Loading...
Development

L.A. City Council Approves Hollywood's Massive Columbia Square Project

Comments (0)

By

Thu, Jul 29, 2010 at 8:00 AM
click to enlarge L.A. City Council President Eric Garcetti - GREGORY BOJORQUEZ
  • Gregory Bojorquez
  • L.A. City Council President Eric Garcetti

Yesterday, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved entitlements for a massive high-density project in Hollywood, where a 28-story residential building, a 7-story hotel, and a 17-story office tower are planned for construction at Columbia Square on Sunset Boulevard.

City Council President Eric Garcetti, who represents the neighborhood where the project is located, said the redevelopment of the landmark site will usher in a "new Golden Age" for Hollywood, but some community activists aren't so sure.

"Approving the CBS Columbia Square project only serves to enrich the current owners of the property by granting massive land use entitlements while severely impacting the surrounding residents and businesses with gridlocked traffic, increased pollution, and literally overshadowing the delicate Selma La Baig Historic District area," Bob Blue, a longtime Hollywood activist, wrote in a letter to the City Council.

At Wednesday's City Council meeting, Ziggy Kruse, another Hollywood activist, also railed against the project.

But those voices were largely drowned out by representatives of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, the Central Hollywood Neighborhood Council, Hollywood Heritage, and City Council President Eric Garcetti, all of whom strongly supported the project.

Before the City Council vote, Garcetti noted that previous plans for Columbia Square, which was once the West Coast headquarters of CBS and is now owned by New York-based developer AREA Property Partners, were "too big," but praised recent changes.

Garcetti appeared to be referencing the fact that AREA wanted to build a 40-story skyscraper on the site as well as a 14-story building -- L.A. Weekly examined the controversial project in a 2008 feature story.

The developer has now trimmed the 40-story building down to 28 stories, but has added three stories to the 14-story building and a 7-story hotel.

Garcetti didn't mention those specifics.

The City Council president also didn't talk about three "venues" where there will be "live entertainment" and "dancing" as well as the serving of alcohol at nine "establishments" -- all of these places located on one city block and across the street from a residential neighborhood.

Curbed LA reports that AREA will come back to the City Council in the fall and ask for a 15-year entitlement extension.

Community activists, though, say that such an extension may indicate that AREA officials aren't serious about redeveloping Columbia Square and are seeking more time to find a buyer for the property.

Contact Patrick Range McDonald at pmcdonald@laweekly.com.

Related Content

Now Trending

Los Angeles Concert Tickets

Slideshows

  • The World Cup Celebrated And Mourned By Angelenos
    The World Cup has taken Los Angeles by storm. With viewings beginning at 9 a.m., soccer fans have congregated at some of the best bars in the city including The Village Idiot, Goal, The Parlour on Melrose, Big Wang's and more. Whether they're cheering for their native country, favorite players or mourning the USA's loss, Angelenos have paid close attention to the Cup, showing that soccer is becoming more than a fad. All photos by Daniel Kohn.
  • La Brea Tar Pits "Pit 91" Re-Opening
    Starting June 28th, The Page Museum once again proudly unveils the museum's Observation Pit, which originally opened in 1952 but has spent most of the last half century closed. Now visitors can get an up-close look at Pit 91, which is currently under excavation. The La Brea Tar Pits, home of the Page Museum, is one of the world's most famous ice age fossil locations, known for range of fossils from saber-toothed cats and mammoths to microscopic plants, seeds and insects. The new "Excavator Tour" is free with museum admission if purchased online at tarpits.org . All photos by Nanette Gonzales.
  • Scenes from the O.J. Simpson Circus
    In the months after O.J. Simpson's arrest for the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman in the summer of 1994, the drama inside the courthouse riveted the masses. But almost as much mayhem was happening right outside the building, as well as near Simpson's Brentwood home. Dissenters and supporters alike showed up to showcase art inspired by the case, sell merchandise, and either rally for, or against, the accused football star. Here is a gallery of the madness, captured by a photojournalist who saw it all. All photos by Ted Soqui.