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Development

Hollywood is missing 30,300 people. Antonio Villaraigosa's "elegant density" plan says they'll appear

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Thu, Dec 23, 2010 at 11:54 AM
click to enlarge New, improved Hollywood Boulevard
  • New, improved Hollywood Boulevard

Los Angeles City Hall produces padded "population growth estimates" for L.A., an over-jammed city now driving away more humans than it attracts. Now, Antonio Villaraigosa and Deputy Mayor Austin Beutner are using the junk data to further remake Hollywood.

City planners (a silly term) insisted that from 1990 to 2010, 43,000 new residents would move to Hollywood. But only 12,700 net new people chose ugly, overbuilt, Hollywood and its crowded streets beyond the clubs. Now, says ex-planner Dick Platkin, Villaraogosa's guys have a new plan to dramatically boost Hollywood density.

But oops, its based on housing the missing 30,300 who didn't show -- and aren't coming.

click to enlarge Another hideous reason Hollywood didn't sell
  • Another hideous reason Hollywood didn't sell

New 2010 Census figures and detailed population data show Los Angeles grew by only 148,899 people in the last decade -- very close to Austin, Texas, which added 138,978. Far more people moved to Phoenix, Fort Worth and San Antonio than to over-packed L.A.

Duh.

Now, Platkin explains over at ronkayela.com, a great City Hall watchdog site, that new Community Plans are getting shoved down the throats of Hollywood and also Granada Hills residents -- based entirely on the ancient junk data from 1990.

Platkin calls the amateurish lack of serious planning "baffling" and explains:

... the original data base for the General Plan Framework, 1990 census data, will be extrapolated 40 years into the future to determine the growth trends, infrastructure needs, and implementation programs required for such dynamic Los Angeles communities as Hollywood

Doesn't Los Angeles already have enough depressing, empty new apartment complexes and luxury condo towers nobody wants to live in, not only in Hollywood but in the San Fernando Valley's Warner Center, and in Downtown, and pretty much all over?

click to enlarge Sadsack Ritz-Carlton residences, a vast empty space
  • Sadsack Ritz-Carlton residences, a vast empty space

One example: The sadsack "Ritz-Carlton Residences" downtown, only a few dozen of which anyone bought.

One interesting rumor among developers is that Ritz-Carlton Residences' owner still has to "finish out" the luxury baths and kitchens and everything else in its vast, empty inventory-- believed to be more than 175 of the 224 condo units.

It would seem kind of creepy to live in that $1 billion tower, with its empty, luxury, urban "homes" creating an abandoned, post-apocalyptic feel.

Maybe Villaraigosa, Beutner and the city planners should start basing their grand redevelopment and "elegant density" visions of the city's neighborhoods on the departure, not the arrival, scenario.

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