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Is Beverly Hills’s Richard Meier-designed project in jeopardy?

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Opponents say the project shouldn’t be approved because an ex-mayor lobbied for it

Final approval of One Beverly Hills—the condo project designed by Getty Center architect Richard Meier formerly known as 9900 Wilshire—is being challenged by opponents who say that a former mayor who lobbied for the project broke city rules when he did so.

The LA Times reports that an attorney based in Sacramento claiming to represent himself and unnamed residents of Beverly Hills in threatening to take legal action against the project because a former Bev Hill mayor, Barry Brucker, "violated the city’s ‘revolving door’ policy that prohibits former officials from paid lobbying for projects they voted on while in office." The lawyer suggested that if the project were approved, legal action would follow.

Brucker voted to approve the project, then called 9900 Wilshire, in 2008. The plans for the project and the owners have been altered since then. Brucker tells the Times, "I believed that due to the at least three ownership changes of the site located at 9900 Wilshire, along with the change of use, that the project that was being undertaken was not the same as the project that I voted on when I was on the Council."

Now, the One Beverly Hills development is owned by the Chinese company Wanda Group, which purchased the property in 2014. One Beverly Hills contains 193 luxury condos, 134 boutique hotel rooms, and a public garden. Previous estimates expected construction to begin on the project in early 2017.

Beverly Hills’s City Attorney doesn’t seem too concerned about a legal threat. He says that the attorney’s letter is mistaken in its premise that even if there were an ethics violation, it would mean that the city were had to reject the One Beverly Hills project. "What the statute provides is that it is grounds for denial of a project. But it does not require denial of a project. … It doesn’t bring the whole process to a screeching halt," he tells the Times.

One Beverly Hills is adjacent to two other high-profile projects in the works: the Beverly Hilton Hotel, which will potentially have a 26-story tower, and the under-construction Waldorf Astoria hotel.

9900 Wilshire

9900 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA