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Rumblings & Bumblings Responses: Sugar in Your Tank

Nice job everyone on providing some very decent answers to some pressing questions from Tuesday's R&B. For next week, please feel free to ask your question in the form of an email sent to our inbox at We learn something new every week. This is more stimulating than a game of sudoku.

1) Sunset Strip: Carter in the comments offers up some facts and rumors on the Peterson Building. "The last thing I heard regarding the Petersen Building was that it was to become a high end hotel, as a part of the Millenium project, yet with that project's current economic woes, timing may become an issue among other things."

2) Los Feliz: Joe at Martini Republic knows his banks. He types in the following in regards to the BofA on Vermont and Prospect: "I would very much doubt that BofA will be giving up the Vermont/Prospect location... The new branch at Franklin/Hillhurst will try to catch a piece of the commercial action on Hillhurst, which is underserviced by a single Citi branch. Hillhurst remains better for residential than commercial, but commerical is doing better on the street."

3) Venice: One of our funny-faced friends is working with this property. He refuses to give us the low-down on what's being planned. Skwerl in the comments notes that the former gas station on the site probably polluted the ground.

4) Hollywood: It may look like a giant condom, but the Sunset-Vine Tower is just undergoing some internal reworking. An email tipster says: "That’s CIM and Kanner Architects at Sunset + Vine Tower. Right now, within that “giant condom,” demolition is under way. The project will feature 63 market-rate apartment units. Construction schedule is unsettled at this point. The exterior will have a new curtain wall that will make the tower more transparent than the old black glass building." See the loverly rendering above.

5) Hollywood: You people and your Batali questions. You're driving poor Marissa into a frothy mess. From the comments, Plantain says: "I seem to remember in my strolls around the Melrose/Highland 'hood that it says "CalAsia Inc"...and that there's brown paper taped up on the windows now....sat dormant for such along time... so maybe now they've finally pulled the finger out and are getting work done..." CalAsia is later identified as a trussing company. Carter adds that Phase 1 of the restaurant may open by August with the rest opening at a later date.

6) Santa Monica: We've been corrected. Santa Monica can fit a lot more people into its borders. Everyone move there now. An emailer says the following regarding the question from the reader: "... there won't be apartments going in south of MTV in santa monica. It's one of the only places in the city where you can't put in multifamily." Well then, that answers that.

7) Los Angeles: The question regarding the "Shame On Casden Properties" and the "Shame On ____" signs resulted in several interesting responses. Miss Teresa in the comments says: "The "Shame on Casden" signs are the same guys at the "Shame on Caruso" signs you sometimes see at the Grove. They are out-of-work craftspeople, like electricians and plumbers, protesting the developers' practice of not paying prevailing wage to their construction workers."

However, the best answer comes from an emailer who makes us fear for our safety:

"The Shame On campaign is run by the carpenters union local 209. They target developers, contractors and owners who chose to use laborers in place of the more highly skilled (higher paid) carpenters. A new system now allows parking structures to be built with metal forms that can be reused over and over again so the need for wood forms is gone. The lower paid laborer can do the job faster with minimal supervision due to the ease of the new systems. The Union tactics also involve physical intimidation to female jobsite administrators, property damage (slashing tires, sugar in gas tanks etc.) and old school Mafioso threats to hurt your wife and kids at home. They are a real classy outfit to say the least. The cost ramifications of using union labor on a job that does not need it is massive (30-40% increase) with no added benefit other than no shame on you banners in front of your job, office and home. The one way to get them to leave your home alone is to put a similar sign in front of the home of the union president (all I need to know in life I learned in kindergarten stuff). The hacks holding the signs get paid $10/hour under the table and are not union members themselves.

Anyone seen Tony Soprano around??

I would have never believed this could happen in the United States if I had not seen it myself. The Union brotherhood is losing much of the influence it once had and will do unsavory things to keep the dues coming in to pay the salaries of the union bosses."

We hope that answers your questions everyone. Now we need to see about getting one of those high paying sign holding jobs. Until next week... adieu!