Last week, Los Angeles-based developer CIM filed papers with the city, indicating its desire to create a sign district at the Midtown Crossing site, that mixed-use development at Pico and San Vicente. Phase One of Midtown Crossing is done (there's a Panda Express, Cold Stone Creamery, Starbucks, Metro Bus transfer station), while Phase Two, currently under construction will bring in a Lowe's and retailers. The sign district would allow giant supergraphics and billboards to rise on the site, ultimately bringing in lots of cash to CIM, but the rub here is that the city had to help CIM pay to get the project completed (of course, the city is also trying to rein in the proliferation of supergraphics). Via a 2008 LA Times story: "To complete Midtown Crossing, Villaraigosa's appointees at the Community Redevelopment Agency recently recommended that the City Council increase the size of the project's subsidy from $5 million to $14.3 million." Additionally, that story pointed out that two city pension boards are putting city employee retirement dollars into CIM funds. According to the Coalition to Ban Billboard Blight, the Midtown Crossing sign district is being "heavily promoted" by Councilman Herb Wesson. Meanwhile, is work now going on at the site? Here's how the place was looking last summer.
MITIGATED NEGATIVE DECLARATION-NG-09-059-PL: ENV-2008-2615. 4550 W. Pico Blvd. Wilshire. Council District No. 10. Establishment of a "SN" Sign Supplemental Use District (SUD) for the Midtown Crossing Project pursuant to the procedures set forth in Section 12.32S and Section 13.11(l) of the Los Angeles Municipal Code (LAMC). The proposed SUD boundaries are entirely within the Midtown Crossing Project Site, which is generally bounded by Pico Boulevard to the north, San Vicente Boulevard to the west, Venice Boulevard to the south, and West Boulevard to the east. The proposed SUD would allow the use of supergraphic signs, including a total of 11 off-site advertising signs with a total of 15,196 square feet of display area across an approximately 12-acre site. Display sizes would range from approximately 500 square feet (e.g., 25' wide by 20' high) to approximately 2,700 square feet (e.g., 90' wide by 30' high). All signs would be integrated with existing (or proposed) structures within the commercially zoned portions of the Midtown Crossing development. No signs are proposed within the existing "R" (Residential) zoned portions of the Midtown Crossing development project area. Please contact staff a DAY in advance at (213) 978-1163 or at firstname.lastname@example.org . If person not available, please leave message. Documents are available for REVIEW by APPOINTMENT only at: Los Angeles City Hall, 200 N. Spring St., Room 667, Los Angeles, CA 90012. Comments can be faxed: Attn: Patricia Diefenderfer, (213) 978-1477. REVIEW/COMMENT period ends: March 4, 2009.