It's really a wonder anything gets built anywhere. Don't mistake us, we're not bitching. But for the development newbies in the audience, if you're wondering why there are vacant lots all over the place in prime areas, look no further than the cost of building parking and the neverending traffic impacts. An article from Westside Today cites the LAEDC's Mid-Year 2006-2007 Forecast report [PDF], which sees potential challenges for the Westside, mainly revolving around community groups opposed to development due to traffic and parking.
Oasis Realty wants to spend $500 million to make radical changes to the Beverly Hilton, but efforts are stalled, much like the traffic near Wilshire and Santa Monica, where the company wants to add two 13-story condominium units and a 15-story condo project. Not likely, says Victor Bardak of the Beverly [Hills] North Homeowner’s Association. “I have already had several calls from residents about the size of those buildings,” said Bardak. They’re virtually all critical, and much of the criticism centers on the traffic that would be generated as part of the construction near the busy intersection, as well as vehicular traffic that would result from people seeking out the new hotel towers.
One of the potentital solutions to the traffic and parking crunch is the proposed light rail line - first the Expo Line going to Culver City and then sometime later, the Red Line extension or Purple Line, or whatever its called. In the meantime, we'll all continue to suffer the traffic with a stiff upper lip or if you're like us, you'll just avoid going to the Westside at all costs.
· A Rosy Glow [Westside Today Online]