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Rick Caruso’s fancy housing tower gets a pass after he agrees to reduce the height

The downsizing comes after a controversy over Caruso’s campaign contributions

A rendering of the 333 La Cienega project at night.
Rendering by Gensler.
Courtesy of Caruso

Shopping mall developer Rick Caruso’s high-end housing development in Beverly Grove will be a bit shorter than he initially planned. Originally proposed as a 19-story luxury housing tower, 333 La Cienega will now rise only 16 stories tall—a reduction from 240 feet to 185, or about 23 percent, says the Los Angeles Times.

Additionally, Caruso will also kick in “an additional $500,000 to the city for affordable housing.”

The new, shorter 333 La Cienega, which would rise right next to the Beverly Center, was approved Wednesday night by the city’s Planning and Land Use Management Committee. It’s scheduled for a final vote by the City Council next week.

City Councilmember Paul Koretz, who reps the neighborhood, requested the changes. He had originally supported the project, but withdrew his support in December on the grounds that the project was too tall. (Koretz received “a petition with more than 1,000 signatures” from a group that opposed the project, says the Times.) With the new height reduction, Koretz is once again supporting the development.

At its former height, the project was planned to hold 145 residential units (10 percent of which would be designated affordable); as Urbanize LA notes, it’s not yet clear how the height reduction will affect the total number of units in the project.

The changes come on the heels of an Times report that found that Caruso, along with members of his family and employees, donated about $470,000 to local politicians over the last five years.

The city’s Planning Commission approved the tower in November, at its previously planned height (though, at that time, two commissioners did say the tower was too tall for the area).