1) Mar Vista: Dude. Mar Vista? Nothing's happening in Mar Vista... Actually, no one bothered to answer this question. But believe you me, we are investigating and instigating at this very moment and will have more next week.
2) Hollywood: A reliable tipster emails in about the Open Fist Theater site: "The project is called Madrone (pictured above). It is a Laing Urban project with 180 condos ranging from five to seven stories and 14,000-sq.ft. of ground floor retail space and 435 parking spaces. Architect is
Kanner Architects (Cunningham Group, not Kanner. woops -ed.)... the project was supposed to open in the first quarter of 2006- but that seems impossible now." We may have more pics of this project tomorrow.
3) Mid-Wilshire: UPDATE: An email from our development insider gives us the low-down on the Mid-Wilshire eyesore. "The eyesore between Tremaine and Longwood is a gift from Park Wilshire LLC (aka Monterey Park based Tsai Development & Construction Corp.). It was supposed to be a 40,425 square foot project consisting of 20 residential condos and 9 commerical condo units (retail and maybe office) and 118 parking spaces."
UPDATE 2: Jesus, you all don't know when to quit. More insider dirt. "...the development at Wilshire/Longwood was approved for 20 condos, started construction, had problems with building and safety over actually building to the approved plans, and then that delay led to developer financial problems, thus the ugly construction site, unfortunately the city can't just finish a developer's project for them so the site will likely remain a mess."
4) Mid-Wilshire: A downtown reader answers a Mid-Wilshire question, expertly. "I don''t know the case of these exact lots but this part of Wilshire was called the Park Mile because many of the lots were deed restricted for single family houses, but once Wilshire became a busy street, no one wanted to build a house on them, hence there being vacant for so many decades.
Possibly a few of them have longer covenants than others; others I know are irregular shaped and the zoning makes it difficult to develop them and so some owners have tried to buy the house next door to make a more suitable development site. Lastly, since many of these lots are still owned by the original families, there [has been] so little invested in them, there has not been the incentive to develop them that more recently purchased properties have." Our tipster checks back in to finish his research: "It appears that all the old covenants have expired and that the severe parking requirements for offices, the three story height limit, the banning of any retail and the mandatory landscaping setbacks and rearline setbacks are likely what keeps these lots undeveloped long after the covenants have expired."
UPDATE: More insider meat to nosh on. "Park Mile's more important deed restrictions and conditions have to do with just what the name says: parking. The zoning demands commercial development (zoned CR restricted commercial) yet agreements with the city and landowners require that the parking in such buildings be free (parking in commercial office buildings on Wilshire around Miracle Mile being very expensive) so parking doesn't overflow into the residential areas, thus there are many disincentives to developing there, retail is allowed, landscaping isn't expensive, rear setbacks can be waived, but it's the parking that is killing development."
5) Pasadena: A first! A reader gets tired of waiting for an answer to his question and answers it himself by contacting the City of Pasadena. Thanks for clueing us in. "Well, I decided to do my own hunting regarding the H&M store. From the City of Pasadena Economic Development Department:
"Mr. (name removed) - yes, H&M is opening a new store in Old Pasadena. This will be only one of three stores on the west coast. The store will be located between Tiffany & Co and Abercrombie, just west of Delacy on the south side of the street. I am not sure what the timing is but they are currently under construction.
Also, Kenneth Cole is opening a new store at the SW corner of Delacy and Colorado where Goldstein's Bagels was located."
We'll be back next week for more. Maybe something exciting really is happening in Mar Vista. We'll check it out. Email your burning questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.