Molasky Pacific, a real estate development firm based in Las Vegas, will no longer take part in the effort to build a 40-story skyscraper on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. Instead, the company asked its New York City-based partner, Apollo Real Estate Advisors, to buy them out for an undisclosed sum of money. "It was a timing thing," says Mark Cassidy, president of Molasky Pacific. Dean Pentikis, a partner at Apollo, says the developer will move ahead with the humongous project, which will dramatically alter the Los Angeles skyline and obscure views of the Hollywood sign and Hollywood Hills.
While many Angelenos know little about the big plans to build a 40-story skyscraper and a 14-story office tower on the site of the old CBS TV-and-radio complex at Sunset and Gower--it is currently being showcased on MTV as the fancy digs for the cast of the "Real World"--Molasky Pacific, the acknowledged day-to-day operator of the development project still working its way through City Hall, has been quietly seeking a major height limit change, among other things, for the studio lot since it delivered its approval application to the city's Planning Department in March, 2007. The firm and Apollo Real Estate Advisors bought the property in 2006 for a reported $66 million, and they have yet to release an "environmental impact report," which details traffic and environmental impacts on the surrounding neighborhood and what the developer wants from the city.
City Council President Eric Garcetti, who represents the 13th District, where the project has been proposed, was informed last week on April 22. Staffers received a phone call from Molasky Pacific in the late morning, while Garcetti was presiding over a City Council meeting. He later released this statement to the LA Weekly: "No matter who is the owner or developer of this project, I have the same concern: how is this going to impact the community, the environment, and traffic?"
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Sounds good, but this Thursday the Weekly will publish an investigative story on how the reportedly $850-million project, the largest and most expensive in Hollywood to date, has moved through City Hall in a stealth-like way, with Garcetti and his staffers working closely with the developers and offering little information to the public he claims to care so much about.