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Molly's Burgers Up for a Vote, CRA Sale Questioned*

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The Los Angeles Times considers the saga of Molly's Burgers, that greasy spoon on Vine Street that's threatened by the arrival of a new office building. The story has expanded past the "is this burger shack worth saving" argument to the larger question of the role of the Community Redevelopment Agency in this deal, with the Times quoting critics wondering why it is that they're selling the site for so cheap. Santa Monica-based developer Pacifica Ventures is buying the site for $825,000 from the CRA, who paid $5.46 million for the land. From the Times: Attorney Robert P. Silverstein, who is representing Molly's, "contends the agency's bargain-basement resell price 'constitutes an unconstitutional gift of public funds.'" Those critical of the CRA's role in land use matters in the city will likely pounce on this story, but for their part, Pacifica Ventures says all their deals involve public-private partnerships. And they say Molly's is welcome as a ground-floor tenant. Attorney Silverstein says they will sue to block the sale. The City Council will take up the issue today. UPDATE*: The City Council delayed voting on the project, and continued the item until July 20th.
· Taking a burger stand [LA Times]
· Greasy Burger Shack Threatened By Purple Hued Office Project [Curbed LA]