The Green Hollow Square development in Brentwood, which would build retail and a house on the site of the mid-century Barry Building (former home of Dutton's), released its final environmental impact report recently and now here come the angry community meetings. Billionaire Charles Munger has long had plans to knock down the 1951 Barry, which was designed by Milton Caughey and is something of a landmark in retail architecture (in addition to being an actual city landmark)--he wants to build a 73,300 square feet development with three two-story buildings oriented around courtyards, and one level of underground parking, which along with some at-grade parking, would provide 427 spaces. The LA Conservancy and neighbors are fighting the Barry demolition and the final EIR took a closer look at a preservation alternative that would incorporate the building into the new development. That alternative would create slightly fewer car trips (which neighbors like), although, according to the report, "Overall, the impacts of this alternative would be significant and unavoidable and would be the same as the proposed project’s impacts."
More than 100 people came out to a meeting of the Brentwood Community Council this week, most either to encourage preservation or just to complain about the potential traffic impacts, reports the Brentwood Patch (only four of 30 speakers were in favor of the project, although apparently many more have sent letters of support to Councilmember Bill Rosendahl). Local homeowners hired their own traffic engineer to look at the project (that's Brentwood, folks!); the engineer found, not surprisingly, that the project would increase traffic in the area considerably. The anti-traffic neighbors support a smaller project and perhaps some switchover to residential space (which creates less traffic).
The fun marches on--there are two more meetings on the project scheduled for next week, and then the Area Planning Commission will hear the project on May 14. The final EIR says that Munger hopes to finish the project in 2014.
· Brentwood Council Meeting Draws Record Crowd [Brentwood Patch]
· Brentwood Town Green Renamed Green Hollow Square [Curbed LA]