. The pink and gold afternoon glow is intoxicating. It was the light that drew early Hollywood studios, and it arguably distinguishes changing seasons for Angelenos.

39. The Magic Castle. In an old Victorian house atop a hill in the heart of Hollywood, this private clubhouse for magicians (and friends of magicians) is both mysterious and impossible to miss. From the ghost that plays the piano to the entrance hidden behind a bookshelf wall, this place truly is magic.

40. The diversity of residential architecture. Say what you want, Woody Allen. LA’s hodgepodge of architectural styles is one of the things that makes it great.

41. Eating mountains of seafood and drinking cold beer with the rest of the hoi polloi the San Pedro Fish Market.

42. Seeing a movie in the theater where Star Wars premiered. From the Chinese to the Egyptian to the Vista to the Fox Theater, Los Angeles isn’t short on opulent old movie houses with a history just as rich as that of the classic films that first screened there.

43. Driving along PCH. From Santa Monica to the Ventura County line, the view is all crashing waves, endless sea, and surfers bobbing in the ocean.

44. Stepping over decorative sidewalks in Downtown LA’s historic core. Some, like Arthur D. Pizzinat’s terrazzo icons of Los Angeles outside Clifton’s Cafeteria, tell a story, others are simply beautiful.

45. Beholding the 10,064-foot peak that is Mt. Baldy. The tallest point in Los Angeles is a gorgeous backdrop for the city’s skyline.

46. Bougainvillea. The unofficial flower vine of Los Angeles.

47. Freaking out when it rains. We all forget how to drive, and the local news stations kick into hyper-drive, giving the storms all of the treatment they deserve in a place that can get as little as 3 inches of rain in one year.

48. People Watching at Santee Alley. From odd knick knacks to the latest fashions, the vendors have it all at bargain prices. But sometimes the most fun part of a visit to the Downtown LA side street is just watching the crowds go by.

49. Living in a house with a Batchelder tile fireplace. Ernest Batchelder started his tile-making business humbly in 1910, using a portable kiln in the backyard of his Pasadena home. He became a leader in the Arts and Crafts movement, and his handsome decorative tiles still adorn fireplaces and businesses, including Angel City Brewery and an old chocolate shop in Downtown that was hidden for years.

50. The city is a melting pot. It’s reflected in the food and architecture and neighborhoods, from Thai Town to Little Armenia to Koreatown to Little Tokyo to Little Ethiopia.

51. LA has always been attractive to folks on the fringe. Whether its charismatic fake-healers, hippie vegetarian restaurant owners, or ’90s stars who start their own churches, the city’s functioned as the place to be for generations of people who marched to the beat of a different drum.

52. Noir. The city looks great in black and white. Thanks to masters of pulp like Raymond Chandler, Dorothy Hughes, Walter Mosley, James M. Cain, and Ross MacDonald, Los Angeles will always be a land of hardboiled detectives and femmes fatales, where things are never as they seem and “murder sometimes can smell like honeysuckle.”

53. The Santa Anas. The hot, dry winds have a certain romance to them.

54. Coming down a hill and seeing a sea of twinkling lights laid out before you. At night, there’s too much urban light to see the stars in the sky, but the sprawl shimmers at night, and it’s mesmerizing.

55. Googie diners. If heaven turns out to be a vinyl booth at an Armet and Davis-designed diner, with a greasy omelette on the table and unlimited coffee refills, we won’t be disappointed.

56. Spying the brilliant blue and gold sunburst pattern above the entrance of the Eastern Columbia Lofts. Arguably the best example of Art Deco architecture in Los Angeles, this turquoise beauty opened in 1930 and was one of the largest buildings constructed in Downtown prior to World War II.

57. Strolling through Exposition Park. Thank you, LA, for clustering so many must-visit museums together. Now we can see dinosaurs, a space shuttle, and an exhibit on radical 20th-century black women in the same day, then meander through a colorful rose garden on the way home.

58. Buying a novel from the Last Bookstore. Or any one of LA’s indie book shops, including Book Soup, Skylight, Diesel, Eso Won, Chevaliers, Counterpoint, Angel City, Stories, Sam Johnson’s, Vromans, and Larry Edmunds.

59. Putting “the” in front of freeway names. “The 110,” “the 101,” “the 10,” “the 134,” “the 2,” “the 5,” “the 210”—this is totally unique to Southern California.

60. Knowing exactly where to find your favorite taquero on any given night of the week.

61. Nestling into a corner of Downtown’s Central Library. If the striking Art Deco building’s gorgeous marble staircases and incredible pastel murals (they took five years to complete) don’t make you want to read a book, maybe nothing will.

62. Feeling like a kid among the giant papier-mâché soccer balls and multi-colored donkeys in Downtown’s piñata district.

63. Getting to the game in time to take in the sunset at Dodger Stadium. Vin Scully once described the sunsets like this: “A cotton-candy sky with a canopy of blue—looks good enough to eat.” Those delicious sunsets are the cherry on top to watching the Boys in Blue (… and eating a Dodger dog).

64. Feeling like you’re back home when you see the tile mosaics at LAX. The colorful tiles that line the tunnels to baggage claim have been welcoming Angelenos home since 1961.

65. Exploring the Santa Susana Pass. Following the steep wagon road that travelers used once upon a time to navigate between Northern and Southern California, hearing the whistle of trains passing into Simi Valley, it’s easy to be transported to another time—or another world (you can see the area’s strange rock formations in old Star Trek episodes).

67. Arriving late to work to catch a rehearsal at the Hollywood Bowl. You can shell out big bucks to see the LA Philharmonic at the outdoor amphitheater when evening comes around, or you can go for free and watch rehearsals on Tuesdays and Thursdays mornings throughout the summer season.

68. Whimsical roadside storefronts and bars. Where else but LA can you buy a donut from a building shaped like a donut? Or a drink from a bar that looks like a barrel? Back in the day, you could even get a hot dog from a hot dog-shaped stand, or a tamale from a restaurant resembling… well, you get the idea.

69. Discovering new bands while listening to KXLU. LA’s best music station, 88.9 FM, is run by students at Loyola Marymount University.

70. Avoiding Los Feliz Boulevard and taking Franklin instead just to drive over the Shakespeare Bridge. Built in 1926, the fanciful bridge spanning a ravine in the Franklin Hills is quaint and charming with its Gothic turrets.

71. Detecting hidden oil derricks. Why, in spite of obvious health risks, the second-most populated urban area in the nation is still a major hub of oil production is beyond us, but we’ll give the petroleum industry credit for cleverly disguising some very prominent drill sites. That decorated tower at Beverly Hills High? There’s a derrick underneath. That ugly office building on Pico? Fake! Bonus points to the THUMS Islands in Long Beach, which have waterfalls and other fun landscaping features to hide the drill sites.

72. Surveying the Hollywood skyline when you’re southbound on the 101. On clear days, you can maybe even see the ocean. But there’s always Capitol Records and the neon Patron sign. It can give you butterflies and make you feel like you’re arriving in LA for the first time.

73. Waking up at the crack of dawn for the first pick of the bounty at the Rose Bowl or Melrose flea. It’s worth it when you score the perfect vintage highball glasses.

74. Imagining shadowy forces behind every one of LA’s problems. There are conspiracy theories behind the traffic, the smog, and the shrinking supply of drinkable water. (Don’t get us started on what happened to the streetcars).

75. Tar pits. Right in the heart of LA is a link to the city’s prehistoric past—where mammoths, bison, and other Ice Age mammals struggled desperately to escape pools of viscous asphalt millennia before countless LACMA visitors struggled desperately to find parking in the same spot

76. Getting out of an event at 1 a.m. and remembering trains are still running. There should be a name for the combination of relief and ecstasy that comes with realizing the Expo, Red, Purple, Gold, Blue, and Green lines are open until 2 a.m.

77. Arriving in Santa Monica and suddenly finding yourself enveloped in a blanket of fog. The marine layer gives an otherwise ordinary day a nice air of mystery.

78. Using secret stairs as public exercise equipment. The staircases are left over from the old streetcar days are a piece of LA history.

79. The abundance of garden apartments. Los Angeles boasts the second highest number of garden apartments in the U.S., second only to Arlington County, Virginia. The idea to build apartments this way—facing a landscaped court yard, rather than the street—was born in England, but the weather here is much more suited to this type of living.

80. Sticking your face in a jasmine vine to inhale that delicious, sugary smell. Along with orange blossoms jacaranda, jasmine signals the arrival of spring.

81. Sipping martinis at Musso’s. Everyone is a martini drinker when they’re at the storied Musso and Frank Grill. The old school leather booths, engraved knives, and classic menu compel you.

82. Making contact with the restless spirits of stars like Marilyn Monroe and Rudolph Valentino. You might even get to meet Houdini if you ever find yourself in the Magic Castle’s séance room.

83. Admiring the incredible showmanship and artistry of the puppeteers at Bob Baker Marionette Theater. In operation since 1961, this puppet theater is not just for kids. (Really!)

84. Seeing the Griffith Observatory lit up at night. LA’s most majestic public building is even more impressive at night when it looms over the city like a guardian.

85. The chandeliers at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. The trio of giant crystal chandeliers—each measuring 10 feet wide and 17 feet tall—makes going to the opera feel utterly glamorous, even in casual LA.

86. Midcentury modern. No other style defines LA as much as midcentury modern. Is it any wonder so much of Mad Men was filmed here?

87. The Museum of Jurassic Technology. What is it? Are the exhibits real? Why is there a tea room? This frontrunner for LA’s most unique institution is definitely a place that reminds us LA has always been weird.

88. Escaping to the desert. Whether it’s traffic or smog or the outlandishly high cost of living that’s got you down, the desert is there for you. Soak in a hot spring; join a hippy commune; enjoy a sound bath.

89. Subcultures. Be it surfing, skating, weight lifting, biking, improvising, live action role-playing, or roller derby-ing, misfits from all over the world have always been able to find their niche in LA.

90. The city of dreamers.

91. Trekking through Griffith Park, knowing P-22 is probably napping close by. He’s been photographed prowling around the Hollywood Sign. He’s snuck into the LA Zoo. One time, he wandered into the crawl space of a Los Feliz home. His presence is a reminder that though we live in a city, we share the land with some majestic wildlife.

92. Coachella. When all of your friends venture out to the hottest, dustiest music festival on earth, you sit at home, live streaming the shows in the comfort of your yoga pants.

93. Growing lemons, limes, guavas, and avocados in your backyard. Then giving them to your very grateful friends.

94. Amoeba. The mere thought of this treasured Sunset Boulevard store having to relocate had people sweating bullets.

95. Luxuriating in the sun at a rooftop pool. If you’re “cool,” you’ve probably been invited to lounge at the Chateau or Viceroy. But there’s always the judgement-free zones of the Ace Hotel and the Downtown outpost of the Standard.

96. Enchanting streetlamps. LA is home to more than 400 types of streetlights, from Broadway Roses to the Olympic Special. Ornamental streetlamps line the Colorado Bridge and Wilshire Boulevard through MacArthur Park. Some residents have fought to preserve them; Chris Burden’s installation of streetlamps at LACMA is one of the most instagrammable locations anywhere. “There’s something alluring and ennobling about these fixtures of outdoor furniture.”

97. Strip malls. Get your nails done and your brows waxed, buy a lotto ticket, and dine at your favorite hole-in-the-wall—all in one place.

98. Never needing a compass. It’s always obvious which way is east and west, thanks to the mountains and the beach.

99. Hearing Vin Scully’s voice on the radio. The voice of the Dodgers retired last year after 67 seasons with the Dodgers, but he’ll never retire from our hearts.

100. Holding back a tear every time you hear The Mamas and Papas singCalifornia Dreamin.’”

101. Not holding back a big smile when you hear Randy Newman sing “I love L.A.” We love it.

LA is getting Obama Boulevard—but what happened to Obama Highway?

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The California legislature last year approved renaming part of the 134 freeway after Obama.

State officials still haven’t put up signs

Rodeo Road will be renamed after President Barack Obama, city leaders decided this week. But it’s not the first roadway in LA that lawmakers agreed to name after the 44th president.

In 2017, the state legislature approved a resolution to designate the stretch of the 134 freeway that runs between Pasadena and Eagle Rock as the President Barack H. Obama Highway.

A year later, however, there’s little evidence of that decision.

There are no signs pointing drivers to the Obama Highway, and Google Maps still labels the segment of the 134 between the 210 and 2 freeways as the Ventura freeway.

That’s because State Sen. Anthony Portantino is still raising money to pay for the new signs, says press secretary Yvonne Vasquez .

Portantino proposed renaming the freeway after Obama in 2016, pointing out that the president used the route in the early 1980s, when traveling to classes as a student at Occidental College.

Part of Portantino’s resolution calling for the name change indicates that the new signs will be paid for through “nonstate” donations. Vasquez says plenty of offers have come in from “all over the country,” but that Portantino is looking for more local funding sources.

Caltrans spokesperson Tim Weisberg told the Eastsider in March that the signs would cost around $5,000 to make and install.

Portantino is planning a fundraiser next month, says Vasquez.

LA residents will also have to wait a while to travel down Obama Boulevard.

The name change was proposed by Councilmember Herb Wesson in honor of Obama’s first campaign rally in Los Angeles, held at Rodeo Road’s Rancho Cienega Recreation Center. But street signs won’t be unveiled until Presidents Day 2019, Wesson spokesperson Vanessa Rodriguez tells the Los Angeles Times.

108-year-old Craftsman on one of Silver Lake’s best streets asks $1.3M

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Colorful but cozy

North La Fayette Park Place is one of the best streets in fashionable Silver Lake. Lined with a variety of trees and populated with a mix of fabulous architectural styles, it also boasts a view of the Downtown skyline—and it’s walking distance to Sunset Boulevard.

It’s on this perfect street that you’ll find a delightful 108-year-old Craftsman that’s come on the market with a price tag of $1.29 million.

The two-level dwelling has two separate entrances, one on each level, along with two kitchens (the one on the upper floor is not permitted; the one on the bottom floor is colorful but cozy). Features include wood floors and original built-ins from 1908, box beam ceilings, and hand-painted geometric murals in the dining room.

Measuring 2,181 square feet, the home holds three bedrooms and two bathrooms. The outdoor space is lovely too. There’s a welcoming front porch and, per the listing: “French Doors off [the] rear bedroom open to a balcony with view of expansive lush garden great for entertaining.”

26 glorious things to do this Labor Day

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26 places to visit in LA, from secret stairs to under-the-radar museums

Welcome to Curbed LA’s pocket guide, a map of 26 essential things to do in Los Angeles. Suited for locals and visitors alike and curated by our editors, this map is updated seasonally, focusing on cultural institutions, architecture, the outdoors, and beautiful spaces.

This summer, we’re paying special attention to things to do along the water, lush parks, hikes, impressive architecture that’s open to the public, and stand-out special exhibits at our favorite museums. Our picks include well-known classics and under-the-radar spots, from the beach bike path to secret stairs in Beachwood Canyon to the Made in LA exhibit at the Hammer. If we missed any cool spots, let us know in the comments.

Looking for more ways to explore the City of Angels this summer?

LA home prices drop for the first time since January

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Home prices in Los Angeles dropped in July after five straight months of new price records.

Have housing costs reached their limit?

For the first time since January, home prices in Los Angeles County fell month-to-month in July, according to a new report from CoreLogic.

The median sale price for the month was $607,500, down 1.2 percent since June, when home prices soared to a record-high $615,000.

LA’s all-time price record had been shattered in each month leading up to July.

But real estate experts have predicted that Southern California’s hot real estate market could be cooling off. A recent analysis from Zillow found that the number of homes on the market with price cuts is up since the beginning of the year, suggesting that buyer interest may be waning.

“It’s not unusual for a regional median sale price to fall back a bit from an all-time high,” says CoreLogic analyst Andrew LePage.

But year-over-year price growth is also slowing a bit. Across all of Southern California, prices rose 5.8 percent in July (and 5.7 percent in LA County), compared to July 2017. That’s the lowest yearly increase in 18 months.

LePage points to the “continuing erosion of affordability” as a likely culprit for sagging price growth.

Rising mortgage interest rates are making even small jumps in sale prices significantly more difficult for buyers to cover. Factoring in interest rate growth, median mortgage payments were around 13 percent higher in July than a year ago, according to LePage.

That may also be contributing to an drop in the overall number of home sales. In LA County, 6,971 homes sold in July—down from 7,607 a month earlier. LePage says declining sales can’t be explained by the number of houses on the market.

“The overall trend in recent months, has been toward more listings,” he says.

Instead, it’s possible that many home shoppers are simply “unable or unwilling to buy.”

Councilmember David Ryu goes on record about road diets: ‘Even one injury or death is too many’

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A screenshot of Google Maps showing Rowena where the road diet is in effect.

Under pressure from neighborhood leaders in Los Feliz

As residents continue to spar over a road diet on Rowena Avenue, neighborhood leaders in Los Feliz are demanding answers from Los Angeles City Councilmember David Ryu about his position on street safety projects.

A pointed letter from the Los Feliz Neighborhood Council’s governing board, sent last week, asks Ryu to clarify his position on road diets. It also asks directly what he thinks is the “acceptable number” of pedestrian deaths resulting from car collisions.

These “should be simple questions to answer,” the letter’s author, Danny Cohen, told Curbed in an email.

Cohen says he wrote the letter out of concern that “political pressures and loud voices” might distract from the city’s ambitious street safety goals.

The letter doesn’t mention the Rowena road diet, which is in Silver Lake, but comes as street safety activists across LA battle community opposition to that project and others like it.

Road diets, in which lanes for cars are removed to slow down the flow of traffic, are a common solution to traffic safety issues endorsed by the Federal Highway Administration and deployed in cities around the U.S.

But in LA, they have proven controversial.

Pedestrian and cyclist advocates praise the projects, which have been a key part of the city’s Vision Zero initiative to end traffic deaths by 2025. But a vocal group of opponents argue that road diets snarl traffic and force cars onto side streets, making those arterials less safe.

Those claims are hard to verify, but community uproar was loud enough that officials undid road diets on three different streets in Playa del Rey last year. Later, Ryu effectively blocked a planned road diet in Mid-City, instead focusing on a series of smaller safety improvements.

Pedestrian advocates were alarmed earlier this month when Ryu’s office released the results of a study focusing on cut-through traffic on Rowena Avenue and nearby streets.

The Rowena Avenue road diet, implemented after the death of a 24-year-old pedestrian in 2012, reconfigured the four-lane street as a two-lane thoroughfare with a center turn lane. Bike lanes were also added on both sides of the street.

The study shows that, since the changes were implemented, the number of collisions and injuries on the street has dropped.

But, citing community concerns about increased traffic on nearby streets, it ends with multiple proposals that would re-introduce lanes for cars, undoing key features of the project.

Ryu hasn’t yet taken a position on those suggestions, but road diet advocates are concerned that only one of the four options in the report—keeping the road diet as is—would maintain streetscape changes introduced to slow vehicle speeds.

In a response to the letter from the Los Feliz Neighborhood Council, Ryu, whose district encompasses much of Silver Lake and Los Feliz, calls road diets “an important tool in the city’s tool box to address speeding and public safety.”

He does not specify, however, where in his district they might be implemented and whether any plans are in place to adjust the lane configuration on Rowena Avenue.

The councilmember points to a series of recent projects throughout his district—including the left-turn pockets and continental crosswalks installed in lieu of a road diet in Mid-City—as evidence of his commitment to pedestrian safety.

“Even one injury or death on our city’s streets is too many,” writes Ryu. “The challenge is to ensure the road improvements that are made address the conditions that led to the collision, injury or fatality in the first place.”

Hardly anyone showed up for the first public hearing on Elon Musk’s Dodger Stadium tunnel

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At least three of the people who spoke during public comment work or have worked for Musk

The most exciting moment in the first public meeting convened Tuesday for Elon Musk’s proposed high-speed tunnel to Dodger Stadium came courtesy of Tom LaBonge.

The former Los Angeles City Councilmember, donning a quintessential Dodgers ball cap, spent the two minutes of the public speaking time he was allotted exuberantly running back and forth, praising Boring Company employees.

At one point, he tossed a loaf of bread from Monastery of the Angels to a Boring Company staffer, telling him he was an “angel.”

“Keep it up,” LaBonge told him. “The vision that this company has… is real important.”

He then asked the employees to build a tunnel to the Hollywood Bowl, as well.

The meeting, which was hosted by the city of Los Angeles, kicks off environmental review for the project, which aims to ferry passengers on electric-powered pods from one of three nearby Metro Red Line stations. The trip to the ballpark would take just 4 minutes and cost $1.

Musk has said his high-speed tunnels—which he wants to build an entire network of across Los Angeles—are an environmentally-friendly solution to “soul-crushing” gridlock.

It’s difficult to say how representative LaBonge’s remarks are of public opinion.

Only a few dozen people showed up, and even fewer spoke. At least three of those who did either work or have worked for Musk companies.

“It took me an hour to get here over the 405, that’s why people aren’t showing up [tonight],” said Scott Nolan, a former SpaceX employee.

There are already many other ways to get to the stadium. Metro operates an express bus from Union Station that uses dedicated lanes on Sunset. The distance from the regular 2 or 4 bus stop on Sunset to Dodger Stadium is .6 miles, which at least one attendee who arrived at the meeting on foot walked in 12 minutes.

An aerial tram is also proposed that would serve up to 5,000 passengers per game.

The ball park seats about 56,000 and has parking for 16,000 cars.

 Via the Boring Company
A rendering showing how an escalator at street-level would connect to the underground tunnel.

Musk’s line would begin at one of three Metro Red Line stations in either Los Feliz or East Hollywood and would carry 1,400 passengers (and potentially up to 2,800) per game. The passengers would ride in pods seating 8 to 12 passengers. The attendees at last night’s meeting could have fit in four of those pods.

Three attendees did question the project, including Echo Park resident Chris Ellington.

“I’ve lived a block away for 26 seasons now,” he said. “For someone to come and say… that 1,400 people a night… is going to eliminate traffic—wow.”

The city had set aside two hours for public comment, and a stadium security guard mentioned that staffers were bracing for a crowd of 1,000.

The entire meeting was scheduled to last until 9 p.m. It wrapped two hours before that.

The Boring Company representatives and city officials did not answer questions.

Major redevelopment of Panorama City’s old Montgomery Ward approved

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Over 600 apartments will replace dormant retail site

Redevelopment can move forward on a vacant Panorama City Montgomery Ward site. The Los Angeles City Council approved the project today, with a 13-0 vote.

The development will demolish three vacant buildings and parking lots on the 8.9-acre site at Roscoe Boulevard just west of Van Nuys Boulevard. A new, seven-building complex will rise there, holding 623 apartments, 60,000 square feet of stores and restaurants, and a 17,000-square-foot landscaped plaza.

Residents of the neighborhood are welcoming the changes to come.

“We desperately need the old Montgomery site renovated,” said Gregory Wilkinson, who chairs the Panorama City Neighborhood Council, in May, when the project went before the city planning commission. It received glowing reviews from the commissioners as well.

There’s no announced timeline for the project.

Farther south on Van Nuys Boulevard, near the Amtrak station, developer Izek Shomof is planning an adaptive reuse project that would convert a Welton Beckett-designed office building into housing and retail.

26 glorious things to do in LA this Labor Day

Posted · Add Comment

26 places to visit in LA, from secret stairs to under-the-radar museums

Welcome to Curbed LA’s pocket guide, a map of 26 essential things to do in Los Angeles. Suited for locals and visitors alike and curated by our editors, this map is updated seasonally, focusing on cultural institutions, architecture, the outdoors, and beautiful spaces.

This summer, we’re paying special attention to things to do along the water, lush parks, hikes, impressive architecture that’s open to the public, and stand-out special exhibits at our favorite museums. Our picks include well-known classics and under-the-radar spots, from the beach bike path to secret stairs in Beachwood Canyon to the Made in LA exhibit at the Hammer. If we missed any cool spots, let us know in the comments.

Looking for more ways to explore the City of Angels this summer?


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