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Rick Caruso Sets His Sights On East LA, Westwood

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In the LA Times this weekend, developer Rick Caruso told Patt Morrison he'd "love to build something in East L.A.," he just has to find the right place: "You've got to buy the land at the right price. You've got to get the right entitlements. The right retailers to serve that community. You've got to get enough customers to use it, spend money, support the rents. A lot of very low to moderate income areas really thrive. I think if conceived right it can be done. East L.A., Boyle Heights, I just haven't found the right areas." He also thinks he can do better than a couple of Mann theaters and an aahs! in Westwood: "There's areas I would love to redo. On the way home, I drove through Westwood -- dead. It just broke my heart. What a waste. Westwood should be a great thriving district, but now you've got a bunch of junk, just junk."

In the interview outtakes, Caruso talks about the great experience he's had with a neighborhood council (perhaps theBurton Way folks?), and his problems with LA's planning and permitting processes. But the funnest part is when he goes full-rant in response to Morrison's questions about his time as president of the DWP commission: "[Former DWP chief and current DWP interim chief] David Freeman’s a whack job. The fact that he’s heading up the DWP again is a joke. The man is not qualified, nor was he at the time, to run that organization, and I was really happy to see him leave it. I think he has no managerial skills or the knowledge base to head up the DWP. Not at all. Someone needs to put him back on his horse and send him back out of town." And yes, he's talking about the "mayor thing," as LA Observed pointed out.
· Rick J. Caruso: A work in progress [LAT]
· Caruso! Not the singing one. The talking one. Rick Caruso talks more L.A. [LAT]

The Grove

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