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Development News of Note

University Park: A well funded campaign to stop development isn't always a guarantee of success. Yesterday, Urban Partners overcame the onslaught of attacks by competitor Conquest Student Housing and a group of concerned citizens and students to get approval to build the University Gateway project. The Times reports that the project promises to confine students in reasonable dorm like accomodations while providing 700 jobs to the community.

Downtown: The owners of the Chapman Building, at the corner of Broadway and Eighth, have received approval to convert the former home of the Los Angeles Investment Company into 168 loft units. Via the Mayor's Office: "The building's interior on the first floor featured solid mahogany and pillars of grain marble, and in the basement an immense bank vault with the largest doors that could be found at the time!"

Playa Vista: A friend had the chance to speak with some folks from Playa Vista who recounted the struggles to get stuff built at the site. She reported back to us on the state of development affairs that is squashing the development potential of many sites throughout the city. Our friend emails back the highlights of the conversation: "CEQA is now being abused by extremists to stop things from being built and it's too easy to hijack the process. The State tried streamlining CEQA but there were too many conditions. If there was no CEQA, [Playa Vista] would physically look the same, but there would be 8,000 dwelling units for $350k each instead of 2,000 dwelling units for $800k each as there is now. It costs too much time and money to make an EIR bullet proof."