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1) Mar Vista: So what to make of that dirty dirt lot at Sepulveda and Palms? Via the comments we learn that the site was once a Thrifty gas station, and this: "I used to live near palms & sepulveda. In the photo, you can see a white tube snorkle-like object, on the right hand side coming out of the little building. Occasionally wavy air signaled some very hot exhaust coming out, and the inside glowed orange. I don't understand what was going on, but not like any waste remediation I've ever seen. Makes me think there's something secret underground there."
2) Downtown: Per the comments and per LoopNet we see that the first four floors of the Stock Exchange are being converted to a nightclub with opening set for December. The fifth floor is unoccupied and looking for a restaurant tenant. Get your earplugs ready downtown neighbors, that block is going to become a nightly douchebag gathering spot.
3) Laurel Canyon: No definitive answer on the mailbox in Laurel Canyon, however some speculation. "The little lot on Laurel belonged to a "developer" who attempted to sell the land and the adjacent parcels in an auction earlier this year. The plans were for multiple HUGE homes going all the way up the hill. I have no idea what happened at the auction, but whomever would even consider buying the land is a fool. Hopefully, no one did and that spot will remain a funny little bit of canyon eccentricity."
4) West LA: Regarding another dirt lot at Beverly Glen and Santa Monica, mike d. in the comments answers: "My brother-in-law worked for Audi (corporate) and said that they own the lot on Santa Monica and Beverly Glen and would like to build a dealership, but a different dealer currently owns the rights to that part of town and won't accept their buyout deal. So I guess they're sitting on it until his contract expires. You'll notice there is always an Audi ad on the billboard on the lot."