The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures got its approvals back in June, but it's spent the months since then trying to keep from being sued by anti-development group Fix the City—the same group that helped shut down planning guidelines in 2013 that would've encouraged transit-oriented development in Hollywood and that is now suing to stop the just-passed Los Angeles mobility plan that would create more transit, biking, and walking options in the city. But in this case, discussion have been fruitful and a lawsuit has been avoided—the LA Times reports that Fix the City and the Academy have reached some kind of mysterious deal, meaning demolition on the project at Fairfax and Wilshire can start in the fall.
In a written statement, Fix the City said it has come to a "settlement agreement" with the Academy, one that addresses one of the group's biggest complaints: traffic. Fix the City previously maintained that there wasn't enough analysis on the future museum's effects on parking and traffic; when the museum was approved in June, it wasn't required to tack on any new parking to its plan—it will sit on the edge of the LACMA campus and share the museum's lot and garage. (Work is also underway now on the Purple Line subway, which will stop right outside.)
Fix the City says their deal with the Academy involved them working together and coming up with "innovative" ways to keep an eye on traffic and to monitor the fullness of museum parking; the deal also established steps to take when problems crop up. The statement said this system of traffic and parking monitoring would be privately run, but didn't really share any specifics beyond that, like what the system was exactly or how it would function, or who would privately run it.
Fix the City's deal with the Academy also included some concessions on signs around the museum. Banners along Fairfax have now been nixed and a digital sign on the Wilshire-facing side of the museum's big glass sphere won't be visible to drivers, though the group was ok with digital signs in the old display windows of the May Company building, the old department store that will be remodeled into the front portion of the museum, and with the giant Oscar that will adorn the May Company's gold column. The statement makes no mention of any kind of monetary aspect to the settlement, but some neighborhood groups have been known to receive cash in exchange for dropping lawsuits against development projects.
With this suit out of the way and permits for demolition obtained, the construction on the museum is anticipated to wrap up in time for the museum to open in late 2017. The divisive museum, designed by starchitect Renzo Piano, will be spread between that renovated May Company Building and a new sphere that will contain a 1,000-seat theater and 10,000-square-foot viewing deck. See some before-and-afters of the project here.
· Deal averts lawsuit that threatened to stall Academy Museum of Motion Pictures [LAT]
· The Academy Movie Museum On the Miracle Mile is Happening as Long as It's Not Killed By a Lawsuit [Curbed LA]
· See How the Movie Museum Will Transform the Miracle Mile [Curbed LA]