NEWS Volume 38, Number 38
September 21, 2009
A report featuring the latest information on 109 Downtown projects, along with a special Downtown Residential section.
7-28 W W W. D O W N T O W N N E W S . C O M
Affordable Housing Complex Comes Full Circle Striking New Carver Apartments Debuts This Week by Anna Scott staff writer
A City Hall battle continues.
Time to count all the bicycles.
Play 4th and Long Football and win prizes.
hen the developer of the New Carver Apartments celebrates the building’s grand opening this week, at least one question will not be a point of concern: how to fill the 97 units. While the developers of market-rate projects throughout Downtown Los Angeles are scrambling to lure renters and buyers in the current economy, the New Carver’s apartments are reserved for homeless, disabled residents. The New Carver is not the only new project providing permanent supportive housing, which in ad-
by Ryan Vaillancourt
Reviewing L.A. Opera’s ‘Elixir of Love.’
photo by Gary Leonard
Mike Alvidrez of Skid Row Housing Trust at the New Carver Apartments. The $34 million project, which will serve homeless, disabled residents, celebrates its grand opening on Thursday, Sept. 24.
The Post-Review Rush Prepping for the Downtown Restaurants and Bars Earn Poizinator Media Raves, and the Crowds Follow staff writer
A unique look at new Iranian art.
dition to a bedroom offers inhabitants a suite of services such as job training and mental health counseling. What really sets the building apart, however, is the striking, modern design by a prominent architect whose resume boasts expensive homes and museums. A ribbon cutting and grand opening party for the project at 17th and Hope streets will take place Thursday, Sept. 24. The event will also celebrate SRHT’s 20th anniversary. It is an appropriate venue for the occasion, as the New Carver in some ways represents the culmination of two decades of building see New Carver, page 29
or many Angelenos, Downtown has long been a place to play urban explorer in their own city, going out to semi-secret bars or eateries for a rare excursion away from their usual favorites. Those days seem to be over. In the past few years, dozens of new bars and restaurants have sprung up in the Historic Core, South Park, and the Financial and Arts districts. As a result, not only are more people coming Downtown to eat and drink — and not just before games at Staples Center or shows at the Music Center — but some of the city’s major media outlets are noting the community’s place on the L.A. eating and drinking map. Take the September issue of Los
Angeles magazine. The cover story touted 16 watering holes as the city’s best new bars. Six are located in Downtown. Santa Monica and West Hollywood were the only other locales to get more than one nod. Tyler Wilson, co-owner of Wurstküche, an exotic-sausage and beer joint in the Arts District, made the best bars list (Wurstküche has more than 40 beers on its menu). The nearly year-old establishment also appeared on another citywide survey where Downtown fared well — it made it onto Pulitzer Prizewinning L.A. Weekly food critic Jonathan Gold’s esteemed “99 Essential Los Angeles Restaurants.” The ranking, which included nine Downtown restaurants, appeared in the Aug. 26 issue of the Weekly. see Reviews, page 30
Another Gubernatorial Candidate Drops In on Downtown
State Insurance Commissioner and Republican candidate for governor Steve Poizner made a campaign stop last week at the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce. by Jon Regardie executive editor
teve Poizner is probably the third-coolest commissioner around. Elected in 2006 as the Insurance Commissioner of California, he falls behind second-
Get ready to climb 1,500 steps.
34 CALENDAR LISTINGS 37 CLASSIFIEDS 39 MAP
the regardie report
photo by Gary Leonard
Corkbar in South Park is one of the new Downtown bars and restaurants that have been lauded by the media. Numerous area establishments recently made a Los Angeles magazine ranking of the city’s best new bars and the L.A. Weekly’s list of 99 essential restaurants.
place choice Paul Tagliabue (former commissioner of the NFL, who is cool because he made the league the dominant brand in sports) and first-place choice James Gordon (police commissioner of Gotham City, whose coolness comes from
working closely with Batman). Poizner doesn’t have anything to do with professional football, and I seriously doubt he knows Batman. But since taking office three years ago, he has managed to win general praise for a job that pretty much only policy wonks even know exists. A Silicon Valley billionaire entrepreneur who gave up the private sector for, well, the dangerous and exotic world of overseeing the insurance industry, he has benefited many in the state by helping enact policies that led insurance carriers to lower see Poizner, page 40
Since 1972, an independent, locally owned and edited newspaper, go figure.
2 Downtown News
September September21, 21,2009 2009
AROUNDTOWN Police Rescue Baby From Knife-Wielding Woman
woman cradling an infant in one arm and brandishing a five-inch steak knife in her other hand was arrested last week, and the baby was rescued by Central Division police officers. The woman, who was sitting on the north side of the 700 block of West Seventh Street at around 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 15, appeared to be threatening imaginary people with the knife, LAPD Lt. Paul Vernon said. Officer Christopher Green arrived and tried to calm the woman, who appeared to be mentally ill. “We start approaching her and she immediately becomes hysterical and says ‘Don’t come closer,’” Green said. “She stands up with the baby and she’s holding the knife in a menacing manner.” Green kept speaking with her as Officer Arthur Gonzalez snuck up from behind and grabbed her wrist and wiggled the knife free, while Officer Clinton Popham secured the 4-month-old baby, Vernon said. The 33-year-old woman, whose name has not been released, has three prior charges for child endangerment, going back to 2004, Vernon said. “The baby girl was not injured and appeared to be well cared for,” Vernon said.
Camacho’s Pays Up at El Pueblo
our days after being denied a request to have its rent deferred for an under-construction coffee house on Olvera Street, Camacho’s Incorporated paid the two months of rent it owed, city officials said last week. Robert Andrade, general manager of El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument, said Camacho’s paid $11,694 on Monday, Sept. 14. That included back rent and late fees. “It means they are like any other tenant. They are current and in good standing,” Andrade said. On Sept. 10, Don Camacho, president of Camacho’s Incorporated, had asked the El Pueblo Board of Commissioners to have the monthly $6,500 rent deferred until the coffee house opens in December. It is nearly a year behind schedule. Camacho wanted to use the deferred money for improvements on the 3,460-square-foot property. The El Pueblo commission unanimously denied the request on grounds that it would amount to a loan from the city. It also said that if Camacho’s did not pay within two months, El Pueblo officials
Downtown Guide Coming
he Downtown Guide, a comprehensive collection of everything from places to stay to dining destinations to information on architecture and nightlife, arrives next week. On Sept. 28, Los Angeles Downtown News will publish the 84-page glossy magazine, which also features information on area history, hotels, events and restaurants, along with in-depth descriptions and shopping opportunities in Downtown’s 16 diverse districts. Altogether 110,000 copies of the Downtown Guide will be printed. In addition to those distributed with Downtown News, they will be available at multiple Downtown News distribution locations, retail locations and visitors centers. The Guide can also be seen online at downtownnews.com and losangelesdowntown.com, and additional copies can be requested by calling Downtown News at (213) 481-1448.
could begin eviction proceedings. Camacho did not return a call for comment.
Planning Commission Approves Preservation Ordinance
he city Planning Commission recently voted 7-1 to approve a controversial measure that would make it harder to tear down city-designated historic monuments. The measure is an updated version of the 47-year-old Cultural Heritage Ordinance, which lays out the rules for protecting city Historic-Cultural Monuments. One contentious point related to the ordinance has been a provision that property owners obtain advance approval for most interior renovations. Under the most recent version of the proposal, private interiors would be subject to some protections, but the five-member city Cultural Heritage Commission would not have the power to deny interior renovation projects. In one of the most significant changes from an early draft, the Cultural Heritage Commission would have the ability to deny rather than just delay demolitions of historic structures. City Attorney Carmen Trutanich will review the proposal in the coming months, said Ken Bernstein of the city’s Office of Historic Resources. The measure is expected to go before the City Council early next year.
El Pueblo Eviction Procedures to Be Reviewed
ith longtime Olvera Street tenant Casa De Sousa set to be evicted this week for repeatedly falling behind on its rent, 14th District City Councilman José Huizar is calling for a review of eviction procedures at El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument. Huizar’s Sept. 11 motion was referred to the city’s Arts, Parks, Health and Aging Committee, which will take it up Tuesday, Sept. 25. It asks El Pueblo General Manager Robert Andrade to report back on eviction procedures. It also asks Andrade for a report on the history of the Case De Sousa rent dispute and why Huizar was not notified earlier in the process. At an Aug. 21 hearing, Conchita Sousa, whose father Benjamin Antonio Sousa opened Casa De Sousa in 1949, was given a court order to vacate her store for failing to pay $13,000 in back rent on her 2,000-square-foot business; her rent was $1,900 a month. City Attorney officials noted that Casa De Sousa had a long history of falling behind on its rent payments, and at one time was $140,000 in arrears. Casa De Sousa representatives have appeared before the El Pueblo Commission and the City Council asking for help in keeping their business at Olvera Street. But Rick Coca, a spokesman for Huizar, said there may be little that can be done. “The City Attorney has advised us not to interfere at this point. We can’t interfere,” said Coca. Andrade said the department is set to issue the eviction notice also on Sept. 22, and he expects Casa De Sousa to vacate the premises shortly thereafter.
Angelus Plaza Hosts Gala
he city’s largest affordable housing complex for seniors, Angelus Plaza, will host a fundraiser on Thursday, Sept. 24, to raise money for its cultural programming. The event’s theme, “The Night of the Dragon,” will celebrate Asian cultures, said Jeffrey Winston, community relations coordinator for Angelus Plaza. The party will honor a group of Los Angeles figures, including Los Angeles Downtown News photographer Gary Leonard, for their service to the community. “Gary’s really a treasure of Los Angeles and we feel he should be recognized,” Winston said. “He’s a great guy and a consummate professional.” Other honorees include Bill Watanabe of the Little Tokyo Service Center. The gala, which include live and silent auctions and live entertainment, starts at 5:30 p.m. at Angelus Plaza, 255 S. Hill St. Tickets are $125. More information at (213) 623-4352.
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September 21, 2009
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Controller-City Attorney Brouhaha Continues by Jon Regardie executive editor
he public and the media may continue to express displeasure over the ongoing battle between the City Attorney and the City Controller’s office, but after two months as Los Angeles’ chief lawyer, Carmen Trutanich believes all the attention is misplaced. Besides, he thinks he can solve the problem. Controller Wendy Greuel also has an idea on how to fix things, though her proposal continues to be counter to Trutanich’s approach. Speaking on Monday, Sept. 15, to a lunch meeting of the Los Angeles Current Affairs Forum, Trutanich addressed the tumult that began when former Controller Laura Chick sought to audit ex-City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo’s workers’ compensation program. Delgadillo sued and, as the case progressed in court, Trutanich defeated Jack Weiss in the city attorney’s race, and Greuel succeeded Chick. A judge ultimately ruled in favor of Delgadillo. Some, including Chick, who had supported Trutanich in the race, were displeased when he did not seek to have the case dismissed and offer a different legal opinion of what the city charter allows in terms of auditing elected officials. Chick lashed out, calling Trutanich a “demagogue” on Doug McIntyre’s radio show and, in an August meeting of the Current Affairs Forum, reiterated her beliefs. When Trutanich stayed the course, she said at the meeting, “That’s just a no-no to me. You don’t do that.” At Monday’s event, Trutanich addressed the matter, saying that the opinion he offered before the election became moot once Superior Court Judge Mark Mooney issued a ruling. He stated that the decision is “not a temporary decision, ladies and gentlemen, as has been reported.” “Now it is a done deal,” he added. “There is a decision in this case.” In an interview last week, Greuel disagreed, saying that “the judge’s decision is not final. The best way to move forward, which limits city expenditures and allows for transparency, is the dismissal of the lawsuit.” Mooney could offer a final ruling next month if a resolution is not reached. Similar to Chick, Greuel believes that Trutanich still has the ability to dismiss the suit and offer a new legal opinion. Trutanich noted that while the City Attorney’s office can bring a lawsuit, only the City Council can authorize settling one. After meeting in closed session recently with City Attorney officials on the Chick-Delgadillo matter, the Council chose not to settle the case. Trutanich would not discuss what went on behind closed doors, citing attorneyclient privilege. Meanwhile, with Trutanich’s cooperation, Greuel began an audit of the City Attorney’s workers’ compensation program last Wednesday. “But does that mean that when Wendy files a request to audit a city councilperson that they’re not going to object to it? Absolutely not,” Trutanich said. “If we dismissed our lawsuit we’d have Rocky II, and Rocky III, and Rocky IV. If the lawsuit stands you’re going to have Rocky II, and Rocky III and Rocky IV.” The only way to address the matter now, he said, is to put a ballot measure before the public regarding giving the controller’s office the right to audit elected officials. “I have already drafted it,” he said of the proposed measure, which has not yet gone to the Council. “I am going to make that available.” Greuel agreed that a vote by the public may ultimately be required. However, she said that could cost $3.6 million to put on the ballot, which is money the city does not have. Instead, she said, “It’s a totally separate issue…. In the interim, the easiest, least expensive way is to settle the lawsuit.” Despite the hubbub and all the media attention,
Trutanich sought to classify the issue as relatively minor, something that pales in comparison to budget cuts facing his office and the numerous lawsuits the city endures. “When I get issues like the Rocky Delgadillo-Laura Chick case, although that is an interesting issue for the press, in terms of what we do on a daily basis, and the severity of the decisions that are made, it’s not,” he said. Contact Jon Regardie at email@example.com.
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Trutanich and Greuel Have Opposing Views on Lawsuit Initiated by Their Predecessors
City Attorney Carmen Trutanich and Wendy Greuel are still sparring over Laura Chick’s attempted audit of Rocky Delgadillo.
4 Downtown News
September 21, 2009
EDITORIALS School Design Standouts
omething unexpected has occurred in Downtown in the past decade: a community that once was severely underserved in terms of high schools now not only has a plethora of options, but boasts some of the most impressively designed education institutions — public or private — in the city. The opening this month of the High School for the Visual and Performing Arts has drawn international attention. The Grand Avenue campus stands out on its own, but when taken in the context of two other additions from the past three years, the Miguel Contreras Learning Complex and the Edward R. Roybal Learning Center, it is clear that in terms of school design, no community in Los Angeles can rival Downtown. This is an odd twist, to be sure. But it is appropriate given the growth of the neighborhood. Downtown Los Angeles in the past decade has seen an array of
architecturally impressive structures, among them Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, the Caltrans headquarters and some of the residential properties that have sprouted across the community. Even if the schools were not originally planned to accent the other growth, it makes sense that they should be held to high standards. The first of the new schools to come online was the Contreras facility in City West. Designed by the respected Chinatown-based firm Johnson Fain, the $160 million facility opened in 2006. Two years later the Roybal school debuted (following years of delays and a name change from the Belmont Learning Complex). The 10acre public park adjacent to the boxlike series of structures is the key element that elevates the place to something special. The standout, naturally, is the arts school. Designed by Wolf Prix of
n interesting thing is happening in Downtown Los Angeles, a natural asterisk of the residential growth of the past decade: Families are popping up with increasing frequency. While the storied “critical mass” of adults with kids does not yet exist, there has been enough progress that organizations are recognizing the trend and families are banding together, knowing there is strength in numbers. Los Angeles Downtown News last week reported on a new organization called Downtown L.A. Parents. So far, 34 families have joined the (free) group, which does simple things like arrange get-togethers for parents with young children, or pool resources for activities such as swim classes. This is not unique to Downtown — similar groups exist in communities everywhere. What makes it stand out is that the
Urban Scrawl by Doug Davis
Austrian firm Cool Himmelb(l)au, it is thrilling to some and puzzling to many. Architectural features swirl and swoop, and the $232 million price tag does indeed draw gasps. But there has been a lot of bang for the bucks, as many of the exteriors and interiors are exciting and appropriate for a school whose raison d’être is to educate and inspire all forms of creativity. A decade ago this pocket of architectural standouts would have been impossible to imagine. But the Los Angeles Unified School District, and former Superintendent Roy Romer, under whom the massive LAUSD construction program got its start, have helped create something that merits recognition. It has required a tremendous financial expenditure, yes, but Downtown has three great-looking schools that mirror the community of today. Let’s hope the quality of education measures up to the design.
organizers are responding to a need that has evolved slowly and organically. Walk down the street in Downtown and you’ll see more strollers than ever. Whether because people with families are moving here or because those who have lived here for a while are having children, the growth is incontrovertible. The population of parents with young children is still small. Yet it is poised to grow, especially once local leaders start addressing the lack of quality elementary schools in the area. As the community continues to mature, the existence of an active and organized set of parents will be a positive addition. They’ll be the ones to advocate not just for schools, but for safe places for kids to play, among other things. With young urban pioneers and empty nesters having been in Downtown for years now, the families are the next demographic. That’s the way urban migration patterns have worked in other cities. It is good to see the kids, and it is good that the parents are coming together.
Fine Without Football
n Los Angeles, the arrival of fall sparks something of an annual rite: an examination of the city’s lack of a professional football team. It has now been nearly 15 years since both the Raiders (who played home games in the Coliseum in Exposition Park) and the Rams (then based in Anaheim), packed up and moved to pastures that were more lucrative for their already rich owners. Those squads left after the 1994 season, and since that time, Los Angeles has done just fine. Sure it would be nice to have a professional football team, especially one based at the Coliseum, which by virtue of its location at the center of the region and near multiple freeways is the best option. But unlike some small-market cities, L.A. would not be defined or even markedly improved with an NFL franchise. There have been numerous failed efforts to bring football back. Currently, Ed Roski is working doggedly on a proposal to build a stadium in the City of Industry. We wish him luck, though he has his hands full with a league whose principal focus is not getting to L.A., but resolving labor issues that could lead to a play stoppage in a few years. With time to digest all that has happened, it is clear that a cadre of local leaders did the right thing by trying to woo the league without giving away the store. Granted, there would be economic benefits, especially with a team at the Coliseum. And yes, hosting Super Bowls would be extremely lucrative, but area officials wisely avoided doing what smaller cities have done repeatedly — dump public money into a stadium plan. Right now there remain plenty of things to do on a Sunday afternoon in the fall in Los Angeles. The weather allows myriad outdoor options, and those who need a football fix can either catch a USC game on Saturday or watch the pros on TV. This lack of football 15 years later is surprising. But it turns out that Los Angeles doesn’t need the NFL, and the NFL doesn’t need Los Angeles. If there was a need, one side would have buckled years ago.
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Editor & PublishEr: Sue Laris GENErAl MANAGEr: Dawn Eastin ExEcutivE Editor: Jon Regardie citY Editor: Richard Guzmán stAFF writErs: Anna Scott, Ryan Vaillancourt coNtributiNG Editors: David Friedman, Kathryn Maese coNtributiNG writErs: Jay Berman, Jeff Favre, Michael X. Ferraro, Kristin Friedrich, Howard Leff, Rod Riggs, Marc Porter Zasada Art dirEctor: Brian Allison AssistANt Art dirEctor: Yumi Kanegawa ProductioN ANd GrAPhics: Alexis Rawlins ProductioN AssistANt / EvENt coordiNAtor: Claudia Hernandez PhotoGrAPhEr: Gary Leonard AccouNtiNG: Ashley Vandervort AdvErtisiNG dirEctor: Steve Nakutin sAlEs AssistANt: Annette Cruz clAssiFiEd AdvErtisiNG MANAGEr: Catherine Holloway AccouNt ExEcutivEs: Robert Dutcher, Steve Epstein, Catherine Holloway, Tam Nguyen, Kelley Smith circulAtioN: Norma Rodas distributioN MANAGEr: Salvador Ingles distributioN AssistANts: Lorenzo Castillo, Gustavo Bonilla The Los Angeles Downtown News is the must-read newspaper for Downtown Los Angeles and is distributed every Monday throughout the offices and residences of Downtown Los Angeles. It is also distributed to the extended urban communities of Glendale, Hollywood, Wilshire Center, Los Feliz, Silver Lake & Larchmont Village.
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The Cycle Counters Bike Advocates Hope to Tally the Number of Two-Wheelers in the City by Ryan VaillancouRt staff wRiteR
ver the past few years, many Los Angeles bicyclists say, more two-wheelers have been seen sharing the road with the city’s unofficial mascot, the automo-
bile. But advocates for more bicycle-friendly transit policy know well that anecdotal observations about ridership don’t have much sway at City Hall or among transportation grant providers. What they need, according to the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, is raw data that proves that bicycle ridership is indeed rising. That’s why the coalition this week is conducting its first “bicycle count,” tracking riders at more than 50 key intersections citywide. Among the focal points are Seventh and Figueroa streets and First and Alameda streets in Downtown. “We want L.A. to be truly bike friendly and we noticed that all the major bike-friendly, or getting-to-be-bike-friendly cities, all have bicycle counts,” said Dorothy Le, the Downtownbased coalition’s director of planning and policy. “We figured, if they’re really bike friendly, these counts must be part of why they are.” Bicycle counts track ridership along key routes and at major intersections, as well as demographics like gender, whether cyclists wear a helmet and whether they abide by traffic laws. Such counts have been taking place annually in cities such as San Francisco, Philadelphia and Portland for years. New York City started its count in 1984. By tracking where ridership is concentrated and analyzing where cyclists are coming from and going, advocates and planners can identify priority locations for improved infrastructure, Le and others said. “One of the biggest problems with promoting bicycling is how thin the data usually is,” said Wiley Norvell, a spokesman for the nonprofit Transportation Alternatives, which advocates for bicycling, walking and public transportation in New York City. “We don’t have a lot of information from the census. It’s not something recorded by automatic cameras or
frequently tallied in the major traffic counts that cities do.” Methodology The Los Angeles count will borrow its methodology from Alta Planning, an urban planning and design firm behind the city’s draft bicycle master plan. The firm’s template is used in most cities that conduct counts. The coalition has assigned about 150 volunteers to staff more than 50 intersections during the morning and evening rush hours on Sept. 22 and 23, and from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. on Sept. 26. They will record which direction both bicyclists and pedestrians are going, said Herbie Huff, one of five coalition members organizing the count. “Part of our attitude is that regardless of whatever modes of transit you use, once you are a pedestrian you deserve good infrastructure,” she said. Counters will also tally whether riders are going in the wrong direction, and their gender. The latter factor, she said, helps identify how safe the streets are. “The transit/engineering perspective is that if cyclists are mostly male, then that’s probably a bad sign that the street is hostile,” Huff said. Bruce Gillman, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, which has consulted with the coalition on the methodology, said the resulting data would likely prove “very beneficial.” “We like to have traffic counts here in the city and unfortunately we don’t have either the budget or manpower to go out and do traffic counts for as many areas or streets in the city as we like,” Gillman said. “This is an ideal partnership that we hope will net some very positive results for all stakeholders concerned.” Downtown Diamond Los Angeles doesn’t have a very bicycle-friendly reputation, said Le. But among different neighborhoods in the city, she considers Downtown to be a “diamond in the rough.” Bike-friendly factors include the fact that it’s pretty flat; the area is arranged on a basic grid and short blocks make
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Dorothy Le (right) and Herbie Huff of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition. The organization is spearheading an effort to track bicycle ridership in Los Angeles.
for traffic that doesn’t travel too fast; and one-way streets like Spring and Main give cyclists more room. It remains to be seen what kind of policy or infrastructure changes might be inspired by the first bicycle count, but Le and her fellow coalition members have big ideas for Downtown, starting with Seventh Street from Koreatown to the Central City. “Thinking radically it could be a bike street, just for bikes,” she said. “But in realistic terms, I mean just having a bicycle lane for bikes, sharing the road with cars.” Contact Ryan Vaillancourt at email@example.com.
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WEEK 03 (Sept. 27, 28) Washington Redskins @ .......................... Detroit Lions Green Bay Packers @ ............................... St. Louis Rams San Francisco 49ers @ ............................. Minnesota Vikings Atlanta Falcons @ .................................... New England Patriots Tennessee Titans @ .................................. New York Jets Kansas City Chiefs @ ................................ Philadelphia Eagles New York Giants @ ................................... Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cleveland Browns @ ................................ Baltimore Ravens Jacksonville Jaguars @ ............................ Houston Texans New Orleans Saints @ .............................. Buffalo Bills Chicago Bears @ ...................................... Seattle Seahawks Miami Dolphins @ ................................... San Diego Chargers Pittsburgh Steelers @ .............................. Cincinnati Bengals Denver Broncos @ .................................... Oakland Raiders Indianapolis Colts @ ................................ Arizona Cardinals **Carolina Panthers @ ............................ Dallas Cowboys TIEBREAKER (total pts.): Denver Broncos vs Oakland Raiders Contest Rules: All entries are due by 12 pm Thursday prior to the weekend games. Los Angeles Downtown News is not responsible for lost or misplaced submissions in any way, shape or form. The Judge(s) will tabulate the entries and announce the winner on the 4th & Long Contest page each week. All decisions of the Judge(s) are final and binding. Any resident of United States age eighteen or over can play, except employees, of Los Angeles Downtown News or any member of their immediate family. One submission per person or e-mail address per week. Subject to all federal, state, and local laws and regulations. Void outside the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, and where prohibited. The Prize is not transferable. No substitutions for Prizes offered. All entries become the property of The Los Angeles Downtown News and will not be acknowledged or returned. Except where prohibited: acceptance of the Prize constitutes consent to use winner’s name, likeness for editorial, advertising, and publicity purposes, without further compensation. This contest is in no way affiliated with the professional league in which the stated football teams play. In the event of a tie winners will be determined by a lottery. This contest is for entertainment purposes only.
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September 21, 2009
Downtown News 7
photo by Gary Leonard
The LAPD’s new headquarters building is set to open Oct. 24.
The Latest Information on 109 Downtown Projects by Richard Guzmán, Jon Regardie, Anna Scott and Ryan Vaillancourt he Downtown development scene in fall 2009 is like it has been for much of the past year: slower than in the heyday of a few years ago, but livelier than the doomsayers believe. The flock of construction cranes dotting the skyline is gone, but the community continues to enjoy momentum from the dozens of projects that began long before the recession. At the same time as some high-profile residential developments tumble into bankruptcy, new restaurants are opening, the debut of the Convention Center headquarters hotel is creeping closer, and the final touches are being put on the Metro light rail project that will connect Downtown with East Los Angeles. There remains plenty to worry about, especially as mega-developments (think the Grand Avenue project) continue to be stymied by the frozen credit market. Despite that and other issues, a handful of prominent developers are moving forward in the early stage of their dream projects (such as Charlie Woo and his proposed MegaToys residences), knowing that the market will ultimately turn. Then there are the projects that are opening. In the last few months, Downtown saw everything from extensive office tower upgrades to new housing complexes (both market rate and low-income buildings) to a $232 million, state-of-the-art high school.
In the following pages, Los Angeles Downtown News gives the latest information on 109 Downtown projects. Each entry includes a grid reference to a full-color map which appears on page 12 (Some projects are beyond the map’s boundary and are designated by NA).
NEW PROJECTS These projects were either announced or garnered public interest in the last four months.
CHINATOWN PLAZA IMPROVEMENTS The Community Redevelopment Agency is working on an initiative to bring design and infrastructure improvements to Chinatown’s Central and West plazas. The agency held a meeting in July to garner public opinion and recommendations for how to make the plazas in the heart of the community more attractive to shoppers. A second workshop is tentatively scheduled for the third week of October, at which point the CRA, which is working with the New York City-based Project for Public Spaces, will present a series of short termimprovements. Proposed additions include new street furniture and extra lighting, said Bibiana Young, CRA assistant project manager. At crala.org. C 2
rendering courtesy of RSA Architects
Some Rising, Some Watching, Some Waiting
Plans to turn the vacant Embassy Hotel and Auditorium at 851 S. Grand Ave. into a luxury boutique hotel have been reconfigured and are once again moving forward, said Tara Jones Hamacher, a historic consultant for the project. She said Embassy Partners LLC, a subsidiary of the firm that looked at a renovation of the South Park property about two years ago, is working on the construction documents. Preliminary plans call for the restoration of historic features such as the lobby, auditorium, balconies and the domed pavilion. A new arched awning and new elevators are also part of the plan. The auditorium, which was originally a 1,500-seat venue, would be turned into a banquet hall and would retain its historic elements. The vacant lot immediately south of the hotel would likely house a pool, deck and green space. No timeline or budget has been set for the project, Jones Hamacher said, though completion could be about two years away. C 8
JEWELRY DISTRICT TOWER A 31-story tower from developer Laeroc 2002 Coast Parking LLC received city entitlements in July, said project consultant Greg Jackson of Rosenheim & Associates. The development is slated to rise on two adjacent surface parking lots in the Jewelry District between Hill and Olive streets at Ninth Street. Preliminary designs by Mark Rothenberg of the Downtown-based Rothenberg Sawasy Architects call for 283 residential condominiums, seven commercial condos and 11,180 square feet of ground-floor retail space. Plans also call for 663 parking spaces on two underground levels and four above ground, and in a separate five-level structure. There is no
timeline yet for construction, and budget information has not been disclosed. C8
OMNI HOTEL RENOVATION Officials with the Omni Los Angeles Hotel at California Plaza have said they will conduct a $12 million renovation early next year. The approximately three-month effort will upgrade guest rooms as well as public and meeting spaces. The 17-story facility at 251 S. Olive St. has 453 rooms. The project would coincide with the opening of the Convention Center hotel. C5 continued on next page
8 Downtown News
September 21, 2009
brownstone lofts photo by Gary Leonard
Continued from page 7
photo by Gary Leonard
WESTIN BONAVENTURE RENOVATION
An adaptive reuse project at 1168 W. Bellevue Ave. broke ground in early 2008 and is expected to be complete by the end of this year, said the project’s head of sales, Millie Radkovich. The three-story, 1928 building is being transformed into 55 studio, one- and two-bedroom and pentExecutives with the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in the Financial District are working on a $35 million renovation that will refurbish 700 guest rooms and the lobby. The project at the 1,354-room hotel at 404 S. Figueroa St. will be completed early in 2010. The renovation was sparked by the opening of the Convention Center headquarters hotel, which will significantly boost convention business in Los Angeles. B6
29-story, 159-condo building on a current South Park parking lot across from the South Group’s Elleven high-rise. The development, which would take two years to build, would include 250 parking spaces, 6,700 square feet of retail and an outdoor pool. B 9
RESIDENTIAL FOR SALE
ALAMEDA AND FOURTH CONDOS
655 HOPE Construction is complete on a 17-story adaptive reuse condominium project, but it will not open until mid-October, pending fire department inspections, a project representative said. The Financial District project, by developer the Seck Group, LLC, ran into a number of fire code-related delays this year that pushed the cost from $15 million to about $17 million. The project will offer 11 levels of residential space, with 80 units from 600-1,268 square feet. Prices, originally set at $395,000-$999,000, have been lowered to $349,000-$920,000. The structure also has three floors of indoor parking, a gym and a roof deck with a bar. The restaurant Qdoba is on the ground level and there is another restaurant space with a full liquor license currently for lease. At 655hope.com. B7
711 N. BROADWAY According to the most recent information available, groundbreaking for developer Bridge Realty Advisors’ conversion of a four-story office building in Chinatown into condominiums has been pushed back to 2010 due to the slowdown in the economy. The $22 million project would transform the BC Plaza building at 711 N. Broadway into 53 residences. Condos would sell for $300,000-$600,000. The building would also have 13,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space. Construction is expected to last six to nine months. C 3
808 S. OLIVE ST. New York-based developer the Moinian Group continues to hold on to a 900-space parking lot in the Jewelry District and has no plans to sell, said the company’s Oskar Brecher, even though there has been no movement on a residential-hotel project proposed for the site. The development has not yet been entitled. C 7
1133 S. HOPE ST. Vancouver-based Amacon Group continues to work on obtaining permits and going through the entitlement process for a ground-up residential high-rise, said Richard Wittstock, the company’s vice president of development. There is no timeline on the project, which calls for the construction of a
Construction on the $30 million adaptive reuse project in the Arts District is scheduled to start this month, said Peklar Pilavjian of developer Alameda and Fourth, LLC. Plans call for the conversion of the five-story, 1923 structure into 53 artist-in-residence lofts. Units would range from 650-2,400 square feet. Pilavjian said plans are also in the works to build a new residential structure on the side of the lot fronting Alameda Street, though no timeline has been announced for that phase. E 5
AMP LOFTS Developers David Seewack and Scott Spiwak are still waiting for Community Redevelopment Agency approval of a proposed adaptive reuse project at 695 S. Santa Fe Ave. in the Arts District, said Seewack. The developers expect the CRA board to hear their proposal within a month. Seewack and Spiwak have not disclosed budget or timeline information for their plan to transform the industrial property into 182 livework lofts and 3,000 square feet of retail space. The building currently houses American Moving Parts, a truck parts supply company owned by the developers. NA
BARKER BLOCK The next addition to the $75 million Arts District complex, the Italian restaurant and market Primo Cucina, is under construction and expected to open this winter, said Tripp DuBois of developer the Kor Group. Three residential buildings have opened at 530 S. Hewitt St., housing a total of 242 condominiums. The residences range from 750-2,400 square feet and are priced from $350,000-$750,000. Construction has not begun on two more residential buildings at 549 Molino St. which would house 55 units. The timeline for those buildings will depend on Kor’s ability to obtain financing. At barkerblock.com. F 6
BARN LOFTS Construction on an adaptive reuse project at 940 E. Second St. in the Arts District is expected to be complete by the end of the year, said developer Mark Borman. The project will transform the former Spreckels Brothers sugar beet warehouse into a 58,000-square-foot residential complex with 38 market-rate, three-story, loft-style townhouses ranging from
house units. Prices will start at $399,000, said Radkovich, though she noted that could change. She declined to reveal the units’ square footage or the project’s overall budget. Brownstone LLC, based in Northern California, is developing the project. A3 1,300-2,600 square feet. Each unit will contain two and a half bathrooms, two bedrooms and a roof deck, and the project includes 69 parking spaces. Budget information and the residences’ sales prices have not been disclosed. F5
CITY HOUSE AND THE OLYMPIC A proposed 800,000-square-foot residential and hotel project in South Park remains on hold as Olympic on Grand, LLC, a partnership of investors that includes developer the Titan Organization, continues to search for financing, said Gary Warfel, a partner in the development group. Plans call for a 60-story structure, the City House, and the 49-floor Olympic. Residences would start at 1,200 square feet and $700,000. The development at Grand Avenue and Olympic Boulevard would cost about $450 million, Warfel said. Once expected to break ground in early 2008, the project currently has no timeline. At titanorganization.com. C8
CONCERTO TOWER After Astani Enterprises sold all 77 units at the mid-rise building that is part of the three-phase Concerto project, construction continues on the next, larger piece of the development: a 30-story tower at Ninth and Figueroa streets. The sleek black building is slated for completion near the end of the year, company owner Sonny Astani said. The building will create 271 studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom residences, and penthouses, priced from $295,000-$3.5 million. There remains no timeline for the third component, which would add another 281 market-rate condominiums in a second 30-story tower on the same block. That phase is approved and entitled, but Astani said it will not break ground until the market improves. The entire project includes 27,500 square feet of retail space, 1,000 subterranean parking spots and a pedestrian paseo connecting Figueroa and Flower streets. The buildings will wrap around a courtyard with a one-acre park. A sales and design center is at 900 S. Figueroa St. At concertodowntown.com. B 8
EIGHTH AND GRAND No timeline has been set for developer Astani Enterprises’ proposal to build a 14-story residential tower, a two-story commercial building and a 53-story residential structure on a property that runs along Eighth Street, between Grand Avenue and Olive Street. The site is now a parking lot. If built, a pedestrian paseo would connect Grand Avenue and Olive Street, but company owner Sonny Astani said the project is on hold until the economy markedly improves. At astanienterprises.com. C7
September 21, 2009
Downtown News 9
EL DORADO Downtown Properties’ renovation of a former hotel at 416 S. Spring St., which had been slated to open in the fourth quarter of this year, will now likely debut in the first quarter of 2010, said Bill Stevenson, a partner with the company. The 1913, 12-story building is being transformed into 65 units that will range from 850-1,700 square feet. Each condominium will feature at least one balcony. Residences, which will start in the low $400,000s, include Italian kitchens and bathroom cabinets and penthouses will have private gardens. A parking lot immediately south of the project is slated to become a public park. At eldoradolofts.com. D6
photo by Gary Leonard
rendering by Megatoys Company LTD
Development of the adaptive reuse project at 120-130 Hewitt St. in the Arts District. Prices have not yet been finalized for the residences, which are in two buildings, one erected in 1936, the other in 1948. The project includes a central entrance with a water fountain powered by solar energy. Units range from 8002,500 square feet and have 18-26 foot cathedral ceilings and stainless steel kitchens. At hewittfirst.com. E 5
L.A. LOFTS Developer Venice Investments continues to look for financing and the proposed 432,000-square-foot project at 1028 S. Hope St. remains on hold, said the company’s Rita Simbulan. The South Park project is slated for a lot near the company’s Packard Lofts. The 25-story tower, designed by Killefer Flammang Architects, would include 250 loft-style condominiums, two levels of underground parking with 390 spaces, and 10,000 square feet of ground-floor retail with daycare facilities. At veniceinvestments.com. B 8
LIBESKIND TOWER The City Council approved a 43-story, Daniel Libeskinddesigned tower from developer CA Human Technologies LLC in July. The project would rise on two South Park parking lots at 1340-1360 S. Figueroa St. and 1355-1365 S. Flower St. The development would include a 35-story tower over an eight-level podium and two subterranean levels. It would house 273 residences, 8,496 square feet of restaurant space, a 9,566-square-foot spa and 379 parking spaces. CA Human Technologies, a joint venture between two Korean investment firms, hopes to break ground next year, said a project spokeswoman. B 9
Move-ins for the 33-unit project should begin this month, after final construction details are completed, said Salar Royaei, a spokesman for Mika Realty Group, the developer
The six-story project by Downtown businessman Charlie Woo was given its first approval by the city Planning Department on Aug. 27. Still in the early stage, it is scheduled to go before the Planning Commission in October. The project would create 320 condominiums, 15,576 square feet of retail space and 766 parking spaces. Located at 905-919 E. Second St., the project is slated for a 2.9-acre plot and calls for the closure or Garey Street from First to Second streets and
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the relocation of the 49,000-square-foot Megatoys building. Woo has not determined the cost of the project but said he hopes to break ground within two years. E5
PARK FIFTH Developer David Houk of the Houk Development Company continues to seek new partners for a proposed $1.3 billion project. The fully entitled development, which would rise on a current parking lot at Olive and Fifth streets just north of Pershing Square, would include a 76-story building that would be the tallest residential structure west of Chicago. It would also hold a 44-story tower and a 15-story residential building. Altogether the project would see Projects, page 10
10 Downtown News
September 21, 2009
Continued from page 9 contain 790 condominiums, a 212-room hotel, retail and restaurants. Currently a paint-splattered sign advertising the project sits on the site. C6
SHY BARRY TOWER II Developer Barry Shy expects to break ground on a five-story parking structure at 601 S. Spring St. within six months. He plans to start construction on a 39-story, 700-unit condominium tower on the same parcel shortly after that, though the exact groundbreaking date will depend on the economy. The parking lot is expected to be finished in a year, while the tower could take up to three years. At laloftrental.com. D7
SOUTH FIGUEROA Plans for two 34-story condominium towers at 624 W. 12th St. and 1200 S. Figueroa St. have been placed on hold due to the economy, said Rhonda Slovak, a representative of developer South Group. She said there is no timeline for when the project will resume. The South Group is currently still selling units in its already-opened Evo high-rise. The Portland-based developer purchased the South Figueroa property for $23.5 million. Plans for the towers call for 324 condominiums with hardwood floors, decks and balconies. The South Group still has plans for a third tower at 1241 S. Flower St. At exploresouthgroup.com. B9
marked the latest in a line of hurdles for the South Park project. Developer Meruelo Maddux Properties filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection (for the company) in March, two weeks after the Downtown landowner announced that it was in default on $226 million in loans. The company has ceased all major development activity except for 705 W. Ninth, which is being financed by an $84 million loan with a 12% interest rate. However, Meruelo Maddux spokesman Michael Bustamante said the bankruptcy will not stop the 35-story tower from opening in the fall, and that leasing is underway. Amenities include a 70-foot lap pool, an outdoor grill and a Wii game lounge. The project’s website gives names such as Tony, Miguel and Tiffany to the different floor plans. At 705W9.com. B 8
1027 WILSHIRE Central City Development Group, in partnership with the Amidi Real Estate Group, continues to pursue the creation of a low-rise rental project on land at 1027 Wilshire Blvd. in City West, said Hamid Behdad of the CCDG. The project would offer 356 apartments along with 5,000 square feet of retail and 5,000 square feet of office space. No timeline or budget information has been announced. The apartment complex replaced plans for a 52-story tower with 402 condominiums. A 7
2121 LOFTS photo by Gary Leonard
ZEN Groundbreaking for the 50-story Zen condominium tower is slated for 2011, said project spokeswoman Beverly Zeigler. Developer Kawada Company of America is conducting a full environmental impact report for the project at Third and Hill streets. If built, it would be taller than any current residential building in Downtown. Designs by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill call for a tower atop a 10-story parking podium with 302 lofts; 66 of them would be reserved for workforce housing. Residences would range from 502-2,420 square feet and there would be about 10,000 square feet of retail or restaurant space. C 5
Meta Housing, a West Los Angeles-based for-profit developer of affordable housing that has completed several projects in Downtown, is looking to convert two structures at 808 N. Spring St. in Chinatown into a 134-unit apartment complex. One of the buildings, a nine-story edifice built in 1918 as a storage facility for nearby train depots, is the tallest structure in Chinatown. The company is in escrow to purchase the property from the Kor Group, which had planned a market-rate project at the site, for $12 million. The deal will close once Meta completes funding applications, which could come as soon as March 2010, said Meta Housing project manager Tim Soule. The estimated project cost is $51.3 million. D3
photo by Gary Leonard
308 E. NINTH ST.
The 125,000-square-foot project at 2121 E. Seventh Pl. in the Arts District by Concerto Development was foreclosed on earlier this year and placed under the ownership of Phoenix Realty Group, the project’s original equity partner. The 19 townhouses that comprise the first phase of the Killefer Flammang-designed complex, which range from 750-1,200 square feet, remain unoccupied. The project’s second phase, which would include 59 live-work lofts in two buildings, is on hold. NA
705 W. NINTH On Sept. 3, the developer of 705 W. Ninth (formerly known as 717 W. Ninth) filed for bankruptcy for the project. It
at developer the West Millennium Group filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy papers in March after Countrywide (since acquired by Bank of America) began foreclosure proceedings on the building. West Millennium itself filed for bankruptcy in May. Bank of America has not yet followed through with the foreclosure, Goldman said, and is not likely to do so before the end of the year. In the meantime, Goldman is overseeing basic maintenance and other day-to-day issues at the building so that the Bottega Louie restaurant and market, which opened on the building’s ground floor in April, can continue to operate. C7
CHINATOWN METRO APARTMENTS
RESIDENTIAL FOR RENT
Completion of a five-story, 73,000-square-foot former warehouse is expected soon, said architect David Gray. The building is being converted into 38 lofts by developer South Park Group and features a ground-floor Starbucks and eight twolevel penthouses. No information about project cost or rental rates has been released. D8
photo by Gary Leonard
Construction is expected to begin this month on the conversion of a vacant, former residential hotel at 423 W. Eighth St. into an affordable housing complex, said developer Izek Shomof. Plans include rehabbing the building’s 107 efficiency units and cosmetic upgrades such as repairing broken drywall and plaster, installing new sprinkler systems and painting the interior and exterior, said Shomof. He also plans to add kitchenettes to each unit. Shomof said he will apply to enroll the building in the federal Section 8 rent subsidy program. The ground floor, he said, will house a cafe and Downtown’s second D-Town Burger Bar (the first opened at Shomof’s Hayward Hotel on Spring Street last year). The project is privately funded, though Shomof would not disclose the renovation budget. He purchased the building from Adolfo Suaya for $2.5 million in March. C 7
BROCKMAN BUILDING Although a $35 million renovation has been mostly completed, the 12-story, 80-unit building at 530 W. Seventh St. will likely remain empty for several more months, said attorney Amy Goldman of Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP, the court-appointed trustee for the bankrupt project. Principals
DA VINCI There is no construction timeline yet for G.H. Palmer Associates’ proposed 670-apartment complex. The developer, known for an array of Italian villa-inspired apartment projects, is in the planning stage for the Da Vinci, but most of Palmer’s future Downtown projects are on hold pending the downturn in the rental market, company owner Geoff Palmer said. Da Vinci would rise at Fremont and Temple streets on a 202,000-square-foot site that Palmer bought in 2004 for about $8.2 million. The 508,000-square-foot complex would put six floors of housing above one level of subterranean parking. It would include two pools, one of which would be on the roof, and a full-size basketball court. The Da Vinci site includes a parcel on Temple Street that abuts the nightclub Vertigo’s. Palmer has said he plans to build around the one-story club, but that he would consider purchasing the property if it becomes available. The project is slated for a 2015 completion. At ghpalmer.com. B 4
FACTORY PLACE ARTS COMPLEX Move-ins for the project at 1291-1333 E. Sixth St. in the Arts District are expected to begin Oct. 1, said developer Howard Klein. All construction work is complete and Klein is awaiting a certificate of occupancy. The row of brick-clad warehouses has been transformed into 63 live-work units and two retail spaces. Apartments range from 600-1,800 square feet and will rent for $1,595-$5,000. The project includes multiple courtyards, a pool, fire pits, event space and a dog park. Seattlebased Tony Bell Architecture handled the designs. Factory Place is the second part of a three-phase development. The first was an 80-unit live-work complex built in the early 1980s. Third phase plans include 45 live-work residences in
September 21, 2009
Downtown News 11
a three-story structure. Construction for that phase will likely begin by early 2010, said Klein. At factoryplacelofts.com. F 6
The $25 million project at 531 S. San Julian St. is scheduled to open in July 2010. Fiftyeight units will be reserved for chronically homeless, mentally ill people. All the apartments will measure about 350 square feet and will include kitchenettes and private bathrooms and come fully furnished. The project is funded by $9.5 million from the city’s permanent supportive housing program, $2 million from the City of Industry’s affordable housing program, $14.5 million in federal low-income housing tax credits and $1.5 million from the Community Redevelopment Agency. At srohousing.org. D6
orsini iii photo by Gary Leonard
GATEWAYS APARTMENTS SRO Housing Corp. plans to start sending out funding applications this fall for a proposed 108-unit affordable housing project on a 22,000-square-foot vacant lot at Fifth and San Pedro streets, said Joseph Corcoran, the nonprofit developer’s director of planning and housing development. Plans are in the early stage, though SRO Housing hopes to begin construction no later than spring 2011. At srohousing.org. E6
HOLLAND PARTNERS PROJECT
MATSU Plans to build a six-story apartment complex on the southwest corner of Los Angeles and Second streets by developer Avalon Bay Communities have been put on hold due to the economy, said Phil Silver, a project representative. Silver said Matsu is not being cancelled, but Avalon Bay will wait until the economy improves. The apartment complex, set on a 1.7-acre plot in Little Tokyo, would include a 1,700-square-foot fitness center and 8,500 square feet of retail space. The developer has said the project would be designed to condominium specifications, though it would open as rentals. D5
THE FORD The third component of developer G.H. Palmer Associates’ apartment complex is under construction and on pace for a May 2010 completion, company owner Geoff Palmer said. Orsini III is a five-story, $43 million, 210-unit project at Figueroa Street and Cesar Chavez Avenue; it sits across the street from Palmer’s existing Orsini I and Orsini II. The development will feature studio, one- and two-bedroom units, a three-level podium with 13,000 square feet of commercial space and a 477-car garage. At theorsini.com. B 3 slated for Sept. 24, said SRHT Director of Special Projects Molly Rysman. The Michael Maltzan-designed building at 325 W. 17th St. will house 95 efficiency units for lowincome, disabled adults. The facility will also offer drug treatment, mental health and other services. The project’s total budget is $34 million, which includes the $18 million construction cost and other expenses. At skidrow.org. C 10
photo by Gary Leonard
An environmental study of a proposed 360unit project in City West is still underway. Developer the Holland Partners Group expects to have entitlements by the end of the year, said a project consultant. Construction would take approximately two and a half years. The development would rise on a current three-acre parking lot bounded by Wilshire Boulevard, Bixel Street, Sixth Street and Lucas Avenue; it was previously owned by Good Samaritan Hospital. David Gray Architects completed preliminary designs, and the Westside-based Nadel Architects will create the final design documents. A 7
A 25-story, adaptive reuse project at 600 S. Spring St. is about two months from completion, said developer Barry Shy. The 270 apartments range from 700-1,500 square feet and rents will be $1,400-$2,500. Amenities will include glass balconies in every unit, a rooftop pool and spa, recreation room and gym. The property’s 8,000 square feet of groundfloor retail space has not yet been leased. At laloftrental.com. D7
Developer SRO Housing Corp. has secured public funds to transform the Ford Hotel at 1000 E. Seventh St., which it purchased in February 2008, into 151 studio apartments. The hotel currently has 295 units and is occupied by 132 people, but the building is dilapidated and in need of redevelopment, said Joseph Corcoran, SRO Housing’s director of planning and housing development. The project would include 90 units for chronically homeless individuals, Corcoran said. The remaining apartments would be for low-income residents earning up to 50% of the Area Median Income (which is approximately $60,000). The company hopes to break ground in February 2010. Construction is expected to take 15 months. At srohousing.org. E7
For-profit affordable housing developer the Amerland Group, which owns multiple structures in Downtown, was recently seeking $25 million in state bonds to purchase the hotel at 1256 W. Seventh St. from investment group Mayfair LLC. According to the most recent information available, Amerland hopes to transform the property into a 300unit affordable housing project. NA
SRO Housing Corp. is looking to convert the rear portion of the 87 emergency shelter units at the Panama Hotel into 41 efficiency apartments for permanent housing. The nonprofit developer is waiting for its lender to approve a construction loan for the project at 403 E. Fifth St., which is expected by October, said Joseph Corcoran, SRO Housing’s director of planning and housing development. Construction would take one year, he said. At srohousing.org. D6
NEW CARVER APARTMENTS
Developer Larry Bond of Chinatown Blossom Plaza, LLC, did not return calls for an update on the 262-unit, $165 million mixed-use project, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March to stop foreclosure proceedings. But according to CRA officials, Bond is still looking for new equity partners to move forward. The city is contributing $41 million to the effort, which would include two residential towers designed by Nakada & Associates, 43,000 square see Projects, page 13
photo by Gary Leonard
Developer G.H. Palmer Associates has put construction of a 335-apartment complex at Bixel and St. Paul streets on hold until the rental market picks up, company owner Geoff Palmer said. The City West project follows the same Italian villa-inspired design as Palmer’s other Downtown projects, including the existing Piero I, which is adjacent to the proposed second stage. Piero II would include a pedestrian bridge over St. Paul Street that would connect a rooftop swimming pool deck to Piero I. The $70 million development is tentatively slated for completion in 2015. At ghpalmer.com. A 7
The grand opening of a permanent supportive housing project from nonprofit developer the Skid Row Housing Trust is
Nonprofit developer SRO Housing Corp. finished demolishing the 38-unit Leo Hotel in April. It will make way for the Renato Apartments, a 96-unit complex for the chronically homeless, said Joseph Corcoran, the company’s director of planning and housing development. Construction should begin this month, following excavation work
and the building of two levels of subterranean parking that will create 64 spaces for residents, company employees and guests.
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YWCA JOB CORPS CAMPUS
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STANFORD REGENCY PLAZA
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HOPE STREET FAMILY CENTER
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FACTORY PLACE ARTS COMPLEX
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CECIL HOTEL/ STAY
SHY BARRY TOWER
308 E. NINTH ST.
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WHOLESALE SEAFOOD DISTRICT
OLYMPIC BLVD CITY HOUSE & THE OLYMPIC
STAPLES CENTER ARENA
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BIXEL ST AVE
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SPRING ST PK REGENT THEATER ROSSLYN LOFTS
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PERSHING SQUARE STATION
HOLLAND PARTNERS PROJECT
VIBIANA PLACE BUDOKAN OF LOS ANGELES
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2ND STREET TUNNEL
LITTLE TOKYO / ARTS DISTRICT STATION
3RD ST TUNNEL
LOS ANGELES CENTRAL REGION HIGH SCHOOL #12 4TH ST
METRO DETENTION CENTER
CIVIC CENTER STATION
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CENTRAL AREA VISUAL & PERFORMING ARTS HIGH SCHOOL #9
CHINATOWN METRO APTS.
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H O L LY W O O D F W Y
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Map © 2009 Cartifact ED AM AL
Development Project Sites
Contact Cartifact for the full-color, every-building version of this map and others. Available as a poster and in print, web, and mobile media.
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NORTH INDUSTRIAL DISTRICT
NORT H SP
LOS ANGELES STATE HISTORIC PARK (CORNFIELD)
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September 21, 2009
Downtown News 13
medallion photo by Gary Leonard
Continued from page 11 feet of retail space and a 372-car garage, with about half of the spaces available to the public. The project is slated for the site of the shuttered Little Joe’s restaurant at 900 N. Broadway in Chinatown, and would connect the Chinatown Metro Gold Line station and Broadway. The development would offer 20% affordable housing and include a 17,500-square-foot plaza for cultural events. C2
CHINATOWN GATEWAY While officials with developer Equity Residential did not return calls for comment on the proposed 321,000-squarefoot project at Broadway and Cesar E. Chavez Avenue, officials with the Community Redevelopment Agency said that due to the economy, Chinatown Gateway remains on hold as financing is being lined up. If it proceeds, the development would create a six-story building with 280 studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments, and 18,000 square feet of retail. The project would include 581 parking spaces as well as 30,000 square feet of recreational outdoor space, a pool and a landscaped plaza. Thomas P. Cox Architects is handling the designs. C3
HERALD EXAMINER BUILDING
L.A. CENTRAL New York-based developer the Moinian Group plans to extend the entitlements for the proposed $1 billion development, which are set to expire this year, said the company’s Oskar Brecher. In the meantime, the developer is still seeking a $700 million-plus construction loan. The project may rise in phases, though there is no timeline for groundbreakings. The L.A. Live-adjacent development, at 11th and Figueroa streets in South Park, would include 53- and 37-story towers housing 860 market-rate studio, one- and two-bedroom condominiums averaging 1,000 square feet, plus 250,000 square feet of retail space, a grocery store, restaurants and a boutique hotel with 222 rooms. The developer would also fund 172 off-site, low-income residences. B9
METROPOLIS There has been no movement on IDS Real Estate Group’s long-planned, $1 billion project one block north of L.A. Live, said IDS Senior Vice President Patrick Spillane, through the developer hopes to break ground in 2010. Plans for the project’s first phase call for a 33-story condominium tower on 1.83 acres and would take approximately three years to build; the second phase would deliver a 42-story, 388-unit condominium tower; and a third phase would bring a 480-room hotel and 88 residential units. The fourth and final phase would be a 42-story office tower. Each phase would include a five-level parking structure, and 46,000 square feet of retail would be incorporated throughout the project. The entire development would be complete by 2020. Gruen Associates is the executive architect, while Arquitectonica is the design architect for the residential towers, and Gensler is handling the office portion. B8
NIKKEI CENTER Developer Nikkei Center LLC has an exclusive agreement with the city to purchase a five-acre parcel at First and Alameda streets for $44 million, although a sale will not be completed until the city finishes an environmental study of the land, said Jon Kaji of Kaji & Associates, the managing partner in the project. That process is expected to take at least a year. The site, known as the Mangrove, is part of a 10-acre property that the city purchased in 2002; it also contains a fire station and an emergency operations center. Nikkei Center LLC, which includes Kaji & Associates and the nonprofit Little Tokyo Service Center, was selected last summer after a nine-month competition to develop the property. The
Completion of the Historic Core mega-project is expected by the end of the year, said developer Saeed Farkhondepour. The Medallion, which briefly stalled and then re-started in 2008, sits on the northeast corner of Fourth and Main streets. It is slated to include 200 Downtown-based Urban Partners was also part of the original development team but has since dropped out. The approximately $300 million mixed-income project is slated to include 400 apartments, with 110 designated for seniors and low-income residents; 80,000 square feet of largely Japanesethemed retail; an office tower; nearly 1,300 parking spaces and public gardens. Funding will be sought from a mix of American and Japanese investors. The developer hopes to break ground in the summer of 2011 and finish construction by the end of 2013. E 5
residential units, 750 parking spaces, more than 200,000 square feet of ground-floor retail, restaurants and a rooftop bar. The construction cost was originally set at $125 million but has increased by an undisclosed amount. M2A Architects is in charge of the designs. D6 126 market-rate apartments and 98 affordable residences, along with a 250,000-square-foot retail pavilion. Witte said Related is waiting out the current recession and the frozen lending markets, and will still need an estimated $700 million construction loan. The project’s entitlements will remain in place until February 2011. C5
UNIVERSITY GATEWAY photo by Gary Leonard
There has been no movement on a longstanding proposed project in the former home of the Herald Examiner newspaper at 11th Street and Broadway due to the financial market, said Marty Cepkauskas, director of real estate for property owner the Hearst Corp. The fully entitled proposal calls for converting the Julia Morgan-designed Broadway building into 70,000 square feet of office and retail space; a 24-story, 268-unit residential tower on the site of the former press building on Hill Street; and a 37-story, 319-unit edifice at 120 W. 12th St. The towers would be designed by Thom Mayne’s Morphosis firm. While the project remains on hold, Hearst continues to work with architect Brenda Levin on the restoration of the Herald Examiner building. C9
ONE SANTA FE According to the most recent information available, developer the McGregor Company is proceeding with plans for a $140 million, 500,000-square-foot Arts District project. The development would create 439 units above 70,000 square feet of ground-floor retail, commercial and live-work space. The design by Michael Maltzan features vertical gardens along the main facade and a 5,000-square-foot community center. The five-story project would stand on a four-acre site that currently houses an MTA lot. The property is bounded by Santa Fe Avenue, the First and Fourth street bridges and Metrolink service tracks adjacent to the Los Angeles River. F 5
SANTEE VILLAGE Santee Village Partners LLC, the original developer of the Fashion District mega-complex, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April, according to court records. The project consists of seven buildings on a site bounded by Los Angeles, Maple, Seventh and Eighth streets. It houses 445 lofts, approximately one-third of which are rentals, and 66,000 square feet of retail space. According to the most recent information available, the final piece of the 780,000-squarefoot Fashion District project, the 73-unit Santee building, is complete but has not opened. Connecticut-based lender the Patriot Group took ownership of the project in October 2008. The project’s website, santeevillage.com, was apparently taken down this month and the phone number for its sales office was disconnected. D7
THE GRAND There has been no movement on the fully entitled, $3 billion, Frank Gehry-designed project, said Bill Witte, West Coast president of developer the Related Companies. The first part of the project, a 16-acre, $56 million Civic Park, is expected to break ground by next summer. There is still no groundbreaking date for the rest of the approximately $1 billion, 1.3 million-square-foot first phase of the project, which would create a 48-story Mandarin Oriental Hotel & Residences with 295 hotel rooms and 266 condominiums, a 19-story tower with
Construction continues on developer Urban Partners $168 million student apartment complex at the southeast corner of Figueroa Street and Jefferson Boulevard. The project broke ground approximately one year ago and is on schedule to open in fall 2010, in time for the next school year, said Matt Burton, a principal with Urban Partners. University Gateway, designed and being built by Clark Construction, will house 421 apartments, 81,500 square feet of ground-floor retail and 770 on-site parking spaces. Another 440 parking spaces will be a block and a half away at the USC Parking Center. At urbanpartnersllc.com. NA
VIBIANA Developer Gilmore Associates is close to completing a series of upgrades to the event venue and former home of the mother church of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, said a company spokeswoman. The renovations include a garden redesign, mechanical system improvements and a new kitchen. There is no timeline yet for long-term plans for the project on Main between Second and Third streets, which include new performance spaces, a restaurant and housing. At vibianala.com. D5
WILSHIRE GRAND/ KOREAN AIR PROJECT Downtown-based developer Thomas Properties Group is pursuing entitlements for a $1 billion redevelopment of the continued on next page
Projects Continued from page 13 Wilshire Grand hotel at 930 Wilshire Blvd., said a Thomas Properties official. The hotel would be razed and replaced by a residential, office and hotel complex, owner Korean Air announced earlier this year. Preliminary designs by AC Martin Partners call for a 45-story tower housing approximately 560 four-star hotel rooms and 100 residences, plus a 65-story Class A office tower. The project would be designed to meet the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Silver certification standards. The development would include an approximately 18,000-square-foot landscaped plaza at Seventh and Figueroa streets, ground-floor retail and 1,900 underground parking spaces. The new structures would rise on a full city block bounded by Figueroa, Francisco and Seventh streets and
Development Wilshire Boulevard. Groundbreaking is expected in 2011, and construction of phase one would take three years. B 7
DOWNTOWN REGIONAL CONNECTOR
September 21, 2009
Environmental Impact Report on the project. Officials would begin seeking funding once the Metro Board of Directors approves the final EIR, which could take an additional two years to complete. The project is expected to be partly funded by Measure R, the countywide half-cent sales tax approved by voters. At metro.net. NA
EXPOSITION LIGHT RAIL photo by Gary Leonard
14 Downtown News
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is in the midst of an 18-month environmental study of a proposed twomile transit link which would connect the Gold, Blue and upcoming Expo light rail lines through Downtown. Metro officials are examining the potential impacts of two primary versions: an estimated $800 million, at-grade light rail line or a $910 million subway, both of which would run along Second Street. After the study Metro will prepare a draft
According to an Expo board report released this month, the Exposition Light Rail Line is 50% complete, and the project has been hit with a 50-week delay. The report states that there is a “significant risk” to the $808 million budget due to the delays. Work is currently underway on replacing the tracks that will connect the Metro Blue Line to the Expo Line in Downtown, said Gabriela Collins, a spokeswoman for the Exposition Construction Authority. The light rail line will connect Downtown to Culver City. Other work for the project includes the relocation of water and sewer lines as well as gas, power and cable TV lines, the installation of street signs, traffic signals and street lighting. The eight-mile route will share two stops with the Blue Line and will add nine new stations. Management of the project is a joint venture of FCI Construction, Inc., Fluor Corp. and Parsons Corp. At buildexpo.org. NA
FEDERAL BUILDING The $90 million seismic upgrade at 300 N. Los Angeles St. in the Civic Center is 70% done, said Gene Gibson, regional public affairs officer for the General Services Administration. Completion is expected in the summer of 2010. During construction, the building is occupied and open to the public. The work includes new fire safety systems, replacement of original ceiling and lighting systems, signage, security systems, elevators and the removal of hazardous materials, Gibson said. D4
FEDERAL COURTHOUSE Efforts to build a new federal courthouse at First Street and Broadway remain stalled, said Gene Gibson, regional public affairs officer for the U.S. General Services Administration. Congress had appropriated $314 million for the project, which called for 41 courtrooms, judges’ chambers and office space for federal agencies. But an increase in construction costs forced the GSA back to the drawing board and estimates last year soared to more than $1 billion for the project. The 3.6-acre site, which is now just a fenced-off hole, previously held a state office building. C5
LAPD HEADQUARTERS The Los Angeles Police Department is in the process of moving into its new $440 million headquarters, the replacement for Parker Center. The 10-story, 500,000-square-foot structure, designed by DMJM and constructed by Sylmar-based Tutor-Saliba, broke ground in November 2006. The grand opening will take place Oct. 24, one week before LAPD Chief William Bratton leaves the department. The building, just south of City Hall, will include a small, landscaped park along Second Street, a 400-seat auditorium and a 300-car LAPD garage. It will hold 2,300 people, 800 more than Parker Center. A water feature in front of a planting by the sidewalk serves double duty as a security wall. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification of the building was
September 21, 2009
Downtown News 15
photo by Gary Leonard
gold line eastside extension
AMBASSADOR HOTEL SCHOOLS The first phase of the 24-acre, three-school campus on the site of the former Ambassador Hotel west of Downtown debuted this month. On Sept. 9, a 1,050-seat school for kindergarten through third-grade students opened. The facility cost $80 million. Opening in the fall is a one-third acre park along Wilshire Boulevard that includes an art installation honoring Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, who was killed in the hotel. Still to come are a 1,000-seat school for fourth through eighth graders and a 2,474-seat high school; those schools are estimated to cost a combined $300 million and are slated to open in fall 2010. The Hensel Phelps Construction Company is building all three schools. The campus will include two gymnasiums, a swimming pool, a soccer field and extensive athletic facilities. At lausd.net. NA
CENTRAL REGION HIGH SCHOOL NO. 12
final construction touches, like making sure escalators, ventilation and fire systems are operating. The project will extend the Gold Line from Union Station across the 101 Freeway with eight new stations and culminate at Atlantic Avenue. There will be a Downtown station serving Little Tokyo and the Arts District. Officials say the extension could carry 23,000 riders a day by 2020. At metro.net/eastside. D4
CENTRAL REGION HIGH SCHOOL NO. 13 photo by Gary Leonard
The Metro Gold Line’s extension from Downtown to East Los Angeles is 99% complete, said Jose Ubaldo, a spokesman for Metro. An opening for the $899 million light rail line was expected by mid-summer, though has since been pushed back to an undefined time, Ubaldo said. Service tests that run the trains through their routes but without passengers are set to begin this month, Ubaldo said. Crews are working on the
The Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education in January approved a plan to find a charter school organization to develop and operate a new Downtown high school. The proposed 500-seat facility, slated to rise next to the Miguel Contreras Learning Complex at 322 Lucas Ave. in City West, was originally approved, but then shelved about five years ago. The district’s next step is to draft and issue a request for proposals to find a charter organization to help fund and eventually run the school. At lausd.net. A6
planned to be “silver,” but city engineers are optimistic that it might reach the “gold” level. D5
LOS ANGELES RIVER A project to clean and green 32 miles of the Los Angeles River continues. Monica Valencia, a spokeswoman for Councilman Ed Reyes, said that in August the City Council’s Ad Hoc River Committee, which was formed to oversee public input and projects for the river, was extended for another four years. The overall project could cost $2 billion and take decades, though full funding has not been secured. A series of public meetings where people were able to comment on the project took place during the summer, and an updated River Improvement Overlay Plan is available for viewing at the city Planning Department’s website. The Army Corps of Engineers, meanwhile, is working on a feasibility study for ecosystem restoration that is expected to be complete within two years. Some projects funded by state bond money are already moving forward, including the building of bike paths near Elysian Park. Of the five “Opportunity Sites” the revitalization features, three are in and around Downtown Los Angeles: the state park at Taylor Yard, the Chinatown area and the Industrial District. At lariver.org. NA
LOS ANGELES STATE HISTORIC PARK Plans to develop the full 32-acre park adjacent to Chinatown are still on hold due to the state’s budget issues, said Stephanie Campbell, associate park and recreation specialist for California State Parks. San Francisco-based Hargreaves Associates had been working on plans to transform the site formerly known as the Cornfield. Designs are 50% complete and work will restart as soon as money is released by the state, Campbell said. In the meantime, the department continues to try to raise funds for long-term development of the park (currently just 12 acres are being used). Plans include creating a space for cultural events and an open meadow for recreation, as well as kiosks that would highlight the agricultural and cultural history of the city. Nine acres would be set aside for natural habitats and a nature preserve. Final technical drawings could be complete in 2010. At parks.ca.gov/lashp or lashp.wordpress.com. C1
METRO DETENTION CENTER An $80 million city jail is mostly complete, but the LAPD Jails Division, which will operate the facility, is not expected to move in until January, said LAPD Capt. Clayton Farrell, who heads the division. The structure will hold 512 inmates and replace the aged Parker Center jail. At about 160,000
square feet, the new facility is 58,000 square feet larger than the Parker Center jail, and is equipped with state-of-the-art technology and cutting-edge jail design, he said. Outside the main entrance, an art installation is meant to have a calming and inspirational effect. The concrete squares that make up a mini-plaza are combed with undulating and circular patterns that mimic sand art. D4
SIXTH STREET VIADUCT REPLACEMENT There are currently seven design options on the table for the proposed replacement of the ailing, 77-year-old Sixth Street bridge, said John Koo of the city Bureau of Engineering. The proposed designs include a full, exact replica of the historic bridge; a partial replica; two arched designs; and three modern-style bridges. A draft Environmental Impact Report on the project, analyzing the impacts of the potential designs, was released in June. Officials expect to issue a final EIR next April. Construction is expected to start in 2013. The estimated cost of the project is $345 million, to be funded by a mix of federal and state sources. The Sixth Street Viaduct, which spans the Los Angeles River between Downtown and Boyle Heights, is one of 14 historic L.A. River crossings. NA
SPRING STREET PARK The city in June completed the purchase of a nearly one-acre parcel on Spring Street between Fourth and Fifth streets for slightly less than the previously negotiated price of $5.6 million, said a spokeswoman for Ninth District Councilwoman Jan Perry. The land, previously owned by developer Downtown Properties, currently houses a parking lot and construction equipment for the developer’s adjacent Rowan and El Dorado loft buildings. At least one public meeting, when area stakeholders will be invited to give input on design, is expected in the coming months. The design and construction process would follow. D6
Construction continues on the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Central Region High School No. 13, which broke ground in September 2008, said Shannon Haber, spokeswoman for the LAUSD Facilities Division. The district acquired the 23-acre site north of Downtown at Taylor Yard by eminent domain in November 2007, then agreed to pay former owner Meruelo Maddux Properties $50 million for the land. The district had long sought to build the 2,295-seat school to relieve overcrowding at nearby high schools. The $161 million institution will be comprised of five small learning communities that include classrooms and science labs. Shared facilities would include performing arts classrooms, a library, two gymnasiums, a food service area and lunch shelter, as well as central administrative offices and playing fields. It is slated to open in 2011. At lausd.net. NA
LOS ANGELES TRADE-TECH COLLEGE L.A. Trade-Tech College’s multi-phase, $750 million upgrade continues. Currently underway at the school at 400 W. Washington Blvd. are a $34 million restoration of the 100,000-square-foot A Building, estimated for completion by 2011, and the $78 million South Campus project. The latter effort, which is expected to be complete in 2010, consists of two five-story buildings with more than 121,000 square feet of offices and classrooms, said Campus Project Director Deba P. Mohapatra. A two-floor, $6 million Child Development Center is slated to provide 14,238 square feet of space for children up to 12 years old, increasing capacity from 50 to 96 children, when it opens this year. It will be both a childcare center and a teaching facility with an infant classroom. Anil Verma Associates, a Los Angeles-based architecture and engineering firm, is the project manager. NA
USC HEALTH SCIENCES CAMPUS USC’s $80 million Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research is targeted for a 2010 completion. The five-story, 87,000-square-foot Broad see Projects, page 16
16 Downtown News
PACIFIC STOCK EXCHANGE NIGHTCLUB
an outdoor walkway around the stadium’s perimeter; two new garages to replace some surface-level lots; and an outdoor plaza with a 360-degree view of the city. At losangeles. dodgers.mlb.com. B 1
USC UNIVERSITY PARK CAMPUS The university’s new Campus Center, which broke ground in May 2008, remains on target for completion in summer 2010, with classes beginning that fall, said Carl Marziali, a university spokesman. During construction of the 192,000-square-foot Campus Center, the school has installed a temporary dining facility. The 20,000-square-foot building includes seating and food service comparable to the space that was lost when the old building was demolished. At usc.edu. NA
JAPANESE VILLAGE PLAZA RENOVATION Marvin Lotz, president of JVP owner American Commercial Equities, said the company is securing permits for the final phase of renovations on the Little Tokyo outdoor mall. Plans include upgrading the landmark fire tower at the First Street entrance, new walkways and landscaping, and replacing some storefronts, he said. ACE also plans to remove a wall that encloses the center at First Street and Central Avenue to create a new entrance. Downtown-based Rothenberg Sawasy Architects is designing the upgrade. ACE began renovations shortly after purchasing the mall in 2007. Completed improvements include mechanical system and roofing upgrades. D5
According to the most recent information available, Downtown landowner Michael Delijani plans to turn the 12th floor, terrace and rooftop of the former Pacific Stock Exchange building at 233 S. Beaudry Ave. into a 90,000-square-foot restaurant and nightclub with live entertainment and a dance floor. No timeline or budget information has been provided, though Delijani has said the project would include a new, low-rise apartment building just west of the existing structure. Westside-based Nadel Architects is working on designs for the property as well as the adjacent building. The 126,602-square-foot edifice currently consists of 10 levels of parking, one floor of offices and the former trading floor, which closed in 2001. A5
REGENT THEATER There has been no movement on plans to transform the former movie house at 448 S. Main St. into a 400-seat live music venue with a lounge and restaurant, said a spokeswoman for developer Gilmore Associates. Gilmore periodically partners with arts and music organizations to open the 10,000-squarefoot space during the Downtown Art Walk and for occasional performances. At regentla.com. D6
VARIETY ARTS CENTER
L.A. LIVE photo by Gary Leonard
John Welborne, president of the Angels Flight Railway Foundation, does not have an opening date for the funicular, which has been closed for more than eight years. However, after announcing and missing numerous opening dates, and stating in May that the return was “coming quite soon,” Welborne now says the opening date is “even sooner.” The cars, Olivet and Sinai, have been tested on the track after being returned to the railway last November. Load tests took place in March and were witnessed by the California Public Utilities Commission, which must give its OK before Angels Flight can reopen. The railway passed all the safety tests, Welborne said. Angels Flight, which connects Bunker Hill and the Historic Core, has been closed since Feb. 1, 2001, following an accident that killed an 83-year-old man and injured seven others. C 6
exhibition titled Dinosaur Mysteries, will arrive in 2011, and a third wing focused on environmental history will debut in 2012, said a museum spokeswoman. At nhm.org. NA
photo by Gary Leonard
Continued from page 15 Center, on the school’s Health Sciences Campus northeast of Downtown, will house researchers working on stem cell studies aimed at developing treatments for an array of diseases. The facility is the result of a public-private partnership between the voter-created California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the USC Keck School of Medicine and the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation. CIRM awarded USC nearly $27 million for the facility this year, supplementing a $30 million gift from the Broad Foundation in 2006. Construction began last year. NA
rendering by Johnson Fain
September 21, 2009
BROADWAY REVITALIZATION Fourteenth District City Councilman José Huizar’s effort to revitalize Broadway between Second Street and Olympic Boulevard is moving forward on the legislative front. The City Council this month approved the Broadway Theater and Entertainment District Design Guide, a set of standards aimed at preserving architecturally significant buildings while encouraging pedestrian traffic and new commercial uses. Members of the Bringing Back Broadway Board of Trustees formed a nonprofit last year to guide the creation and operation of a Downtown streetcar and have so far secured approximately $10 million of the estimated $100 million needed for the project. There has been no movement yet on an offer for four contiguous properties along Broadway that would serve as a potential garage. Huizar has identified $27 million in city funds for the acquisition, but building a garage would require another $25 million. At bringingbackbroadway.com. C6
CALIFORNIA SCIENCE CENTER Completion of a $145 million expansion of the California Science Center, featuring the World of Ecology wing, is scheduled for spring 2010 said Shell Amega, a project representative. The expansion is 95% complete and new exhibits are already being moved in to the 170,000-square-foot expansion. The space will allow for new exhibits that will illustrate principles of ecological science. The exhibit will hold interactive galleries with aspects of aquariums, zoos and botanical gardens. Hundreds of plants and animals will be featured. NA
DODGER STADIUM IMPROVEMENTS There has been no movement on the multi-phase, $500 million renovation of the Dodger Stadium grounds, said Mike Rogers of HKS Architects, Inc., which is leading the project’s design team along with architecture firm Johnson Fain. The project has not been entitled yet. Opening for the renovation, expected to unfold during the off seasons, has been announced for opening day of the 2012 baseball season. Plans call for an upgraded, landscaped entrance; a new promenade called Dodger Way with restaurants, shops and a Dodger Museum; a landscaped plaza beyond center field;
The two final restaurants at L.A. Live, Rosa Mexicana and the Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill, have opened. The next addition to developer Anschutz Entertainment Group’s South Park mega-project will be the 14-screen Regal cineplex; AEG officials have said the theaters, which will be capable of hosting red-carpet premieres, will debut in November. The complex just north of Staples Center includes the Nokia Theatre, Club Nokia, a Lucky Strike bowling alley, the Conga Room nightclub and the Grammy Museum. There is also office space and the West Coast headquarters of cable sports giant ESPN, complete with broadcasting facilities. The centerpiece of the $2.5 billion development, the 54-story Convention Center headquarters hotel, is slated to open Feb. 15. B 8
MOCA EXPANSION Plans for a three-story, 90,000-square-foot building that would rise on a parking lot adjacent to MOCA’s Geffen Contemporary in Little Tokyo continue, said Lyn Winter, a spokeswoman for the museum. The project went before city Zoning Administration officials in April and will require approval from the Community Redevelopment Agency. Although museum officials would not discuss timeline or budget information, according to documents filed with the Planning Department MOCA is requesting a five-year period after approval to begin construction, which would take about 18 months. The expansion would create 6,000 square feet of educational program space, 18,000 square feet of exhibition/storage space (where some items would be on display) and 66,000 square feet of pure storage space to alleviate the crowded storage conditions at MOCA’s existing facilities. D4
NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM The Exposition Park museum completed renovations on a historic building this year after more than two years of construction; it marks the first phase of a $91 million upgrade. The 1913 building, once the museum’s main structure, was originally designed by architects Frank Hudson and William Munsell. The property is slated to house three major exhibits, the first of which will focus on mammals and open to the public next summer. The building’s south wing, to house an
The vacant 1912 theater at 940 S. Figueroa St., used primarily as a location by film and television crews, remains for sale, said owner David Houk, and previous plans to convert it into a live events space are no longer active. Houk would not disclose the asking price of the historic structure just north of L.A. Live. It was previously listed with CB Richard Ellis for $12.5 million. B 8
7+FIG RENOVATION Plans for the second phase of the renovation of the outdoor shopping center should be complete by the end of September, said Bert Dezzuti, senior vice president for owner Brookfield Properties. In the meantime, no details are being released. The mall already underwent upgrades including repainting the old 1980s color motif. The $3 million project also placed more indigenous plants and new furniture in the plaza and throughout the space at Seventh and Figueroa streets. Last year, one of the anchor tenants, a Macy’s, closed, leaving a large space in the mall open. Dezzuti said Brookfield is looking for an anchor tenant. Brookfield Properties purchased 7+Fig and an adjacent high-rise in 2006. B 7
CECIL HOTEL/STAY There has been no movement on plans at the 600-room Cecil Hotel at 636 S. Main St., or the adjacent youth hostel
September 21, 2009
Downtown News 17
convention center hotel photo by Gary Leonard
Stay, said Bill Lanting, president of property manager the Lanting Hotel Group. Management is still in the process of trying to obtain a liquor license for a proposed ground-floor restaurant. The license has been delayed by ongoing litigation between the hotel owners and the city over the building’s designation as a residential hotel — the owners, a development team headed by Fred Cordova, have challenged the designation. Cordova and his partners purchased the Cecil in 2007 and opened Stay, which shares an elevator and three floors with the larger hotel, in July 2008. Cordova’s team has received at least three offers from potential buyers in the past two years, Lanting said, including a recent unsolicited letter of intent from for-profit affordable housing developer the Amerland Group. While selling the building remains a possibility, he said, there is no current deal. D7
rendering courtesy of the Community Redevelopment Agency
CLEANTECH MANUFACTURING CENTER
The Community Redevelopment Agency is working on a plan to develop a 1 million-square-foot industrial center east of Santa Fe Avenue, near 15th Street and Washington Boulevard, for companies that manufacture green technologies such as wind turbines or hydrogen fuel cells. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is looking to tap Italian railcar company AnsaldoBreda to develop a manufacturing plant at the site and serve as an anchor tenant for the project. The deal will hinge on whether Metro approves a contract for AnsaldoBreda, said Sharon Gi, a CRA assistant project manager. Other tenants involved in the green industry would also utilize the campus. The CRA hopes to launch a request for proposals to secure a developer, but no timeline has been set, Gi said. The Metro board of directors is scheduled to consider AnsaldoBreda’s contract at a Sept. 24 meeting. At crala.net/ct. NA
ENGINE COMPANY NO. 17 Plans to convert Engine Company No. 17, a 1927 firehouse at 710 S. Santa Fe Ave. in the Industrial District, into a restaurant and gallery with live entertainment have been placed on hold, said Elizabeth Peterson, a project representative. Peterson said that at a July 28 hearing the Central Area Planning Commission denied the plans after neighbors protested additional parking needed for the project. There is no timeline on when the project might resume, she said. The 8,721-square-foot, two-story Beaux Arts structure is owned by Jeffrey Birkmeyer. Built in 1904, it was a working fire station until 1980. NA
MIGNON Santos Uy and Daniel Kronfli, owners of the wine bar Bacaro LA, are setting up shop in Downtown with Mignon, a 620-square-foot wine bar at 128 E. Sixth St., said Joe Wedding of MASS Architecture & Design, which is working on the project. He said the small, U-shaped space is going through plan checks and should open in the last quarter of 2009. There is no budget information available. At mignonla.com. D 7
STANFORD REGENCY PLAZA According to the most recent information available, developer the KI Group continues to work on an $80 million, 400,000-square-foot complex for wholesale garment businesses. Plans call for 132 showrooms that will sell for $1 million-$3 million. The project at 810 E. Pico Blvd. is being designed by the firm MAI. Company officials have said the project would open in the fall. E 9
In August Javier Cano, general manager of the coming JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels, said that the project will open Feb. 15. Most of the work has been finished on the $900 million, 54-story tower that is the lynchpin of Anschutz Entertainment Group’s L.A. Live. The steel and glass high-rise will contain two hotels with separate entrances: the 878-room
BUDOKAN LOS ANGELES The Little Tokyo Service Center is waiting for final approval to move forward with plans to build a youth recreation center on a city-owned parcel on Los Angeles Street between Second and Third streets. The city agreed in principle to dedicate the parcel for this use last year, but has not yet executed the Memorandum of Understanding that would finalize the agreement and green light construction, said LTSC Executive Director Bill Watanabe. Long known as the Little Tokyo Recreation Center, the project has officially been dubbed Budokan Los Angeles. (Budokan is a Japanese word that traditionally referred to martial arts centers, but in modern times means a type of community center.) The land is currently being used as a city parking facility. Once the land becomes available, two buildings need to be demolished, said Watanabe. Meanwhile, the LTSC is beginning to reach out to potential donors and is looking into public funds to help pay for the $15 million project, he said. Preliminary designs by architecture firm Takase and Associates call for an approximately 30,000-square-foot gymnasium that would house four courts for basketball, volleyball or martial arts. At ltsc.org. D5
DOWNTOWN WOMEN’S CENTER The nonprofit Downtown Women’s Center broke ground on a new headquarters at 434 S. San Pedro St. in August. Workers are in the demolition phase to turn a 67,000-squarefoot industrial space into 71 apartments for low-income women, said Joe Altepeter, the organization’s site director. The new headquarters, to be called Project Home, will allow the DWC to help more than 3,000 women and serve 75,000 meals annually, an increase from the current level of aiding 2,000 women and serving 45,000 meals a year at its 325 S. Los Angeles St. location. The DWC is vacating its current home to make way for the under-construction Medallion development. The Community Redevelopment Agency has pitched in $3.5 million. Another $8 million came from state funds and the nonprofit is 85% complete on a capital campaign to raise $35 million to pay for the project. The target completion date is October 2010, with move-ins expected that December, Altepeter said. At dwcweb.org. E 6
Marriott and the 123-room Ritz. There will also be 224 Ritz-Carlton condominiums priced from $1 million-$10 million; the condos will be on the upper floors. Architecture firm Gensler has designed the project at Olympic Boulevard and Georgia Street. The building will also hold a 2,000-person ballroom, the largest in the city. B 8
FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH Burbank-based BTG Advisors, LLC, recently entered into an exclusive negotiating agreement with a Downtown developer to create a mixed-use project on church property at 1010 S. Flower St. in South Park, said project consultant Peter Davis of BTG. The project would include residential and retail components, plus a new church building, in exchange for the property’s ground lease rights. Davis would not reveal the name of the developer because negotiations are ongoing. B 8
GOOD SAMARITAN HOSPITAL EXPANSION Good Samaritan Hospital is pursuing city and state approvals for a medical office building that would break ground in the summer of 2010, said hospital spokeswoman Katrina Bada. Construction on the approximately 190,000-squarefoot structure at Wilshire Boulevard and Witmer Street on the hospital’s City West campus is expected to take approximately 18 months. The development would house a firstfloor women’s health/imaging center, a pharmacy and cancer treatment services. The building will also include an extensive outpatient surgical facility on the second floor and five levels of physicians’ offices. The project cost is estimated at $70 million to $80 million. Architecture firm Ware Malcomb is overseeing the design, while Millie and Severson will handle construction. NA
HOPE STREET FAMILY CENTER Developers of the future home of the California Hospital Medical Center’s Hope Street Family Center plan to begin a construction bidding process in early November. Nonprofit developer Abode Communities is handling the project for the hospital, which has been planning the recreation and social services center for low-income families for more than two years. Abode hopes to begin construction in January on a four-story, 26,000-square-foot structure at the southeast corner of Venice Boulevard and Hope Street; it would include administrative offices, classrooms and an outdoor basketball court, said Abode Communities’ Executive Director Tim continued on next page
18 Downtown News
September 21, 2009
concerto annex photo by Gary Leonard
Continued from page 17 Kohut. The project is partially funded by grants including $3 million in state Prop 40 funds and an $8 million loan from the Community Redevelopment Agency. At chmcla.org. C 10
YWCA JOB CORPS CAMPUS The YWCA of Greater Los Angeles is working on a $70 million expansion of its Job Corps Campus in South Park. Construction is scheduled to be complete in November 2011, said Ann Marie Hickambottom of the YWCA. Plans call for a 154,000-square-foot development at Olympic Boulevard and Olive Street with 200 rooms for students and an intake center, cafeteria and library, as well as medical and dental centers that would serve 1,200 students annually. The sevenstory steel and glass structure, designed by Jenkins, Gales and Martinez Architects, would put the YWCA Job Corps under one roof, instead of using six buildings in Downtown and one in Hollywood. The new facility would include 400 residential beds. C 8
OPENED IN THE PAST FOUR MONTHS
AON TOWER UPGRADE
DOWN AND OUT A hockey, soccer and football-only sports bar opened Sept. 10 on the ground floor of the Alexandria Hotel at 501 S. Spring St. The 3,000-square-foot space, opened by Brian Traynam, features mug shots of celebrities including Frank Sinatra, Hugh Grant, Steve McQueen and Andy Dick. Traynam said the Down and Out is a sports bar for local residents who don’t want to mingle with tourists. But they must also be hockey, football and soccer fans since those will be the only sports they show — so don’t expect Lakers or Dodgers games on the big screens. C 6
photo by Gary Leonard
HIGH SCHOOL FOR THE VISUAL AND PERFORMING ARTS
Developer Astani Enterprises sold all 77 units of the seven-story “loft” building at Ninth and Flower streets at a one-day sale on Aug. 29. Starting prices had 738-square-foot studios going for $219,000; one-bedroom units at 959 square feet for $279,000; and twobedroom, 1,363-square-foot residences at $449,000. and an iconic tower that rises 140 feet. The 1,728-student high school features four academies: music, dance, visual arts and performing arts. The building is filled with state-of-theart technology and arts facilities. This year it is serving ninth through 11th graders. A senior class will be added in fall 2010. At lausd.net. C 4
HYGGE The Danish cafe on the ground floor of the Luma high-rise at 11th and Hope streets opened June 30. The 2,000-squarefoot bakery offers Danish pastries and other goods. Owner Rasmus Lee said the bakery is open six days a week. B 8
JAMES M. WOOD APARTMENTS Nonprofit developer SRO Housing Corp. opened a 53-unit project for chronically homeless tenants in June. The $15 million effort at 506 S. San Julian St. in Skid Row includes 31 apartments for residents with mental disorders. Units in the 49,000-square-foot building average 300 square feet and include private bathrooms and kitchenettes. Tenants pay 30% of their income toward rent and can utilize on-site services including counseling, employment assistance, help with social security and medical benefits. The project is funded in part with $6.1 million from the city’s Permanent Supportive Housing program, said Joseph Corcoran, director of planning and housing development for SRO Housing Corp. At srohousing.org. D6
The Los Angeles Unified School District opened the $232 million Central Region High School No. 9, otherwise known as the High School for the Visual and Performing Arts, on Sept. 9. Designed by Austrian architecture firm Coop Himmelb(l) au, the 238,000-square-foot project at 450 N. Grand Ave., which broke ground in 2006, includes a 950-seat auditorium
The average price, said company head Sonny Astani, was about $400,000. The sale raised $31 million, Astani said. The units have wooden floors and European cabinets, and the project boasts an elevated pool and courtyard area for residents, plus a public tai chi park. At concertodowntown.com. B 8 photo by Gary Leonard
A $15 million makeover of the Financial District structure was completed in June, said Roberta Silverman, a spokeswoman for Beacon Capital Partners, the owner of the Aon Center at 707 Wilshire Blvd. The 62-story office tower received new 45-foot glass “curtains” for the north and south entrances, and white lacquered glass panels were installed in the lobbies. A 3,000-square-foot, glass-canopied garden atrium was erected in the west lobby and included a water wall and new landscaping. The renovation took about a year and was designed by Chinatown-based architecture firm Johnson Fain. B7
The $15 million renovation of the 1913 Frontier Hotel into a mixed-income apartment project is complete, said Jules Arthur, CEO of developer the Amerland Group. Tenants began moving into the building at 111 W. Fifth St. on July 14, and the project is approximately 30% leased. The 259 units on the third through ninth floors of the Historic Core building are priced for low- to moderate-income tenants, ranging from 300-325 square feet at $500-$796. The 38 market-rate apartments on floors 10-12 range from 600-1,300 square feet and rents start at $995. Amenities include on-site laundry facilities, washer-dryer hook-ups in some units, subterranean parking and large closets. At rosslynlofts.net. D6
SAKURA CROSSING New York-based developer the Related Companies opened the six-story, 230-unit luxury apartment complex at 235 S.
San Pedro St. in June. The $78 million development in Little Tokyo features studio, one- and two-bedroom units from approximately 550-1,200 square feet; 46 residences are reserved for low-income tenants. The market-rate apartments go for $1,500-$3,000. Amenities include a business center, pool, Jacuzzi, screening room, two roof decks with barbecue areas and fire pits and a fitness center. So far, 70 of the market-rate and 15 low-income apartments are leased, said project manager Rick Westberg. The 60-seat restaurant Lazy Ox is slated to open on the building’s ground floor in October. At sakuracrossing.com. D5
THE GORBALS Chef Ilan Hall, who gained fame as the season two winner of Bravo’s “Top Chef,” opened a 1,400-square-foot restaurant at the base of the Alexandria Hotel, at 501 S. Spring St., on Aug. 28. The minimalist spot sits 70 people and serves several cuisines inspired by Hall’s Scottish and Jewish heritage. At thegorbalsla.com. C6
September 21, 2009
Downtown News 19
photos by Gary Leonard
a special advertising supplement
20 Downtown News
A Glamorous Past
The Best of Barker
The Brownstone Lofts Bring Back Luxury Living With Modern Flair
n the 1930s and ’40s, The Brownstone was the place to be and be seen. Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra and countless others stayed and played here. Anthony Quinn lived in Suite 317. Following a complete and total renovation, The Brownstone Lofts brings back that glamorous past with FROM OUR ADVERTISERS
55 luxury condominium homes. All the original details including exposed brick walls, unique floor plans and lush landscaping combine with state-of-the-art, modern kitchens and bathrooms, hardwood floors and customized oversized arched dual pane windows. Through the iron gated entry and beyond the white marble lobby, residents will see a lushly landscaped courtyard that leads to an amazing pool, spa and community entertainment area, along with a small private dog park. Each unit features Poggen Pohl kitchen cabinets with granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, and washers and dryers. Bathrooms feature Carrera marble floors and Waterworks fixtures. Many units feature unparalleled Downtown views
and 18 penthouse units have cabanas leading to private trellised decks. Numerous floor plans guarantee you will find something that fits your lifestyle. In addition, the adjacent parking structure provides parking for each unit. Located in historic Angelino Heights, adjacent to Downtown and Echo Park/Silver Lake, The Brownstone Lofts will provide a select few residents with the absolute best in amenities within easy reach of countless restaurants, bars and coffee shops, the new L.A. Live complex and the very best theaters in Los Angeles. The Brownstone Lofts are conveniently located near the 101, Sunset Boulevard and Temple Street, making it the perfect location for anyone interested in being close to the very best that Los Angeles has to offer. The Brownstone Lofts are currently accepting reservations with expected move-ins before the end of the year. For more information contact The Brownstone Lofts sales office at (213) 291-0961 or by email TheBrownstoneLofts@gmail.com. The website will be available for additional information shortly at TheBrownstoneLofts.com.
voted downtown's best residential living six years in a row
FREE RENT SPECIALS! • • • • • • •
September 21, 2009
Studio, one & two Bedrooms Granite kitchens Italian marble counter baths Washer/dryer in every home Crown molding Direct TV & Internet access Oversized windows with Dramatic views of the city • European maple cabinets • Balcony or patio
• • • • • • • •
Nine foot ceilings Subterranean, gated parking Private one acre park Golf driving cages Putting green Tennis courts Sand volleyball court Designer carpet And ceramic tile • Roof top pool and spa
• • • • • • •
Fitness center with sauna Executive Business Center Study Library FREE tanning bed 24-hour doorman Spectacular waterscapes Lush courtyards
close to l.a. live and nokia theater
888.886.3731 •TheMedici.com 725 Bixel St., Los Angeles, CA 90017
Sought-After South Building Collection Opens for Sales
he recent release of Barker Block’s South Building has been met with incredible interest and non-stop sales over the past weeks, so they have just released another collection that features some of their most sought-after residences and corner locations. This newest collection also offers some of the best prices yet at FROM OUR ADVERTISERS
Barker, with residences starting in the low $300,000s. You can see them in person and get details by visiting the new Barker Block sales gallery. Barker Block is a new living concept by the Kor Group, creators of some of the most contemporary and sought-after hotels, destinations and designer residences. And just like their noted properties such as the Viceroy, The Tides and Avalon, Barker has Continued on next page
September 21, 2009
Continued from previous page been crafted with inspired design, unexpected details, perfect flow and just the right touch of indulgence. When combined with this incredibly unique, vibrant Arts District neighborhood, these loft homes offer a truly one-of-a-kind opportunity. Inside, the aesthetic in each home features a unique mix of contemporary elements and historic materials. Wood rafters showing a century of character, standing over polished concrete. Original wood floors giving a rich contrast for modern furniture. Brick walls from the early 1900s as a backdrop to sleek countertops and steel staircases. Each home has been individually crafted with a unique variation of these materials, giving every one its very own character and persona. Surrounding the homes is a long list of amenities and community features that includes what has to be the best rooftop deck in Downtown, complete with pool, spa and private cabanas overlooking the skyline. There is also a professional fitness center with floorto-ceiling city views, an outdoor living room with fireplace, roaming landscaped courtyards featuring a water garden and grass sitting area, on-site retail, live/work spaces and the Artist’s Alley — a public arts space for artists’ shows and intimate concerts. Barker was created from an idea that a home should be more than a space. It should be an experience. It’s a complete community, bringing together residential, live/work, retail and incredible amenity areas that are connected to surrounding restaurants, cafes, lofts and art studios. For more information or to schedule a tour, call (213) 620-9650 or visit BarkerBlockWorkLive.com. The Barker Block sales gallery is at 510 S. Hewitt Street, #105. Open daily 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Industrial-Style Lofts in High Demand Alta Lofts Poised to Capture the Marketplace
howcasing authentic, industrial-style interiors, the provocative new Alta Lofts is destined to become one of Eastside L.A.’s hottest addresses when it opens in October. Alta Lofts is located on San Fernando Road in Lincoln Heights, FROM OUR ADVERTISERS
and is being presented by Lee Homes, renowned for some of Downtown’s more notable and successful loft communities including Sky and Market Lofts in South Park. Two furnished models will be available for touring. With the grand opening just weeks away, an interest list is forming to give eager buyers an edge on the first residential opportunities. Alta Lofts will be particularly appealing to artists, photographers, and Web and fashion designers who desire a true authentic loft. With the Brewery Arts Complex down the street, the neighborhood is recognized as a burgeoning artists’ colony. “Alta Lofts has its own unique style and identity that stands out from anything else in today’s marketplace,” said Jil Froman, marketing and sales director for Lee Homes. “It is an amazing mix of adaptive reuse and new construction that weaves the original 1920s structure with contemporary features for today’s diverse work/ live lifestyles. It is true, authentic loft living that is hard to find in L.A.” Alta Lofts will offer 118 flats and twostory lofts from approximately 657 to 1,719 square feet with one and two bedrooms. There are four historic floors featuring
“hard lofts” with original oversized windows, exposed ducts, columns and no drywall. The original windows are retrofitted with double panes for sound and comfort. The fifth and sixth floors offer all-new modern, open-style lofts that reflect the look and feel of the original building. All lofts feature high ceilings, concrete floors, exposed walls and ceilings (in many units), central heat and air, and laundry hook-ups. Upscale kitchens will boast granite countertops and GE Energy-Star stainless steel appliances. Amenities will include a large, first-floor courtyard and secured parking for residents and guests. Plans also call for an open-air fifth floor deck as well as ground floor commercial space. Alta Lofts is anticipated to be priced from the high $200,000s. Bordered by the L.A. River with views
AN ADDRESS ABOVE ALL.
AN OPPORTU NITY BEYOND ANY. ANNOUNCING EVO’S FINAL COLLECTION OF SALE-PRICED RESIDENCES.
L AST CALL
SALE PRICES START IN THE $300kS
The most sought-after high-rise residence in all of L.A. is now offering its final collection of sale-priced homes. With over 175 residences sold this year, demand is high, availability is limited, and these prices won’t be seen again.
#506 : 886 Sq FT : 1 BD, 1 BA : $395k #521 : 1117 Sq FT : 1 BD, 1 BA : $410k #1505 : 914 Sq FT : 1 BD, 1 BA : $450k #1101 : 1222 Sq FT : 1 BD, 1.5 BA : $540k
VISIT TODAY BEFORE THEY’RE GONE : SALES GALLERY AT 1155 S. GRAND AVE #103 : 213-622-5400 EVOLUXURY.COM
Exclusively represented by The Mark Company
Downtown News 21
This is not an offer to sell, but is intended for information only. The developer reserves the right to make modifications in materials, specifications, floorplans, designs, pricing, scheduling and delivery of homes without prior notice. Broker License # 01235902.
of Elysian Park, Downtown L.A. and other surrounding communities, the ideal Eastside locale is within walking distance to so much. There are cafes, shops and the Metro Gold Line stop. Additionally, Alta Lofts is adjacent to Silver Lake, Los Feliz, Glendale and Pasadena, and is minutes from Downtown L.A. With finishing touches in the works, Alta Lofts has already caught the eye of several media outlets including la.curbed. com. Alta Lofts has also piqued the interest of many prospective buyers seeking a new, progressive urban address. Hip, artsy and edgy with historic flair, Alta Lofts is L.A.’s newest buzz around town. Alta Lofts is at 200 N. San Fernando Rd. in Lincoln Heights. For more information or to sign up for the interest list, visit livealta.com.
22 Downtown News
September 21, 2009
At the Center of It All Gas Company Lofts Offers a Home In the Heart of South Village
magine living, working and playing in an exquisitely restored historic landmark building. The beautifully restored Gas Company Lofts offer extraordinary city views that capture FROM OUR ADVERTISERS
the imagination and open floor plans with limitless options to tap your creativity. The inviting neighborhood entices residents outdoors to explore the parks, eclectic shopping and exceptional dining. Convenience is the priority of the easygoing lifestyle at Gas Company Lofts. Tenants live within a one-block radius of everything they need, and the best part is that there is no driving required. Enjoy seasonal and weekly events, such as a farmer’s market every Wednesday and Friday, and the Ralphs Fresh Fare is literally steps away. The surrounding neighborhood also features a pharmacy, a post office, Macy’s, an outdoor shopping mall, Staples Center and L.A. Live. With such a multitude of choices within walking distance, it is difficult to decide which restaurant to dine at. The Metro rail is a block away, making it a breeze to hop on and be in Orange County or North Hollywood in less than an hour. Location, location, location! It is one of the most important things to consider when moving to a new home. Gas Company Lofts has it in spades. Located directly in the center of Downtown Los Angeles, it is part of South Village, a multi-block residential and retail community that includes rental housing and a fullservice grocery store. South Village, created by the CIM Group, a leading developer in urban in-
vestments, has become the cornerstone of South Park and the Financial District. These elements make it the hotspot of L.A. The Gas Company Lofts’ historic architecture is complemented by the modern amenities and quality finishes in each loft, creating a signature project and luxurious environment. Interior amenities include a variety of granite countertops, dark cherry wood and maple cabinetry with modern design finishes and brushed stainless steel appliances. The “green” floors are reused materials such as cork, bamboo or distressed concrete. All apartments come with garaged residential and gated parking, free of charge. At the Gas Company Lofts, tenants have the convenience of a stellar concierge service and on-site security. Concierge services include reservations, fluff and fold, dry cleaning, pet services, spa services, grocery delivery, dry carwashes and much more. The Gas Company Lofts leasing office is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Reservations are highly recommended on weekends. For information contact (213) 955-5700 or visit gascompanylofts.com.
Cultural Connection The Towers Deliver A Rich Downtown Experience
owntown Los Angeles: Here, the living experience goes unmatched anywhere in the West. A lifestyle richly embellished with art, music and the cultural events that FROM OUR ADVERTISERS
make headlines. Downtown breeds success, housing prominent firms in impressive architectural sculptures composed of glass, steel and stone. Yet historical elements of yesterday also remain — artifacts of this city’s rich past. From the faithful climb of the renowned cars of Angels Flight to the fantastic urban spectacle of California Plaza, daily life in the Towers’ neighborhood remains unsurpassed. Extraordinary fountains, garden alcove retreats, gourmet dining and first-run entertainment provide the perfect setting for a lifetime of enjoyment. Downtown holds all the essentials to fulfill the most demanding lifestyles. During the day, you are moments from the business district, minimizing or even eliminating a commute. Evenings become immersed in a flood of nightlife, movies and culture beneath the brilliant lights of the city. Day and night, the Towers place residents among all
the excitement Downtown offers. Promenade Towers greets guests via a two-story lobby embellished with a tranquil indoor waterscape. Four impressive towers embrace a breathtaking pool, spa and fitness center in an oasis of flowing fountains and immaculate landscaping — a true departure from the ordinary. Promenade Towers’ individual design includes apartments with balconies, contemporary solariums and angular rooms as exciting as the propContinued on next page
Elegant Apartment Living Dramatic Downtown Views
A hot neighborhood. A cool building. A warm welcome.
• Luxurious interior upgrades including granite & marble countertops, stainless steel appliances & a washer / dryer in every apartment home • Business Center complete with study library, computer center and conference room • Jr. Olympic-size pool & spa with gorgeous city views & expansive sun decks • Fitness Center including saunas, steam & tanning rooms • 24-hour doorman, concierge services Gated community with FREE reserved parking • View our website for additional details and SPECIALS Free Rent Specials*
Concerts at Disney Exhibits at MOCA Laker games at Staples Drinks at The Standard Sushi at A Thousand Cranes Shopping in Little Tokyo Glistening swimming pool Landscaped courtyard BBQ grill & fire pit Luxurious lounge Modern fitness center Hi-tech business center Stunning Lobby Gourmet kitchens & baths Resident service center Underground parking Washers/Dryers in every home Private Terraces and more!
*All Specials are subject to change.
877.223.1494 616 St. Paul Avenue
Luxury Studio, 1 & 2BRs for Rent Call (213) 625-8500 We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. We encourage and support an affirmative advertising and marketing program in which there are no barriers to obtaining housing because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin.
September 21, 2009
Downtown News 23
Yes You Can at TENTEN Wishire The Only Place Where Living, Working and Playing Is Just a Suitcase Away
ENTEN Wilshire is the ideal place for business-minded individuals to live, work and play. Whether you are a travel manager, relocation specialist, working professional or entrepreneur, TENTEN Wilshire provides the perfect blend of amenities and necessities to make your decision an easy one. FROM OUR ADVERTISERS
You have heard the phrase “Live, Work and Play” countless times, but not until now have all three been addressed in a single lifestyle solution. Located on Los Angeles’ world famous Wilshire Boulevard, TENTEN Wilshire offers 227 luxury suites in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles. At TENTEN Wilshire, all suites are designated live/work, so conducting business from home in a professional manner just became possible. The suites at TENTEN Wilshire come equipped with every imaginable amenity including 24/7 valet parking, drop-off service within two miles, free basic utilities, wired and wireless high speed Internet, premium cable TV, local phone calls, iPod ready sound systems, high definition LCD TVs, full kitchens with stainless steel appliances and extensive kitchenware sets, and individual thermostats for optimum cooling and heating. TENTEN Wilshire recently received the award for “Best Rooftop in Downtown Los Angeles.” Inspired by luxury resorts, the world-class rooftop features a full gym, pool, Jacuzzi, sauna and steam rooms, locker rooms, a movie/screening room, lounge, fire pits, barbecue areas, sundecks, custom outdoor billiard and foosball tables, all while being surrounded by endless panoramic views. A great venue for the complimentary happy hour five days a week, ideal for meeting people and networking, it is easy to see why TENTEN Wilshire is the complete lifestyle solution business professionals need. In an area lined by the most extensive freeway system in the world, including the 110, 10, 101 and 5 freeways, Downtown Los Angeles, home to major legal, financial and telecommunications companies, is also a center for the entertainment, textile, jewelry and fashion industries. Just two blocks from TENTEN Wilshire is the 7th Street/ Metro Center, which offers easy access to Los Angeles’ Continued from previous page erty’s unique exterior styling. Grand Tower’s sensuous granite exterior distinguishes this landmark development as the address that reflects success. The 24-hour manned lobby provides impressive passage to spacious apartment homes with balconies and a rooftop pool, spa and fitness center with beautiful mountain and city views. Adjacent to the renowned California Plaza, entertainment can be found virtually at your doorstep. Museum Tower neighbors the beautiful Museum of Contemporary Art. This fine collection of apartment homes features expansive floor-to-ceiling windows. Exhibit your most precious belongings amidst the outstanding backdrop of the city skyline. A controlled access lobby, pool, spa and fitness center provide the upscale amenities Downtown residents desire. Double Assurance of Quality: For more than 50 years, Shapell Industries and Goldrich & Kest Industries have established themselves among America’s most successful and most honored residential developers. Today, their nationwide reputation for providing exceptional housing is earned through a consistent dedication to quality craftsmanship and design. As a result, many of their joint ventures have been cited as model developments. Marina Park in San Diego, Town Square in Santa Ana and The Promenade and Promenade West in the Bunker Hill district of Los Angeles have all achieved unparalleled success in these prominent urban centers. Together, they bring to the Towers Apartments a vast combination of experience, talent and integrity. Each has proven its dedication for a total of more than 90 years. It is that strong combination of experience, innovation and commitment to quality that makes Shapell Industries and Goldrich & Kest Industries a team you can rely on for excellence. For leasing information at the Promenade Towers, 123 S. Figueroa St., call (213) 617-3777. For leasing information at the Grand Tower, 255 S. Grand Ave., call (213) 229-9777. For leasing information at the Museum Tower, 225 S. Olive St., call (213) 626-1500, or visit TowersApartmentsLA.com
subway system instantly connecting commuters to Long Beach, Hollywood, Pasadena, LAX and more. Union Station, the access point to Metrolink, Los Angeles’ rail system, is also nearby. With neighbors like the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Exposition Park and the Staples Center, additional entertainment and recreational activities are available year round. L.A. Live, a 4 million-square-foot sports and entertainment district offers many exciting venues and restaurants as well. With flexible lease terms, TENTEN Wilshire is the perfect
option, whatever your needs may be. TENTEN Wilshire, a new lifestyle solution for professionals wanting to live, work and play… no matter how long or short the stay. For more information about TENTEN Wilshire contact (877) 338-1010 or visit 1010wilshire.com. TENTEN Wilshire is at 1010 Wilshire Blvd.
Downtown, it’s not just big business anymore! Call Now Fo r
It’s our business to make you comfortable... at home, downtown. Corporate and long term residency is accommodated in high style at the Towers Apartments. Contemporary singles, studio, one bedroom and two bedroom apartment homes Move-In provide fortunate residents with a courteous full service lobby attendant, heated pool, spa, complete fitness center, sauna and recreation room with kitchen. Beautiful views extend from the Towers’ lofty homes in the sky. Mountain vistas and slender skyscrapers provide an incredible back drop to complement your decor. Far below are a host of businesses ready to support your pampered downtown lifestyle. With spectacular cultural events nearby, even the most demanding tastes are satisfied. Downtown, it’s not just big business anymore. Visit the Towers Apartments today.
Spec ial s
255 South Grand Avenue Leasing Information 213 229 9777 Community Amenities: ~ 24 Hr. Manned Lobby ~ Concierge ~ Pool / Spa / Saunas ~ Fitness Center ~ Gas BBQ Grills ~ Recreation Room
Apartment Amenities: ~ Refrigerator, Stove, Microwave & Dishwasher (most units) ~ Central Air Conditioning & Heating ~ Balconies (most units)
On-site: ~ Dry Cleaners / Dental Office / Restaurants
Promenade Towers 123 South Figueroa Street Leasing Information 213 617 3777 Community Amenities: ~ 24 Hr. Manned Lobby ~ Pool / Saunas ~ Fitness Center ~ Covered Parking
Apartment Amenities: ~ Refrigerator, Stove & Dishwasher ~ Central Air & Heating ~ Solariums and/or Balconies
On-Site: ~ Convenience Store / Coffee House / Yogurt Shop / Beauty Salon
museum Tower 225 South Olive Street Leasing Information 213 626 1500 Community Amenities: ~ 24 Hr. Manned Lobby ~ Concierge ~ Pool / Spa / Saunas ~ Fitness Center ~ Gas BBQ Grills ~ Recreation Room
Apartment Amenities: ~ Refrigerator, Stove, Microwave & Dish washer (most units) ~ Central Air & Heating ~ Balconies (most units)
8 7 7 - 2 65 - 714 6
TOWERS T H E
A PA RT M E N T S
www.TowersApartmentsLA.com MAID SERVICE • FURNITURE • HOUSEWARES • CABLE • UTILITIES • PARKING
RESIDENCES: SINGLES • STUDIO • ONE BEDROOM • TWO BEDROOM
24 Downtown News
September 21, 2009
Meet at Sakura Crossing Little Tokyo Apartments Highlight Sophisticated, Modern Design
akura Crossing is bold and contemporary. Its forms, colors and materials were inspired by neighborhood warehouse and Toy District buildings. At FROM OUR ADVERTISERS
the same time, the architecture of Sakura Crossing subtly references its immediate surroundings, especially the revered Noguchi garden directly across San Pedro Street. Modern, yet respectful of both its neighbors and the past, Sakura Crossing is a welcome new addition to the streetscape of Downtown L.A. Sakura Crossing invites residents to experience the very best in sophisticated modern home design. From the distinctive and stylish oval lobby with its towering glass panels, limestone flooring and Venetian plaster walls to the sleek, contemporary interiors, every detail of Sakura Crossing reflects the impeccably assured design sense of Studio Gaia. Employing a subtle blend of contrasting and complementary colors, textures and materials, Studio Gaia has created a uniquely contemporary living environment that is at once casual and sophisticated. Homes Designed to Delight A passion for space, style and stateof-the-art sophistication is evident in this extraordinary collection of contemporary architect-designed homes that range from spacious sun-filled
studios to light and airy one- and two-bedroom apartments, many featuring private outdoor terraces. The architect’s eye is evident in every element from the gourmet kitchen’s sleek, white contemporary cabinetry with stainless steel appliances and polished Caesarstone countertops to the honed hardwood floors specially selected for all living and dining areas. The ceramic tiled baths are appointed with oversized medicine cabinets, abundant mirrors and opulent Caesarstone vanities. Notable features include a stackable washer/dryer, designer carpeting in all bedrooms, and customized and/ or walk-in closets in every residence. Additional stunning amenities include: n Rooftop lounge with three landscaped sundecks for sunbathing, en-
tertaining and private barbecue dining n Rooftop screening room with oversized outdoor private terrace n Lushly landscaped courtyard terrace with outdoor fireplace, pool and Jacuzzi, and outdoor barbecue dining* n State-of-the-art, private fitness center with strength training, cardiotheater with individual TV screens** n Professionally designed business center with Internet access* n 24-hour underground parking with direct building access** n Convenient on-site ATM (*Additional charge; **Additional charge for some services.) Sakura Crossing is much more than just “a place to live.” It’s much more fun… with much less stress. To speak with a leasing agent, call (213) 625-9200.
A Trailblazer in Downtown’s Real Estate Market Market Lofts Exceeds 200 in Sales, With 75% of Units Sold
urpassing the 200 mark in sales, Market Lofts in South Park is a leader in Downtown L.A.’s real estate market. Market Lofts is selling at a rate of one loft per week, and is now 75% sold. According to Sales Manager Don Mercado, there are a number of factors unique to Market Lofts that FROM OUR ADVERTISERS
have contributed to its astounding success including location and product. “The bottom line is that nothing in Downtown L.A. comContinued on next page
Elegant Apartment Living Free Rent Specials*
LA’s NEWEST RENTAL HAS IT ALL SUNBATHE, ENTERTAIN AND BBQ Luxurious Rooftop Lounge with Three Sundecks
MOVIES AND STARS Rooftop Screening Room with Outdoor Private Terrace
LOUNGE, SWIM AND GET COZY Lushly Landscaped Courtyard Terrace with Outdoor Fireplace, Pool and Jacuzzi, and Outdoor BBQ Dining
• Washer/dryer in every residence • State-of-the-art fitness center with saunas, steam rooms and free tanning facilities • Swimming pool with relaxing sundeck and spa • 24-hour doorman • FREE gated and reserved garage parking
• Business center with conference room, computer offices, copier and fax machine • Exquisitely designed interiors with all the upgrades you would expect in a luxury apartment home. • Peaceful and lavishly landscaped garden courtyards with water fountains
WORK AND WORKOUT AT HOME Professionally Designed Business Center Ultra Private Fitness Center
METROPOLITAN HOME Custom Gourmet Kitchens with Stainless Steel Appliances and Designer Baths, and Washers and Dryers in Every Home
STEPS TO EVERYTHING
* Limited time offer, select floorplans, restrictions apply.
Fabulous Downtown Location
877.644.2623 1221 W. 3rd Street
213.625.9200 www.sakuracrossing.com STUDIOS, 1 & 2BRS, PRIVATE TERRACES, CORNER HOMES, AND TOWNHOUSE RESIDENCES AVAILABLE EQUAL HOUSING OPPORTUNITY
E Q UAL HO US I NG O P P O R T UNI T Y
September 21, 2009
Downtown News 25
Continued from previous page pares to a move-in ready loft at Market Lofts,” Mercado says. “You get more bang for your buck, especially for first-time buyers taking advantage of the $8,000 federal tax credit. Market Lofts continues to be the best place to maximize today’s buyer’s market.” There’s urban, then there’s Market Lofts — South Park’s landmark mixed-use building with a progressive edge. The one- and two-bedroom lofts measure from approximately 695 to 1,588 square feet. The cool, urban-style interiors feature flexible open space to create rooms for personal preference and style. Special design highlights include high concrete ceilings, exposed ducts and pipes, concrete or hardwood floors (per plan), and large windows. In addition, every loft comes pre-wired for instant connectivity to all technology. Highend kitchens are generously outfitted with granite countertops, sleek imported Italian cabinetry, and stainless steel Whirlpool appliances. Equally impressive are the in-house amenities including an outdoor deck complete with pool, spa and barbecue area, a spacious social room with a gourmet kitchen, a fitness center, and a screening room. There is also a residents-only entrance and a lobby with three elevators. Located at the corner of Ninth and Flower streets in desirable South Park, and two blocks from L.A. Live, Market Lofts is undeniably Downtown L.A.’s best address to experience the ultimate in an urban, cosmopolitan lifestyle. Ralphs supermarket plus retailers and eateries are downstairs. Moreover, residents can walk to Staples Center and the glitzy new L.A. Live, a world-class entertainment campus offering a variety of exciting venues and restaurants. Nokia Plaza spans 40,000 square feet with plenty of outdoor space to accommodate festivals, live performances, special events and a farmers market. Market Lofts is by Lee Homes and CIM Group. Twobedroom lofts are priced from the $400,000s. Onebedroom lofts are priced from the $300,000s. A 4% broker cooperation is offered through the end of September. Market Lofts is at 645 W. Ninth St., #219. Open daily 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call (213) 553-9375 or visit market-lofts.com.
The Evo ‘Last Call’ Sales Event First-Class Amenities, Location and Price Add Up to One of the Best Buys Downtown
vo has just released its last collection of sale-priced residences. This “Last Call” sales event marks the first time these residences have been made available to the public at reduced pricing. It’s the last chance to purchase homes at Evo with prices this low. FROM OUR ADVERTISERS
Availability is limited so buyers should check out these residences soon. This is a one-time opportunity and probably the best deal in Downtown real estate. In addition, this will be one of the few remaining chances to take advantage of the $8,000 tax credit for new homebuyers, which ends Dec. 1. Evo has sold more than 120 homes in just the past 120 days, making it the best-selling high-rise in all of Southern California. And, as Downtown L.A. continues to gain popularity and defy national real estate trends, Evo is standing tall as one of the smartest buys anywhere. Another indicator of Evo’s success is its thriving community of new residents. With more than 50% of the residences now sold and residents moving in, there is a great sense of place and energy. The incredible social amenities, landscaped gathering areas, a growing list of onsite retail and L.A. Live and Staples Center just two blocks away make it one of the liveliest living scenes in the city. In addition to a marquee location, Evo offers an unmatched mix of modern architecture, designer interiors and resort-style amenities — all at prices that make it one of the best values anywhere. When you
add up the features at Evo there is simply no other residence that comes close to delivering this level of living at this price, in L.A. or beyond. The Evo collection features move-in ready studios, oneand two-bedroom residences, live-work townhomes and penthouses ranging from 730 to more than 3,900 square feet. The homes are accompanied by natural hardwood floors, sleek cabinetry, stainless steel appliances, stone countertops, operable windows, decks and Juliet balconies, and walk-in closets. Amenities include an open-air sun deck with an infinityedge pool, the Two-Forty rooftop lounge with a terrace and fireplace overlooking the skyline, and a state-of-the-art rooftop fitness studio on the 24th floor with access to celebrity fitness instructor Juliet Kaska of Zen Fitness. To schedule a tour of the models and amenity collection call the Evo sales team at (213) 622-5400 or visit EvoLuxury.com for more details.
now L I V I N G discover life in the downtown arts district design : art : home : neighborhood : city : retreat : loft : love from the $300k’s : barkerblockworklive.com : sales gallery at 510 S. Hewitt St. #105 : 213-620-9650 Exclusively represented by The Mark Company
Downtown News : 10.25” x 7.625” | Insertion Date: 9/21
The Kor Group, creators of Eastern Columbia and Broadway Hollywood
26 Downtown News
September 21, 2009
Escape to an Urban Oasis Location, Luxury and Lifestyle Unfold at The Medici
he Renaissance has arrived in Downtown Los Angeles. Standing elegantly in the heart of this dynamic urban village, The Medici effortlessly combines the finest in luxury, location FROM OUR ADVERTISERS
and lifestyle. Tuscan-inspired architecture surrounds lush, garden courtyards with cascading waterfalls and soothing fountains, allowing you to escape to an urban oasis in the center of Downtown. The centerpiece of this recreational paradise is a picturesque, one-acre private park offering picnic facilities, sand volleyball and tennis courts, a putting green, golf driving cages, a professional jogging path and a play area. Feel like unwinding after a workout in the stateof-the-art fitness center? Take in the breathtaking skyline views from The Mediciâ€™s rooftop swimming pool, relax in the sauna and steam baths or reenergize in the meditation garden.
Eager to explore Los Angelesâ€™ numerous cultural and entertainment options? Simply consult with The Mediciâ€™s concierge service and secure tickets for concerts, sporting events and theater productions. Residents of The Medici will find themselves constantly surrounded by decadence. Sophisticated living areas offer fine Italian marble vanities, maple wood cabinetry, recessed lighting and large picture windows with breathtaking city vistas. In addition to offering resort-style living at its finest, The Medici has everything needed for life on the go, including a 24-hour doorman, 24-hour onsite management and maintenance, high-speed Internet, dry cleaning pick-up and delivery, and a business center with an executive conference room and library. Choose one of 25 unique floor plans and finally have the opulent lifestyle youâ€™ve always wanted. The Medici is at 725 S. Bixel St. For leasing information, call (888) 272-5614 or visit TheMedici.com.
City Living With Old World Charm The Piero Offers Discerning Residents Elegant Amenities in a Vibrant Setting
rom the formal entry lobby with sky high ceilings and a black baby grand piano, to the lush courtyards and tranquil FROM OUR ADVERTISERS
water features, Piero sets the standard in Los Angeles for gracious European living. Constructed with the finest Old World building methods and incorporating all of the most modern features of todayâ€™s demanding life-
style, this spectacular community incorporates the best of yesterday and today. Piero offers uninterrupted views of one of Americaâ€™s most dynamic skylines. Within moments of your front door, drama and music are available at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, sporting and concert events are available at the Staples Center, and the Financial District is within walking distance. And fiveContinued on next page
Starting at $1,400
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2 months free
1 bedroom Lofts, Studios & 2 bedrooms:
NOW LEASING 213-955-5700
Call to Schedule a Tour Today
In Lincoln Heights near cafes, shops, the Brewery Arts Complex, the Gold Line and Downtown.
Anticipated from the high $200s
IN THE HEART OF DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES â€˘.0/%":46/%":".501. High Ceilings & light airy interiors â€˘ Stunning views â€˘ Choice of concrete or bamboo floors â€˘ Stainless steel appliances â€˘ Central air and heat â€˘ Washer/Dryer available in select lofts â€˘ On-site laundry â€˘ Extensive range of floor plans â€˘ On-site concierge â€˘ Security Service On Site â€˘ High speed internet and digital cable ready â€˘ Parking included â€˘ Pets welcome
SaTUrday & SUnday By appt.
1 & 2 bedroom flats and 2-story lofts 657-1,719 sq. ft.
Eclectic and iconic, Alta Lofts is a bold fusion of contemporary design and historic architecture. Itâ€™s where energy, possibility and creativity combine to bring true loft living to new heights.
MAP NOT TO SCALE
On 14mth lease + Goldâ€™s Gym membership.
â€œSpecials subject to change. Lock in your special today!â€?
B N. 323.223.3100 JOIN THE INTEREST LIST AT LIVEALTA.COM
7JTJUVTBUXXXHBTDPNQBOZMPGUTDPN PS'MPXFS4U CFUXFFOUIUI %PXOUPXO-" "OVSCBOJOWFTUNFOUCZ$*.(SPVQ 4065)*45)&/&8$&/5&3
Prices and terms subject to change. Square footage is approximate. 09LHA041
09LHA041 Alta Ad â€˘ 5 x 7.625â€? â€˘ Downtown News/Living Quarters - 9/21 â€˘ bw
September 21, 2009
Continued from previous page star dining and world-class shopping are just seconds away. Piero is truly in the center of it all. After you have indulged in all that the city offers, you will be nestled in comfort and convenience back home at Piero. Reserved, gated parking and a 24/7 door attendant offer peace of mind, letting you rest easy knowing that you may return home at any time and have a place to park and a familiar face at the front desk. Personal time at Piero can be spent lounging in the cityside pool, relaxing in the spa or dry sauna, or working off some of the city’s indulgences in the private fitness center. Piero also offers residents plenty of amenities for weekday activities, including a business center, conference rooms and wireless Internet. The homes at Piero were planned with the discerning resident in mind. All of the homes feature granite and marble countertops, washers and dryers, tile kitchen and bath floors and a full Whirlpool appliance package. Nine-foot ceilings and traditional crown molding create an open, elegant feeling that truly gives that Old World feeling. Fully furnished corporate apartments are also available at Piero. These homes offer everything to make your stay memorable. From one month to one year, these furnished apartments offer extreme convenience. At 616 St. Paul Ave., (877) 2231494. Visit thepiero.com for more information and to schedule a tour.
Visconti Brings a Tuscan Village to Downtown A Luxury Apartment Community With Resort-Style Living
he graceful serenity of a quaint, Tuscan village meets the urban sophistication of Los Angeles with the arrival of the Visconti, G.H. Palmer Associates’ latest Downtown masterpiece. This new luxury FROM OUR ADVERTISERS
apartment community effortlessly brings together the finest elements of location, amenities and lifestyle in the heart of one of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities. Elegant beauty is meticulously breathed into every element of this stunning new community. The Visconti’s trademark, Tuscan villa-inspired design features European resort-style architecture comprised of lushly landscaped courtyards, breathtaking piazzas and exquisite fountains and waterfalls. The Visconti’s exterior gives way to 297 spacious residences offering an unparalleled level of both luxury and convenience. The sumptuous interiors of the Visconti meld European elegance with modern sophistication, boasting nine-foot ceilings, designer-inspired color schemes, elaborate crown moldings, Italian marble bath vanities and custom-trimmed interior doors. Residences also feature individual washer/ dryers, generous walk-in closets, DSL and DirecTV access. Gourmet cooking aficionados can prepare memorable meals within the Visconti’s spacious kitchens, which feature granite countertops, state-of-the-art stainless steel appliances,
Free Rent! Rent! Free
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IMMEDIATE OCCUPANCY! IMMEDIATE OCCUPANCY! studios from $1,685* • 1 bedroom from $1,818* • 2 bedroom from $2,212* studios from $1,685* • 1 bedroom from $1,818* • 2 bedroom from $2,212* *Availability and prices are subject to change at any time. *Availability and prices are subject to change at any time.
• Brunswick Four Lane • Brunswick Four Lane • •Brunswick Four Lane Brunswick Four Lane Virtual Bowling Virtual Bowling Virtual Bowling Virtual Bowling • Full Swing Virtual Golf • •Full Swing Virtual Golf • Full Swing Virtual Golf Full Swing Virtual Golf • Square 3100 Square Foot • •3100 Square Foot • 3100 Foot 3100 Square Foot Cybex Fitness Facility Cybex Fitness Facility Cybex Fitness Facility Cybex Fitness Facility • Massage Room, Sauna • •Massage Room, Sauna Massage Room, Sauna • Massage Room, Sauna and Steam Room and Steam Room and Steam Room and Steam Room • Rooftop Pools • Rooftop Pools withwith • Rooftop Pools with • Rooftop Pools with Dressing Room Dressing Room Dressing Room • Free Abundant Gated Dressing Room • Free Abundant Gated • Free Abundant Gated and Garage Parking Garage Parking • Freeand Abundant Gated and GarageCenter, Parking • Business • Business Center, and Garage Parking • Business Center, Conference Room Conference Room • Business Center, Conference Room Room • Directors Screening Room • Directors Screening Conference • DirectorsRoom Screening Room • Directors Screening Room
Fountains and •Lavish Lavish Fountains • •Lavish Fountains andand •Lavish Fountains and Sculptures Sculptures Sculptures Sculptures •Free Free Tanning Rooms • •Free Tanning Rooms Tanning Rooms •Free Tanning Rooms • Concierge Service • •Concierge Service Service •Concierge Concierge Service • Hour 24 Hour Doorman • •24 Doorman •2424 Hour Doorman Hour Doorman • 24/7 On-site Management • 24/7 On-site Management • 24/7 On-site Management • 24/7 On-site Management • Free DSL Computer • Free DSL Computer UseUse •Free FreeDSL DSL Computer Use •Available Available Computer Use Available Available • Free Wi-Fi • Free Wi-Fi ••Free Wi-Fi Magnificent Views Free Wi-FiCityCity • •Magnificent Views ••Magnificent CityResident Views On-Site Private • •On-Site Private Resident Magnificent City Views • On-Site Private Resident Park with Sand Volleyball Park with Sand Volleyball • On-Site Private Resident Park with Sand Volleyball Court, Workout Stations, Court, Workout Stations, Park with Sand Volleyball Court, Stations, BBQ’s and Jogging Track BBQ’s andWorkout Jogging Track Court, Stations, BBQ’sWorkout and Jogging Track
bath residences. The square footage of these units ranges from 979 square feet to 1,444 square feet. For even more upscale living, the Visconti also features two 1,976-square-foot penthouses. The Visconti offers truly elegant living in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles. The Visconti is at 1221 W. Third St. For leasing information, call (877) 644-2623 or visit thevisconti.com.
brow n s to n e lo f t s there's only one
luxury urban distinct style & elegance in a landmark building
~ 5 minutes from sunset junction ~ panoramic views of downtown ~ poggen pohl kitchens
Limited number of loft & penthouse units available for sale.
~ waterworks fixtures ~ outdoor pool & spa
BBQ’s and Jogging Track
550 NORTH FIGUEROA ST. LOS ANGELES, CA 90012 OPEN DAILY
rich European maple wood cabinets and elegant, ceramic tile floors. Active residents not content to simply soak in the Visconti’s relaxing ambiance and stunning views can enjoy the community’s Junior Olympic sized swimming pool and spa, state-of-theart fitness center with LCD TVs, yoga and dance studio with Pilates equipment and spacious training rooms. Residents with a flair for the urban lifestyle will find the excitement of Los Angeles right at their fingertips. Located amidst the city’s landmark restaurants, entertainment venues and cultural attractions, the Visconti places its residents in an eclectic urban environment. A brisk walk or short car trip leads to such quintessential L.A. landmarks as the Walt Disney Concert Hall, historic Chinatown and hallowed Dodger Stadium. The gated community features a 24-hour doorman, business center with adjacent conference room, study library with high-speed Internet access and a recreation room with a full bar and catering kitchen. One-bedroom pricing begins at $1,900 and two-bedroom pricing ranges from $2,275 to $2,492. Selected floor plans are eligible for up to one month free rent. The friendly and professional leasing consultants are now leasing the beautiful two-bedroom, two-
~ located in historic Angelino Heights
~ elegant landscaping
UNITS FEATURE: UNITS FEATURE: Private Washer and Dryer • Fully Equipped Gourmet Kitchens UNITS FEATURE: Private Washer and Dryer • Fully Equipped Gourmet Maple European Style Cabinetry • Granite CounterKitchens Tops Private Washer and Dryer • Fully Equipped Gourmet Kitchens Maple European Style Cabinetry • Granite Counter Tops • Natural Stone Marble Counter Baths Natural Stone Marble Counter Baths Maple European Style Cabinetry • Granite Counter Tops Natural Stone Marble Counter Baths
Downtown News 27
~ exposed brick walls ~ carrera marble ~ deeded parking ~ private storage
1168 W. Bellevue Ave.
For more information 310.850.4435
28 Downtown News
Resort Living The Orsini’s Grand Tuscan Village
lose your eyes and envision yourself in a luxurious European village with lushly landscaped courtyards, grand fountains and gorgeous views set against the backdrop of a vibrant urban atmosphere. FROM OUR ADVERTISERS
This dream could soon be your reality at The Orsini, a grand Tuscan village in Downtown Los Angeles offering worldclass amenities, incredible city views and an unparalleled attention to detail that touches every corner of this urban paradise. Wrap yourself in luxury in one of The Orsini’s sophisticated living areas, offering airy interiors, stylish colonial crown moldings and gourmet kitchens equipped with sleek granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. The luxurious baths are comprised of elegant tile floors, richly framed mirrors and beautiful Italian marble vanities. The Orsini is the perfect place for your active lifestyle, featuring a virtual sports center with Brunswick bowling and golf; a regulation-size indoor basketball court; an onsite park surrounded by a jogging track; and a state-of-the-art fitness center with vanity areas, locker rooms and steam rooms. Even the most active residents will enjoy lounging by one of
September 21, 2009
the two resort-style pools, unwinding at the spa and free tanning facility or taking in a show at the 29-seat movie theater. Immediately outside of The Orsini’s gates lies a bevy of entertainment and cultural offerings such as Walt Disney Concert Hall, Staples Center and Downtown’s vibrant shopping and restaurant scene. With myriad unique floor plans to choose from, including studios, one- and two-bedroom units, the luxurious lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of is closer than you think. The Orsini is at 550 N. Figueroa St. For leasing information, call (877) 267-5911 or visit theorsini.com.
In the Heart of Little Tokyo Hikari Offers Stunning Contemporary Homes in One of Downtown’s Hottest Districts
s one of Downtown’s coolest residential additions, this 128-unit building is a jewel box of stunning contemporary homes in the heart of Little Tokyo. FROM OUR ADVERTISERS
Each studio, one- and two-bedroom home is designed with oversized windows for views and light, sleek granite kitchens, sumptuous baths, media outlets and washers and dryers. Hikari is more than a place of residence. It is a place of wonder, where residents can go for a swim in a glistening blue pool, sunbathe on a private terrace, socialize in a fabulous lounge, exercise in the state-of-the-art fitness center, and even conduct business in the building’s fully equipped business center. There is also convenient 24-hour underground parking with direct building access. Historic Little Tokyo is Downtown’s hottest place to live. Absolutely everything can be found in this diverse neighborhood and it is a short walk to surrounding districts bursting with music, restaurants, art, shopping, sports and nightlife. Living at Hikari brings all the things you love closer than ever, such art exhibits at the Museum of Contemporary Art, concerts at Walt Disney Concert Hall, Lakers games at Staples
Center, cocktails at The Standard hotel and sushi at A Thousand Cranes. And with around-the-clock garage access, homeowners can go anywhere, anytime. More than an address, Hikari was envisioned as an oasis by Related, the nation’s most acclaimed developer of luxurious metropolitan homes. Over the past quartercentury, Related has dramatically redefined the American skyline through its contribution of important new architectural landmarks in such cities as New York, Miami, Chicago, San Francisco and Boston. The Hikari leasing office is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call (213) 625-8500.
No hype. No spiN. No gimmicks. Just the most sought after lofts in downtown lA.
! E D I E GU
H T T GE
over 200 sold. come see why. mArkeT loFTs 1 bedroom lofts from the $300,000s 2 bedroom lofts from the $400,000s Buy today and receive your $8,000 federal tax credit* 5 furnished models
• In the heart of South Park, just 2 blocks from STAPLES Center and LA Live • Above the new Ralphs market, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Cold Stone Creamery and more • Social room with gourmet kitchen, 20-seat theater, pool, fitness center and more
market-lofts.com PMS 145
PMS Cool Grey 10
Note: When logo appears on PMS 145 BG it is black. Font: Big Caslon
645 W. 9th Street, #219 213.553.9375 Open Daily 10am – 6pm
4% Broker Cooperation** *$8,000 federal tax credit provided by the government to first-time homebuyers. First-time buyer is an individual who has not owned a principal residence during the past three years and is purchasing the new home as their primary residence. Must close escrow by Nov. 10, 2009 in order to be eligible. Tax credit is subject to eligibility requirements. Homebuyer should consult their tax advisor. Tax laws are subject to change without notice. **4% broker cooperation ends September 30, 2009. Prices and terms subject to change. Square footage is approximate. Please see salesperson for details. 09LHK033
09LHK033 • Market Lofts Ad • 9/21 • Downtown News/Living Quarters • 5” x 7.625” • BW
Coming Next Week!
Our 11th Annual Downtown Los Angeles Guide Available at all Los Angeles Downtown News distribution locations on Septmber 28, 2009
September 21, 2009
Downtown News 29
New Carver Continued from page 1 supportive, affordable housing projects, said SRHT Executive Director Mike Alvidrez. In particular, he said, architect Michael Maltzan’s circular edifice exemplifies SRHT’s commitment to pushing the envelope in terms of affordable housing design. “We’ve really learned the significance of design in the work that we do,” said Alvidrez. “It’s got to have a non-institutional feel, because a lot of these folks have fallen through just about every institution you can think of. Secondarily, we want to make sure that what we design and build is an asset to the community, so that people feel good because of its appearance and the way it’s maintained, whether they know what it’s there for or not.” Highway View Silver Lake-based Maltzan has a plethora of high-profile buildings on his resume. He has done single-family homes and commercial projects such as Pasadena’s Kidspace Children’s Museum and a temporary home for New York City’s Museum of Modern Art. Despite that, he keeps an eye on Skid Row and regularly works with SRHT. The New Carver is the second of three collaborations with the developer: The red-flecked Rainbow Apartments on San Pedro Street opened in 2006, and the proposed Star Apartments at Sixth and Maple streets is in the early stage of development. The curved white exterior of the New Carver, at 325 W. 17th St., was designed partly to buffer noise from the adjacent 110 Freeway and save money, said Maltzan. “Acoustically, every foot that you get away from the noise source improves the ability to deal with that sound,” he said. “Also, we were looking at trying to create the most efficiency in terms of surface area in the building, and that had to do with costs.” The round building also serves the more intangible goal of fostering a connection between the property and the surrounding area. To drivers on the nearby freeway, the building “becomes a very animate form,” said Maltzan. “It seems like it’s almost turning with you, and that sense of a visual connection was something we were very much trying to achieve.” The theme of connection recurs throughout the building’s communal spaces. The spacious lobby, which holds a security desk and offices for property managers and service providers such as case managers and nurses, leads to an open, circular courtyard in the project’s center. The building’s six floors spiral up around the courtyard, with the 270-square-foot efficiency units (there are 95, not including two apartments reserved
for property managers) facing each other. The ground floor also holds a community kitchen with industrial-quality equipment. A garden on the north side of the building will be planted and maintained by residents. A third-floor community room, which sits level with and features a glass wall facing the freeway, is one of the New Carver’s most unusual spaces. “It is like a front porch to the highway, to the people driving by,” said Maltzan. “I think that’s important, to forcibly not allow these buildings to become completely internal and hermetic but to look for opportunities where they can open up and encourage a sense of connection to the life of the city.” The New Carver’s crown jewel is something normally touted in upscale apartment and condominium complexes: a sky deck. The sixth-floor space offers an expansive view of Downtown and beyond, from the Convention Center and City Hall to the Hollywood sign. Again, the goal is to encourage a feeling of community, said Alvidrez. “The view perch and the community room facing the freeway are to continue that engagement, that you are a member of this community,” said Alvidrez. “We want people to engage in social interactions that are positive.” By the Numbers SRHT this month began accepting applications for the New Carver, which takes its name from the demolished Carver Hotel, a former low-income housing project on Fourth Street. Residents are expected to begin moving in next month, said Alvidrez. Apartments will be leased on a first-come, first-served basis to qualified homeless individuals with mental or physical disabilities. To qualify, applicants must provide thirdparty confirmation that they are homeless, low-income and disabled and also pass a criminal background check by the Los Angeles Housing Authority that screens for serious drug-related convictions and other crimes. Rents will be based on a sliding scale in which individuals pay 30% of their income each month, said SRHT Director of Special Projects Molly Rysman. “That allows us to target people who have really low or no incomes,” she said. The project will have benefits beyond Downtown, said City Councilwoman Jan Perry, whose Ninth District includes the New Carver. “I think the need is great not just in Downtown but on a citywide basis,” said Perry. “I think it’s a great model for creating support for older people who are chronically homeless, and I hope that people look at this project and realize not only is it beautiful and could fit into any neighborhood, but it fills a need.” The financing equation for the $34 million New Carver is similar to any marketrate project. The overall budget, which was
photos by Gary Leonard
The Michael Maltzan-designed New Carver Apartments, at 17th and Hope streets, boast a striking, circular design. The unusual shape helps cut the impacts of noise and pollution from the nearby 110 Freeway.
financed by tax credit equity as well as city, state and other affordable housing funds, includes construction costs and various fees, said Alvidrez. While the building is ready to open, SRHT is not immune to the ongoing recession that is impacting so many, said Alvidrez. He noted that county and state funds for onsite services are harder to come by this year. SRHT is still trying to secure money for some services for the New Carver, including primary medical care and mental health counseling, he said. Construction financing for future projects is also scarce. The timeline for the Maltzan-designed Star Apartments, for example, will depend on SRHT’s ability to raise money. Alvidrez declined to reveal that project’s budget. “We are seeing that sort of logjam on the
investment and lending side,” he said. “Until the economy starts to improve, it’s going to keep credit tight. SRHT will celebrate its most recent addition to Downtown with a party on Thursday. The festivities at the New Carver will begin with a ribbon cutting, silent art auction and interior design showcase. Confirmed guests include city officials such as Perry, Hollywood glitterati including actor Tobey Maguire and folk-pop stars the Watson Twins, who will perform at the event. “It’s special because it is our 20th year,” said Alvidrez. “Typically we’ll do a grand opening where we’ll invite people to join us in the opening of a building, but here we’re also celebrating the 20 years of work that we’ve done and what we’ve learned in that time.” Contact Anna Scott at email@example.com.
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September 21, 2009
Reviews Continued from page 1 Getting on both lists were helpful to business, said Wilson and others who made the cut. Still, multiple restaurateurs noted, the golden seal of approval is a positive review in the Los Angeles Times. Wilson noted that his restaurant was mentioned in the Times the month it opened. “Literally, the next day was just crazy, and then it never really subsided,” he said. Jeff Haber, general manager of Chaya Downtown, a Financial District brasserie with a nod to Japanese food, agreed. Chaya was included on Gold’s list, and has been featured on numerous food blogs. But nothing provoked such an immediate uptick in business as accolades from the Times’ chief restaurant critic, S. Irene Virbila, Haber said. “That was definitely the sweet spot demographic, having so many brokers, bankers and lawyers, because you know there’s still people who read the Times, so that was real and very immediate,” said Haber. Although he could not quantify the ensuing jump in sales, he said, “To me the most tangible thing is when somebody walks in with a copy under their arm.” A Busy Slow Weekend Labor Day weekend is not traditionally a busy time for Downtown restaurants, or for restaurants in many urban areas. The endof-summer beach trips by the business crowd generally lead to low sales. But for Corkbar, its first Labor Day weekend was surprisingly busy, said Garry Muir, general manager of the wine bar and restaurant in South Park that opened in March. That might be because Corkbar also made the Los Angeles magazine list. Muir said business was brisk all weekend. “There are all kinds of new faces that are coming in as a result and they’re not just Downtown locals,” Muir said. “They’re coming from Hollywood, Los Feliz. This couple was in… and they had no clue what is happening Downtown. I hung out with them, two new faces that came in from Hollywood. They saw us in the L.A. maga-
zine, and they like checking out new places. They were like, ‘I had no idea this was happening.’” Restaurant and bar owners said that quantifying the uptick in business in the wake of a positive media review — say, by the number of extra plates they do in the days or weeks after publication — is difficult. But Lucas Riemens, general manager of Rivera in South Park (highlighted in the Los Angeles magazine bars piece, a recent L.A. Times Magazine feature and an entry on Gold’s “Essential” list), said he can usually tie an influx of a particular demographic to a corresponding review. “If it’s 944, we see wealthier, mid-30s people,” he said, referring to the fashion and lifestyle magazine. “If it’s Jonathan Gold, we get usually a younger crowd, so the demographic of who writes about us really seems to dictate it quite a bit.” Though Rivera considers itself first and foremost a food haven, media attention has focused on the bar, where old-school mixologists can spend a couple minutes crafting a single drink. Specialties include the Barbacoa, a concoction of tequila, lime juice, ginger syrup, red jalapeños and a garnish of beef jerky. Another Rivera specialty, the Donaji, is a citrus-infused mescal drink, served in a glass rimmed with chapulin (that’s crickets) and salt. Thanks to the bar-focused media attention, Riemens said Rivera’s management has turned more of its own energy to the bar. “It’s made the bar program almost the centerpiece, or co-centerpiece, whereas before it was a very nice asset to the cuisine,” he said. Like at Corkbar, for Wurstküche the most profound effect of thumbs-up reviews and blogosphere buzz seems to be the accompanying regional pull, said Wilson. What started out as a small-feeling neighborhood hideaway, Wurstküche has become somewhat of a destination spot, at least on weekends, which Wilson attributes to the media attention. “If you come in on a Tuesday or Monday, everybody knows everybody,” he said. “If you come on a Friday, you won’t recognize a soul.” Contact Ryan Vaillancourt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Audit Targets Convention Center Facility Criticized for Overtime Pay, Lack of Rental Flexibility by RichaRd Guzmán city editoR
n her first audit as City Controller, Wendy Greuel last week released a report critical of the Los Angeles Convention Center. She cited the operators of the South Park building for a lack of oversight in overtime spending for employees, which has led to a waste of more than $1 million, as well as missing equipment, the undocumented waiver of fees during events and unauthorized free parking. “During these tough economic times, with the massive city budget deficit that we are facing, I want these audits to serve as a road map to fiscal responsibility and to spending taxpayer dollars more efficiently and wisely,” said Greuel at a Sept. 17 press conference at the Convention Center. During the event Pouria Abbassi, the facility’s general manager, stood by her side. Among the concerns was overtime pay for city employees, including electricians, during special events at the Convention Center. One employee made $146,000 in overtime during an 18-month period, on top of his annual salary of $72,746, the audit stated. Another problem is that some of the people working for the Convention Center are no longer full-time city employees, but are still being paid overtime rates when working at the building. “What the Convention Center needs to do is expand their pool of as-needed employees which will be paid at a regular rate,” Greuel said. The audit found that the Convention
Center has 61,893 fixed assets, such as computers, printers and other equipment, worth a total of $11.4 million. However, in a sampling of 60 items, 25% could not be located. Additionally, the audit cited a lack of documentation when fees are reduced for trade shows. It also pointed to complimentary parking cards that were not cancelled and resulted in free, unauthorized parking. The audit recommended more flexibility in the rental rates the Convention Center charges. Those are mandated by the city. “Right now they are required to rent out at a fixed price, so when the economy is bad or it’s a slow month they cannot reduce their costs to attract business,” Greuel said. Among the recommendations in the audit is that the city adopt a pilot program to make rents more flexible and explore a public/private partnership at the facility. Abbassi said he welcomes the audit and is already working to address the issues. “We are very cognizant of the need for improvement,” he said. “Any business needs to look at how we can better improve our operations.” While the Convention Center has broken even or operated at a profit in recent years, Greuel noted that during the current fiscal year the city will have to spend $13 million from the general fund to cover some of the center’s expenses. Revenues have dropped due to lower transient occupancy taxes, part of a slowdown in tourism, and an increase in debt service payments. Contact Richard Guzmán at email@example.com.
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Downtown News 31
What Really Happened at Concerto’s Big Sale How Developer Sonny Astani Sold 77 Units in a Single Day by Dakota Smith
he Aug. 29 Concerto sales event moved 77 loft units in one day, bringing in $31 million for Downtown developer Sonny Astani. But a few weeks after the South Park sale, ask real estate agents and Downtown residents how they felt about the event, and you’ll hear a range of responses. “It was done very well,” said Drew Panico, a Downtown real estate agent who helped his clients — a couple from Culver City — purchase a 982-square-foot, one-bedroom condo for $325,655 at the event. “It was a waste of time,” said Young Kong, assistant to Koreatown-based real estate agent Dae Young Hur. Kong is among those upset by the discrepancy between Concerto’s advertised prices and the actual pricing. The Pricing: As Kong and other real estate agents have pointed out, the advertised prices, announced the week of July 29, were lower than the prices of most units offered at the event. The following prices were advertised: studios from $219,000; one-bedrooms from $279,000; and two-bedrooms from $449,000. But only one unit at each price point was offered to buyers, according to Astani. Instead, Sold2U, the Bay Area-based sales company Concerto used (Sold2U’s parent company is Accelerated Marketing Partners), set prices that were based, in part, on demand. Here’s how it worked: In the weeks before the event, potential buyers pre-qualified at the Concerto sales office on Figueroa Street and were asked to choose four units they were interested in. According to 27-year-old Ankur Vakil, a Downtown resident who registered for the event, the Concerto sales staff was vague on pricing. But in a tip-off that the event would have an auction mentality, Vakil said he was encouraged to pre-qualify for a condo above his price range of $290,000 (he was looking for a one-bedroom). “They said you might as well go up to the max, you might as well go up to $330,000,” Vakil said. According to Accelerated Marketing CEO Ken Stevens, 550 people were pre-qualified in the weeks leading up the event. To set prices, Sold2U looked at what units were picked during the pre-qualification. They also factored in Downtown sales comps, said Stevens. Additionally, during the event, Astani raised or lowered prices from the set levels based on buyers’ reaction. “I dropped a lot more than I raised,” Astani said. Day of the Sale: The sale took place in Concerto’s
6,000-square-foot retail space on Flower Street. Using curtains to create three different rooms — a waiting room, a sale room, and a closing room — Sold2U staffers led buyers, in groups of 20-40 (all buyers could bring a friend), through the different rooms. “It was all dark, and it felt like Space Mountain,” said Vakil. “It was very strange,” agreed Mimi Kasden, a resident of 1100 Wilshire, who was shopping for a unit as an investment. “You’re waiting in the garage, and it’s dark. We felt a little foolish. But sometimes you have to be a fool.” There were eight groups, and each was given a five-minute explanation about how the event would operate, said Stevens. When the groups were led into the selling room, the available units and their prices were flashed on an overhead projector. If a unit had sold, it was marked as such, but notably, buyers didn’t know if a price on a particular unit had dropped during a previous time slot. Activity during the morning groups, which had a shot at all 77 units, was very slow, according to Astani. “The first couple of groups had more no-shows than the rest,” Astani said via email. “Later groups were larger, more aggressive and fed off each other’s energy. Therefore more units were purchased. Theoretically the earlier groups had more choices of units since more were available.” By 11:30 a.m., when Downtown real estate agent Panico entered the sales room, he was able to get his clients a onebedroom for $325,655. Panico said he was told by a staffer at the event that prices dropped following the slow response in the morning. But by the time Vakil entered the sales room at 1:30 p.m., he said the cheapest one-bedroom displayed was $340,000, and the remaining one-bedrooms were in the $380,000$400,000 range. After seeing the numbers flash on the screen, Vakil left. Just before Vakil departed, Dae Young Hur and Young Kong, who had five clients pre-qualified for the event, were getting word about the pricing via a phone call from someone at the event. Kong called his buyers and told them to skip the sale. By late afternoon, prices seemed to be holding. Panico left at 4 p.m., and said at that point seven units remained, including two-bedrooms in the $600,000s, and one-bedrooms that had hit $406,000. By the time Downtown resident Kasden arrived for her 4:30 p.m. slot, the building had sold out. But Kasden did end up purchasing. The following Friday
photo by Gary Leonard
During an Aug. 29 event, developer Sonny Astani sold out all 77 units in the Concerto annex. Prices fluctuated during the day of the sale.
night a rep for Concerto called, saying that three units had become available after buyers backed out. The next day, one week after the sale, Kasden returned to the Concerto office and purchased unit 511, a 1,019-square-foot one-bedroom, paying $372,000. “I don’t think it’s cheap,” she says of the price. “But it’s a good location.” The Aftermath: If there has been some grumbling about the prices, the fact of the matter is that all 77 units sold. Astani said that he’s heard the complaints. “Some people got better deals,” he said. Rhonda Slavik, sales and marketing director for South Group’s Evo condominium building, a few blocks from Concerto, said she too has heard some of the chatter about buyers being upset with the sales process and the prices, but has her own theories about buyers’ unhappiness. “I think people are mad because it’s been a buyers’ market,” said Slavik. “Buyers aren’t used to being herded around like this. There’s this mentality that, ‘I’m a buyer and I need to be treated very well.’” Slavik added that she is thrilled Astani sold out, because there are fewer condominiums flooding the market. Downtown real estate agent David Kean pointed out these type of auction-sales hybrid events were often held during the boom days. But with Concerto’s sales prices averaging $400 a square foot, he doesn’t think the event was much of sale. “You can walk into any Downtown development and get that price,” he said. Dakota Smith is the editor of the website Curbed LA. This article is excerpted from a piece that appeared on la.curbed.com.
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The Iran You Don’t Know Exhibit at Historic Core Gallery Taps Artists’ Memories
Fereshteh Toosi’s installation “Untitled,” on display at the Morono Kiang Gallery, recalls a 1999 solar eclipse the artist witnessed in Iran. by AnnA Scott
takes a personal and often quirky look at a country that many Americans know mainly for its turmoil. n eye-catching greeting welcomes visitors to the “We didn’t want to have something cliché and straightforHistoric Core’s Morono Kiang Gallery: domes cov- wardly political,” said Shahbazi. “If you see the exhibit, you ered in bright, rainbow-colored Afghans, adorned will take away something and learn something new.” with plastic garbage ties and surrounded by orbits of neon In addition to Toosi’s piece, which recalls a solar eclipse she yellow tent poles, laid across the floor. witnessed in 1999, Traces of Being features prints by Pantea The strange constellation is “Untitled,” an installation by Karimi and installations by artist Amitis Motevalli and L.A.Iranian-American artist Fereshteh Toosi. It is part of the based fashion designer Hushidar Mortezai. All of the artists exhibit Traces of Being, which recently opened in the gallery are Iranian-born but currently live in the United States. inside the Bradbury Building. The show, which runs through Mortezai, a designer who has made clothes seen in films Nov. 21, features new works by four Iranian-American artists, like Fight Club and the upcoming Sex and the City sequel, creall based on two questions: What do you remember about ated several pieces for the Morono Kiang show, including two Iran?; and what memory of Iran would you like to forget? elaborate outfits. One, worn by a mannequin just inside the By posing those questions, gallery’s entrance, includes custom-made black and gold high curator Shervin Shahbazi has heels, black pants cinched with a belt made of bullets, a furcreated an exhibit that lined brown leather jacket, a flowing scarf and turban-esque black hat fashioned from a knock-off Chanel bag. “It is a militant going shopping,” Shahbazi explained during a recent gallery tour. A Departure Husband-and-wife team Eliot Kiang and Karon Morono opened their gallery on the ground floor of the Bradbury Building, at 218 W. Third St., in 2007. The gallery is dedicated to showcasing contemporary Asian art, Kiang said, and many exhibits have focused on Chinese art from the last decade. While Iran is technically part of Asia, Traces of Being “is the biggest departure from other shows in terms of region,” said Kiang. Traces of Being came about after a casual lunch meeting in June between Kiang and an art world colleague. At the time, Kiang said, there was a “buzz about Iranian contemporary art” thanks to several highly publicized exhibits around the country, including one at the Chelsea Art Museum in Manhattan. The protests and violence that followed the Iranian presidential election that month had also begun, putting Iran in the international spotlight once again. Kiang’s friend suggested that it might be a relevant time to highlight Iranian art. Kiang approached Shahbazi, whom he knew through Shahbazi’s girlfriend, former Morono Kiang Gallery director Fashion designer Hushidar Mortezai created two Sonia Mak, about curatoutfits for the exhibit Traces of Being, including ing. It was perfect timone inspired by a “militant going shopping.” ing for Shahbazi, who had been working for StAff writer
photo courtesy of Morono Kiang Gallery
months on putting together a show of Iranian graffiti art for the Downtown gallery Crewest (that show runs through Sept. 26). Shahbazi said he envisioned the two exhibits as complementary takes on Iran. “The graffiti show was in planning months before, in terms of pre-election Iran,” said Shahbazi. “This one came about because of post-election events, and the urgency of doing something in response to post-election events in Iran was a reason to do it. That way, you are covered, pre-election to post-election.” He wanted to get the show up quickly, he said, so it would be on display at the same time as the Crewest exhibit. “The galleries are very close to each other and I could maximize the impact by having two exhibits about Iran at the same time. People can take advantage and see both,” he said Interactive Timeline The works on display in Traces of Being were all created exclusively for the exhibit. Shahbazi and Kiang said they hope the personal, often funny pieces will cast Iran in a new light for viewers who might only know of the country’s political strife. For example, Kiang pointed to an oversized, paper-doll style cut-out created by Mortezai, decked out in a Metallica T-shirt. “I don’t think Americans would think that Iranians are into Metallica, but it’s one of the number one bands,” said Kiang. “I don’t think Americans think of the influence of American culture in Iran. I think Americans think that Iranians hate America, but that’s not the case. The average person in Iran is in love with America.” Another slyly humorous piece is Amitis Motevalli’s installation, displayed inside the gallery’s front window, featuring 72 copies of a school picture taken of the artist at 13. With puffy bangs and heavily lined eyes, she looks at the camera seductively. “She is mocking the idea of the 72 virgins,” said Shahbazi, referring to the idea held by some Islamic extremists that 72 virgins are a heavenly reward to the righteous after death. One of the most unique elements of Traces of Being is not the work of any artist, but of gallery visitors. One wall is painted with a timeline, which looks like a pulse reading, tracing Iran’s history over the last 30 years. Pieces of blank paper and tacks sit nearby, and visitors are invited to write down and share their memories of Iran on the wall. By late last week, the wall already had about 80 notes and pictures. The mementos ranged from a photograph of an apartment building in Tehran to short notes to entire pages of writing. One of the most touching items, said Shahbazi, is a note left during the Downtown Art Walk on Sept. 10. Written in Farsi, the note reads, “I wish instead of sitting in front of a computer screen crying I could be with my friends in the midst of the tear gas.” Shabazi said, “That one got me.” Traces of Being is at the Morono Kiang Gallery, 218 W. Third St., through Nov. 21. Hours are Tuesday-Saturday, noon6 p.m. The gallery will host a panel discussion with the artists on Oct. 17 at 3 p.m. and a preview of Robert Adanto’s documentary about contemporary female Iranian artists on Nov. 7. Information at (213) 628-8208 or moronokiang.com. Contact Anna Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org.
photo courtesy of Morono Kiang Gallery
32 Downtown News
September 21, 2009
Downtown News 33
Social Climbers YMCA Event Lets People Step Up for Fun and Charity by Richard Guzmán city editor
on’t even think about getting in an elevator at the U.S. Bank Tower building on Friday. Even if you have to go to the top floor of the tallest building in the West, plan on walking up all 1,500 steps. OK, if you’re at work and in a suit you’ll be excused, but if you’re a participant in the 16th annual Stair Climb to the Top, a fundraiser for the Stuart M. Ketchum Downtown YMCA, the elevator is not an option. More than 2,000 people are expected to take on the challenge of walking up the building’s 75 floors. Organizers hope to raise $300,000 that will go to community programs. “People just get excited about this. It gets the Downtown community together,” said Laurie Goganzer, executive director of the Ketchum YMCA. The Sept. 25 event kicks off at 2:30 p.m. with a health expo and street fair in front of the YMCA at 401 S. Hope St. The
live music, food booths and a Jumbotron that will record the action inside the tower are expected to attract a crowd of up to 500 spectators. “There’s a great buzz on the street over the street fair. Word of mouth is really helping,” Goganzer said. Climb On The stair climb will begin at 3 p.m. with team competitions pitting nearly 230 corporate squads. There is also a High-Rise Hero category, with teams of firefighters and police officers in full gear. Lifeguards will race as well, though it is uncertain what they’ll be wearing. An elite category will include competitive stair climbers who can burn through the floors in 13 minutes or less (the average climber does it in 20-45 minutes). The record is 9:28. As the biggest fundraising event for the Downtown YMCA, the stair climb is not only a good way to skip the usual dinner gala circuit, but also represents what the organization does, said Debra King, communications director for the Ketchum YMCA. “It perfectly exemplifies what we do every day, which is to bring together totally different communities to work side by side to create better health for themselves and the whole community,” she said. For the participants, conquering the 1,108-foot vertical climb can be an extremely rewarding experience, and not just because they are helping the YMCA. Craig Warden, a Ketchum YMCA board member who will climb with his Well Fargo team, is returning for the sixth time. “It’s a little overwhelming, but you realize that if you train it’s really not that difficult and it’s very rewarding, particularly when you see the firemen and police climbing,” he said. Warden made his first climb at the age of 46 and reached the top in a very respectable 16 minutes. He has not yet equaled that time. “It’s all been downhill since then,” he said. “But the most significant part for me is the fundraising. The funds go to a great cause and the Y does provide for children. I also enjoy the camaraderie and the physical activity.” Good Cause Money raised goes to after school and teen activities, health
Love Story A New Soprano Thrills in L.A. Opera’s ‘L’Elisir D’Amore’ by Marc Porter Zasada contributing writer
.A. Opera regularly draws some of the world’s top voices to Downtown Los Angeles, and audiences at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion routinely embrace and applaud the familiar names. But occasionally, a new face breaks through. When L.A. Opera modestly opened its season with a revival of Gaetano Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love, talk centered on the absence of two stars: Mexican tenor Rolando Villazon and Italian bass Ruggero Raimondi. Villazon was out for surgery and Raimondi injured his Achilles tendon in rehearsal. The show would go on through Sept. 30 without them. Lost in this tale was the real news: the first U.S. appearance of soprano Nino Machaidze, who has spent the last two years taking Europe by storm. Machaidze, 26, thrilled Milan’s La Scala in 2007 as Marie in La Fille du Regiment and was the toast of the Salzburg Festival in 2008, when she starred as Juliette opposite Villazon’s Romeo (go ahead, look it up on YouTube). Never mind her boyish name. She’s beautiful. She sings with depth and spir-
it. Her range is wide and effortless. She also seems poised to produce that essential “diva quality,” an ability to take over a stage and transcend the story with the sheer force of her personality. Elixir shows that Machaidze, who in Europe is regularly compared to Anna Netrebko, is not quite there... but almost. You can feel it coming. L’Elisir D’Amore is a light, pure bel canto comedy about an Italian peasant, Nemorino, who loves Adina (Machaidze), a woman just slightly above his station. She thinks him a fool until he drinks a “love potion” from a traveling con man and convinces himself (and everyone else) that he has become irresistible. Tenor Giuseppe Filianoti plays Nemorino with a pleasant combination of shyness and chutzpah, though one could hope for a little more strength and purpose in his song. You had to feel for Filianoti, who had a hefty task in replacing superstar Villazon. Nathan Gunn, a global star familiar to Los Angeles audiences as last year’s Papageno in The Magic Flute, plays an unusually charming and likeable villain by the name of Belcore — an overweening sergeant who competes with Nemorino for Adina’s attentions. His
photos by Gary Leonard
About 2,000 people are expected to make the 1,500-step climb on Friday, Sept. 25, to raise money for the Stuart M. Ketchum Downtown YMCA.
education, sports programs and financial assistance for those who can’t afford YMCA membership. “There are some people that have been coming year after year because it’s such a good cause,” Goganzer said. Some of those participating, and helping others get ready for the event, have also benefited from YMCA programs. Mario Valenzuela, a trainer at the Ketchum YMCA, is getting a few clients ready to take on the challenge. “We’re climbing up the Wells Fargo Tower, which is 55 stories, using different techniques to make it through and giving them nutrition tips as well so they can be ready,” he said. Valenzuela started training at the YMCA at the age of 14, when as an active and energetic youth, he was looking for a gym to stay out of trouble and in shape. He is 24 now. “It gave me an alternative to the direction I was going,” he said. “At that time, all my friends had started experimenting with drugs, and being an active kid I needed something else. But no other gym would take me because I was so young. So I called the YMCA in Downtown and got into their programs.” The YMCA Stair Climb to the Top is Friday, Sept. 25. Information at (213) 639-7451 or ymcastairclimb.org. Contact Richard Guzmán at email@example.com.
baritone is easy and affable (he’ll return in a few months as Figaro in The Barber of Seville). Lastminute substitute baritone Giorgio Caoduro made for an equally likeable con man in Doctor Dulcamara, a young scamp not entirely certain of his criminal prowess. Bel canto means “beautiful song,” and L’Elisir is a classic of the early 18th century, when opera was still about highlighting the vocal gymnastics of the best singers — sometimes alone, and sometimes in agile ensembles. The plot is simple but charming, and director Stephen Lawless kept the stage filled with visual action, including just the right amount of comedy. For example, he boldly provided a dwarf (David Steinberg) as Doctor Dulcamara’s assisphoto by Gary Leonard tant, but somehow managed Giuseppe Filianoti (playing Nemorino), Nathan Gunn not to upstage the Doctor (Belcore) and Nino Machaidze (Adina) appear in L.A. Opera’s himself. The Elixir of Love. It runs through Sept. 30. Like all the great bel canto composers, Donizetti is complex but hummable, and conductor and costumes by Johan Engels (with lots James Conlon achieved his characteristic and lots of hay) were a delight. In short, balance, capturing the happy spirit of bel it would have been a terrific night, even canto while coaxing just enough emo- without an exciting new diva. tional heft to draw the audience in. The L’Elixir d’Amore runs through Sept. 30 L.A. Opera chorus under Grant Gershon at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. was, as always, perfect. The revived sets Grand Ave., (213) 972-8001 or laopera.com.
34 Downtown News
EVENTS Tuesday, sepT. 22 Homeless Registry Union Rescue Mission, 545 S. San Pedro St., tinyurl. com/nvd6pd. 4 a.m.: In December 2007, the nonprofit Common Ground worked with 24 agencies to create a list of the people sleeping on the streets of Skid Row who were at the greatest risk of dying. The group will update the registry of street and sheltered homeless individuals within the three census tracts that make up Skid Row. Volunteers are needed to assist in the count. Training takes place Sept. 21, from 5:30-7 p.m. The count takes place Sept. 22-24, starting at 4 a.m. Wednesday, sepT. 23 Swine Flu Focus National Center for the Preservation of Democracy, 111 N. Central Ave., (213) 628-8141 or townhall-la.org. 8 a.m.: Town Hall Los Angeles presents a panel discussion on how best to avoid contracting H1N1, or swine flu. Experts agree that the best way to abate a pandemic is good hygiene and thoughtful planning. Learn how L.A.’s schools, businesses and emergency services are preparing for an outbreak. Panelists include Robert Kim-Farley, director of communicable disease control and prevention for the Los Angeles County Public Health Department. The event includes breakfast. Aloud at Central Library 630 W. Fifth St., (213) 228-7509 or aloudla.org. 7 p.m.: Environment journalist Judith Lewis speaks with Colin Beavan about his family’s one-year experiment to live a zero waste lifestyle — no toilet paper, no plastic containers, no new clothes, no eating out, etc. — in New York City. Beavan will screen clips from the documentary that followed his family’s experiment. Lectures at SCI-Arc 960 E. Third St., W.M. Keck Lecture Hall, (213) 6132200 or sciarc.edu. 7 p.m.: The school hosts Eugene Thacker, associate professor in the School of Literature, Communication and Culture at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Thacker will talk architecture as it applies to his research in continental and post-continental philosophy, science fiction and horror and media and science studies. Thursday, sepT. 24 All About Business Loans Historic Downtown Retail Project, 315 W. Ninth St., #501, (213) 488-3599 or firstname.lastname@example.org. 4-5 p.m.: Learn about the various types of business loans available to expand or start a business. Also covered in this free workshop are the components of a business loan package. Prepare to talk with a loan officer and receive free one-to-one technical and lending assistance. Friday, sepT. 25 Stair Climb to the Top US Bank Tower, 633 W. Fifth St., (213) 639-7451 or ymcastairclimb.org. 2:30 p.m.: The iconic Los Angeles fundraising event in which participants race up 1,500 steps of the tallest building west of the Mississippi to benefit the community programs of the Stuart M. Ketchum Downtown YMCA returns for its 16th year. Farmlab Public Salons 1745 N. Spring St. #4, (323) 226-1158 or farmlab.org. Noon: High in the Arctic, deep inside a frozen mountain, a concrete bunker provides protection to one of the most important resources for human life on Earth — seeds. Julian Laird, of the Rome-based Global Crop Diversity Trust, will describe not only how the Svalbard Global Seed Vault was built and how it works, but why its treasure is so valuable and yet so threatened. saTurday, sepT. 26 All About Historic Theatres Million Dollar Theatre, Third Street and Broadway, lahtf.org. 11 a.m.: The Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation celebrates the one year anniversary of its popular “All About” series, which leads tours of Downtown’s historic theaters with historian Ed Kelsey. Comprehensive booth-to-backstage-tobasement walking tours of the Globe/Morosco and Million Dollar will round out the event. Red Bull Soapbox Race Fifth Street and Grand Avenue, redbullsoapboxusa.com. 1 p.m.: Grand Avenue and Fifth Street in Downtown will be reconfigured into wide-open raceways as the Red Bull Soapbox Race screeches
September 21, 2009
September 21, 2009
Downtown News 35
But Wait, Thereâ€™s More!
Additional Event Information on the Web
DOWNTOWNNEWS.COM/CALENDAR : EVENTS | ROCK, POP & JAZZ | CLASSICAL MUSIC | THEATER, OPERA & DANCE ART SPACES | FILM | BARS & CLUBS | MUSEUMS | FARMERS MARKETS | TOURS into town. This free to the public, non-motorized racing event invites gear heads and adrenaline junkies to break out their toolboxes and build outrageous human-powered vehicles designed to thrill the masses. Pits open at 11 a.m.
ROCK, POP & JAZZ 2nd Street Jazz 366 E. Second St., (213) 680-0047, 2ndstjazz.com or myspace.com/2ndstreetlivejazz. Tuesdays: Jazz jam session. Music usually starts at 9 or 10 p.m. 626 Reserve 626 S. Spring St., (213) 627-9800 or 626reserve.com. Tuesdays, 6 p.m.: Live music with Goh Kurosawa. Thursdays, 6 p.m.: More live sounds, this time with Jessie Torrez. Blue Velvet 750 S. Garland Ave., (213) 239-0061.
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10 p.m.: Live music and DJs. CafĂŠ Metropol 923 E. Third St., (213) 613-1537 or cafemetropol.com. Sept. 25, 8-10 p.m.: Isaac Evans presents Funk and Soul Night. Sept. 26, 8-10 p.m.: Bassist Mike Gurrola walks it out. Chop Suey CafĂŠ 347 E. First St., (213) 617-9990 or chopsueycafe.com. Thursdays, 7:30-9:30 p.m.: Live jazz on the patio of the restored landmark. Cicada Cicada Restaurant, 617 S. Olive St., (213) 488-9488 or cicadarestaurant.com. Thursdays, 8-11 p.m.: The velvet-voiced Max Vontaine recreates the sounds and styles of rat packers Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. His smoking jackets and tunes are vintage; his bawdy repartee is less so. Keep a close eye on the unlit cigarette.
Sundays, 6-11 p.m.: The restaurant is transformed into a vintage, old Hollywood-style dance club every Sunday. Come out to appreciate the big band, swank costumes, dinner and cocktails. Visit cicadaclub.com. Club Nokia Corner of Olympic Blvd. and Figueroa St., clubnokia.com. Sept. 23, 9 p.m.: Allman Brothers offspring Govâ€™t Mule. Sept. 25, 8 p.m.: Get crunk with Pitbull. Conga Room L.A. Live, 800 W. Olympic, (213) 749-0445 or
Listings for additional concerts, exhibits and more in Downtown Los Angeles can be found on our website. Go to downtownnews.com/calendar for full information, including time and location, for all the happenings in Downtown. congaroom.com. Sept. 25, 8 p.m.: The venue hosts hip hopsters Slum Village and Goapele. Sept. 26, 8 p.m.: Johnny Polanco y su Conjunto Amistad bring that salsa heat. Grammy Museum L.A. Live, corner of Olympic Blvd and Figueroa St., (213) 765-6800 or grammymuseum.org. Sept. 23, 8 p.m.: Be among the first to hear a new tribute album to songwriter Cy Coleman (â€œThe Best is Yet to Come,â€? â€œWitchcraftâ€?). Singers Jill Sobule,
Continued on next page
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36 Downtown News
September 21, 2009
We Got Games Boxing Is Back, and USC Looks to Roll Los Angeles Dodgers Dodger Stadium, 1000 Elysian Park Ave., (213) 224-1400 or dodgers.mlb.com. Every game is key for the Dodgers right now, though they take on an especially important challenge with nine consecutive road games. The Blue Crew will face the Washington Nationals, Pittsburgh Pirates and San Diego Padres, and won’t make it back to Chavez Ravine until Oct. 2. It’s a long trip but there is some good news: The teams are all among baseball’s worst. Los Angeles Sparks Staples Center, 1111 S. Figueroa St., (213) 929-1300 or wnba.com/sparks. The Sparks wrapped up a first-round playoff match-up with the Seattle Storm after press time. Although the first two-thirds of the
TO LAST WEEK’S PUZZLE
regular season were disappointing, the Sparks found their stride just in time to reach the post-season. With a victory against the Storm, the Sparks would advance to the conference finals to face either the San Antonio Silver Stars or the Phoenix Mercury. Boxing Staples Center, 1111 S. Figueroa St., (213) 929-1300 or staplescenter.com Sept. 26, 4 p.m.: Championship boxing returns to Downtown Los Angeles, as local boy Cristobal Arreola of Riverside (well, kind of local), looks to snatch the heavyweight belt from champion Vitali Klitschko. With a win, Arreola would be the first heavyweight of Mexican descent to get a title. But it won’t be easy — that Klitschko can punch. USC Trojans Football L.A. Coliseum, 3911 S Figueroa St., (213) 747-7111 or usctrojans.com. Sept. 26, 7:15 p.m.: The Trojans return from Washington to host that state’s other squad, the Washington State Cougars. Odds are it will be a Coliseum blowout for Coach Pete Carroll and whichever of his young quarterbacks starts. —Ryan Vaillancourt
Listings Continued from previous page Sara Watkins, Perla Batalla and Julianna Raye perform Coleman’s classic songs with the album’s producer and musical arranger, Dave Palmer. Music critic Chris Morris will moderate a discussion of the new recordings and afterwards, the artists will sign copies of the album. J Restaurant and Lounge 1119 S. Olive St., (213) 746-7746 or jloungela.com. Tuesdays: Live acoustic performances in the lounge. Wednesdays: Salsa in the City features complimentary salsa lessons at 8 p.m. At 9 p.m., a batch of live musicians takes over for a jam session. Nokia Theatre 777 Chick Hearn Court, (213) 763-6000 or nokiatheatrelalive.com. Sept. 24, 8 p.m.: The Australian Pink Floyd Show is essentially a greatest hits show of the legendary English psychedelic rock band, with
photo by Gary Leonard
USC Coach Pete Carroll should have an easy time of it on Sept. 26 as the high-powered Trojans take on the Washington State Cougars.
big-time light and video production. Sept. 25, 8 p.m.: The Golden Girl, Paulina Rubio. Sept. 26, 3 and 6 p.m.; Sept. 27, noon and 3 p.m.: Mickey Mouse is in the house. Minnie, Goofy and Donald are here too and they’re kicking it with more of their Disney pals.
2 Your Event Info Easy ways to submit
4 WEB: www.DowntownNews.com 4 EMAIL: Calendar@DowntownNews.com
Email: Send a brief description, street address and public phone number. Submissions must be received 10 days prior to publication date to be considered for print.
September 21, 2009
Downtown News 37
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For English Call Pierre or Terri 213.744.9911 For Spanish Call Susana 213.749.0306
38 Downtown News
September 21, 2009
Continued from previous page
FOR RENT homes/UnfUrnished
House For Rent 2 Blocks north of USC. 3 miles south of Downtown LA. 1 Bdrm, Dining Room, yard and parking.
EMPLOYMENT drivers ANDRUS TRANSPORTATION Seeking Team Drivers! Dedicated Team Freight. Also Hiring OTR drivers - West states exp/ hazmat end, great miles/hometime. Stable Family owned 35 yrs+ 1-800-888-5838, 1-866806-5119 x1402. (Cal-SCAN)
SLT - IMMEDIATE OPENINGS for CDLA teams, O/OPs welcome and paid percentage. $1,000 bonus. $1100 week average pay for company teams. Hazmat & 2 yrs experience. 1-800-835-9471. (Cal-SCAN)
General HELP WANTED, Movie Extras. Earn up to $150/day. People needed for background in a major film production. Exp. not required. 888-366-0843
OVER 18? AVAILABLE to travel? Earn Above Average $$$ with Fun Successful Business Group! No Experience Necessary. 2wks Paid Training. Lodging, Transportation Provided. 1-877646-5050. (Cal-SCAN)
MECHANICS: Keep the Army National Guard rolling. Fix Humvees, Strykers, etc. Expand skills through paid career training. Part-time work. Full -time benefits. www.NationalGuard. com/Mechanics or 1-800-GOGUARD. (Cal-SCAN)
CompUters/it ATTN: COMPUTER WORK. Work from anywhere 24/7. Up to $1,500 Part Time to $7,500/ mo. Full Time. Training provided. www.KTPGlobal.com or call 1-800-330-8446. (Cal-SCAN)
MOVE-IN SPECIAL REAL ARTIST LOFTS
Psychic Readings by Vivian helps in all matters of life. Tarot, palm and psychic readings. Half off with ad.
EZ SHIATSU & MASSAGE with this AD 400 e. 2nd st., #205 la Ca 90012
ALL CASH VENDING! Be Your Own Boss! Your Own Local Vending Route. Includes 25 Machines and Candy for $9,995. MultiVend LLC, 1-888-625-2405. (Cal-SCAN)
Star Holistic Spa Massage/Acupressure $40 (1 Hour) 2551 W. Beverly Blvd. LA, CA, 90057 (Beverly Rampart)
Wood floors, New kitchen, fireplace, high ceilings, jacuzzi, laundry room, pool. Gated Parking. View of Downtown.
offiCe spaCe & event spaCe for lease! Beautiful, historic Banks Huntley building located in Gallery Row district of Downtown LA offering office space close to Federal Court House and City Hall – ideal for non-profits but for profit organizations are also welcome! Rental rate: $1.60-$1.70/sq.ft./ month Full Service Gross. Ground-floor event and conference space also available in gorgeous art-deco setting, perfect for private functions, weddings, business meetings, etc. For further information, please contact Karrie Lieu at 213-629-2512 ext.110 (email@example.com) or Carlito Manasan at ext.117 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sorry No Dogs 1200 Sq Ft – 2000 Sq Ft. Prices from $1700-$2100 Includes 1 Pkg space.
Call Emily (213) 629-5539
CAN YOU HELP?
THAI MASSAGE SPECIALIST
Children’s Performing Group
VIP Room Available. The Best Way For Business Meetings & Entertainment
EDDIES TAILOR SHOP Take your wardrobe to the next level! Same Day Service! Open 7 days a week! 115 E. 8th St. L.A. 90014 (213) 399-1177
eddiestailorshop.com home improvement
web site ...
Commie solar power.com
HealtH Dept. rank a for 7 ConseCutive Years
Global Travel Outreach aides Daughters of Vision An existing structure bequeathed to Global Travel Outreach will be transformed into a school and community hall. We will open the Daughters of Vision Girls home, a place dedicated towards ending the extreme poverty & destitution affecting Cambodia’s children, as well as a refuge and sanctuary for young girls from the reach of child traffickers. Create a medical clinic to service the community.
First Professionally Licensed Massage Shop in L.A. County.
madison hotel Clean furnished single rooms. 24-hour desk clerk service. •Daily, $25.00 •Weekly, $99.00 •Monthly, $295.00 (213) 622-1508 423 East 7th St.
For more info visit our web site or call toll free. Donations in the form of checks, cashiers checks or money orders can be made payable to:
Global Travel Outreach 1105 Wesley Ave. Pasadena, CA 91104
(2 blocks west of San Pedro St.)
NEWS RELEASE? Cost-efficient service. The California Press Release Service has 500 current daily, weekly and college newspaper contacts in California. Free email brochure. Call (916) 288-6010. www.CaliforniaPressReleaseService.com. (Cal-SCAN) hoUsekeepinG MONTE CARLO MAIDS References available. All major credit cards accepted, call for a free estimate. Licensed & Insured. (213) 489-9401
Singing, dancing, performing and fun! For boys & girls ages 3 and up!
CONCEPTO’S CLEANING Crew. Professional, experienced, cleans apartments, homes, offices and restaurants. Call for a quote. 323-459-3067 or 818-409-9183. MONTE CARLO CLEANERS offering Free Pick Up & Delivery 7 Days a Week on Dry Cleaning,Laundry,& Alterations. Call for specials. (213)489-9400
DISH NETWORK. $19.99/mo. Why Pay More for TV? 100+ Channels - Free 4-Room Install - Free! HD-DVR Plus $600 Signup BONUS. Call Now! 1-866747-9773. (Cal-SCAN) mUsiC lessons Children’s Performing Group! For ages 3 and up! See SunshineGenerationLA.com or call 909-861-4433.
Bunker Hill real estate Co, inC.
DONATE YOUR CAR: Children’s Cancer Fund! Help Save A Child’s Life Through Research & Support! Free Vacation Package. Fast, Easy & Tax Deductible. Call 1-800-2520615. (Cal-SCAN)
ITEMS FOR SALE laWn & Garden/farm eqUip SAWMILLS FROM ONLY $2,990 - Convert your Logs To Valuable Lumber with your own Norwood portable band sawmill. Log skidders also available. www.NorwoodSawmills. com/300n -Free Information: 1-800-578-1363 x300-N. (CalSCAN)
ANNOUNCEMENTS volUnteer opportUnities HELPING KIDS heal. Free Arts for Abused Children is looking for volunteers to integrate the healing power of the arts into the lives of abused and at-risk children and their families. Today is the day to get involved! Contact Annie at volunteers@freearts. org or 310-313-4278 for more information. MENTOR YOUTH, downtown L.A.! Twice monthly evening meetings for 9 months. Fun group & one-on-one activities. Small commitment, big results! Change a kid’s life and your own. www.youthmentoring.org 323-731-8080
For sale: bunker Hill Tower ❏ 1 Bedroom, 1 Bath. Elegant. Ready To Move In. South City Lights View. Recently Refurbished. Offered At $315,000.
Now. $2,200 Month. ❏ 1 Bed. 1 Bath. Lafayette Park Place. Move In Now. $1200 Month. ❏ Prom. West-2 Bed. 2 Bath PenthouseSophisticated, Spectacular One Of A Kind For renT: Condo. Top Of The Line Upgrades & Décor. ❏ Prom. West-1 Bed. 1 Bath Penthouse. Overlooks Gorgeous Furnishings Adorn This Pride Of Pool & Gardens. Greenhouse Windows And Ownership Home. Corporate Lease Welcome. Balcony. Stunning! $1995 Month. Furnished $3500 Per Month. Un-Furnished ❏ Prom. West-2 Bed. 2 Bath. 5th Floor. Move In $3200 Per Month.
Bank foreclosure-Pasadena 2 Houses on the lot. Remodeled & ready to move-in. One 2 bed w/1 bath. One three bedroom w/2 baths. Easy care yard, gated & fenced. 2 Car garage. Offered at $629,000
Call us for other condos for sale or lease Dwntwn & surrounding areas!!
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8 7 7 - 4 L A- LO F TS Guess where Drew prefers to eat Mexican food and WIN!
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111 N. Atlantic Blvd. Ste #231-233 Monterey Park, CA 91754 (626) 458-1919 [Corner of Garvey Ave.]
sakUra health Gym & saUna, inC.
A three phase program, Daughters of Vision seeks to aide the poverty-stricken children of Cambodia.
DISPLAY ADVERTISING in 140 Cal-SDAN newspapers statewide for $1,550! Reach over 3 million Californians! Free email brochure. Call (916) 288-6019. www.CalSDAN.com. (Cal-SCAN)
Professional massage for men & women. Services include Thai Massage, Shiatsu Massage, Swedish Oil Massage, Foot Massage, Sauna, Steam, and more. Lounge area.
Law Office of H. Douglas Daniel Esq., (213) 689-1710
CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING in 240 Cal-SCAN newspapers for the best reach, coverage, and price. 25-words $550. Reach 6 million Californians!. Free email brochure. Call (916) 288-6019. www.CalSCAN.com. (Cal-SCAN)
(Friendly Fun Community)
Get your Green Card or CitiZenship
Open House Sunday 12:00pm-3:00pm 1250 Long Beach Ave., L.A.
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AUTOS & RECREATIONAL
ABOGADO DE IMMIGRACION!
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Restrictions: Offer good on private party ads only. Ads must be pre-paid by cash, check or credit card. Certain classifications excluded. Deadline: Thursday at noon for next issue.
CHINESE HISTORICAL SOCIETY T ARD S BERN
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CATHEDRAL OF OUR LADY OF THE ANGELS
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S ST NGELE LOS A
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LA SPORTS ARENA
SAN PEDRO STATION
10 TON BLVD
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UNIVERSITY EXPO PARK WEST
VD BL ON NATURAL
AIR & SPACE MUSEUM AFRICAN ROSE AMERICAN GARDEN MUSEUM CALIFORNIA SCIENCE CENTER
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FRIEDMAN OCCUPATIONAL CENTER
G WASHIN PATRIOTIC HALL
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UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 14TH PL
HEBREW UNION COLLEGE
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ANNENBERG CENTER FOR COMMUNICATION
CALIFORNIA HOSPITAL MEDICAL CENTER
VD PICO BL
AT&T CENTER 12TH ST
NORTH UNIVERSITY PARK
STAPLES CENTER ARENA
WEST EXHIBIT HALL
MOUNT ST. MARY’S COLLEGE
NOKIA THEATRE H ICK CH
South Figueroa Corridor District
7 INNER CITY ARTS
Y SANTEE ALLE
CALIFORNIA MARKET CENTER
FLOWER MARKET BROADWAY
CENTRAL CITY EAST
GRAND HOPE FIDM PARK
MARRIOTT & RITZ CARLTON
LOYOLA LAW SCHOOL
PARA LOS NINOS
7 + FIG
WHOLESALE SEAFOOD DISTRICT
SAN JULIAN PARK
OLD BANK DISTRICT & GALLERY ROW
LITTLE TOKYO GALLERIA SHOPPING CENTER
LOS ANGELES ST
L L S PS
GAS CO TOWER
ART SHARE 4TH PL
ARATANI NOGUCHI THEATER PLAZA JACCC
LVD WOOD B
I BUNKER H
US BANK TOWER
MUSEUM OF NEON ART
PERSHING SQUARE STATION
7TH ST / METRO CENTER STATION
WILSHIRE GRAND HOTEL
BRADBURY BLDG. RONALD REAGAN BIDDY STATE MASON BLDG. PARK
GRAND CENTRAL MARKET
FIGUEROA AT WILSHIRE
VD SHIRE BL
GOOD SAMARITAN HOSPITAL
WATER ANGELS COURT CALIFORNIA FLIGHT PLAZA
WELLS FARGO CENTER
MAGUIRE CITY GDNS NATIONAL PLAZA CALIF. CLUB
WESTIN YMCA UNION BONAVENTURE HOTEL BANK CITIGROUP PLAZA CENTER
LOS ANGELES CENTER STUDIOS
3RD ST TUNNEL
LITTLE TOKYO LIBRARY
CROWN HILL 3RD ST CHAMBER OF COMMERCE T 4TH S
2ND STREET TUNNEL COLBURN SCHOOL OF PERF. ARTS
KYOTO CALTRANS GRAND HQ HOTEL
JAPANESE AMERICAN NATIONAL MUSEUM
FUTURE LITTLE TOKYO / ARTS DISTRICT STATION
TIMES MIRROR SQUARE
MOCA AT GEFFEN
UNION CENTER FOR THE ARTS
LAPD PARKER CENTER
CIVIC CENTER STATION
L. A. COUNTY COURTHOUSE
CENTRAL AVE ART PARK
LOS ANGELES CITY HALL
L.A. DOWNTOWN NEWS
DOROTHY CHANDLER PAVILION
VISTA HERMOSA PARK
EDWARD R. ROYBALL LEARNING CENTER
HALL OF CRIMINAL RECORDS COURTHOUSE
HALL OF ADMINISTRATION
MARK TAPER FORUM
FEDERAL LOS BLDG ROYBAL ANGELES FEDERAL MALL BLDG
FUTURE PICO / ALISO STATION
FRA SERRA PARK
DE LA PLAZA
HIGH SCHOOL FOR THE VISUAL AND PERFORMING ARTS
BUSINESS MAGNET HIGH SCHOOL
C. EDWIN PIPER TECHNICAL CENTER
SAN BERNARDINO SPLIT
EZ AVE CESAR E. CHAV
H O L LY W O O D F W Y
EVANS ADULT SCHOOL
S NE VIG
Metro Red & Purple Lines
Free Parking with validation
CALIFORNIA ENDOWMENT HQ
Metro Blue Line
CHINATOWN BL VD
Metro Rail Station Entrances
Metro Gold Line
Map © 2009 Cartifact
PACIFIC ALLIANCE MEDICAL CTR.
KAISER MENTAL HEALTH CENTER
Contact Cartifact for the full-color, every-building version of this map and others. Available as a poster and in print, web, and mobile media.
700 S. Flower St, Ste. 1940 Los Angeles, CA 90017 213.327.0200 maps�cartifact.com
LOS ANGELES STATE HISTORIC PARK (CORNFIELD)
NOR TH M
NORT H SPR ING S T
40 Downtown News
Poizner Continued from page 1 some rates for auto and home insurance. That’s a good thing, but is it enough to get him elected governor of the most dysfunctional state in the nation? He seems to think it will help, along with a four-point plan to enhance business and create jobs. He rolled out the shebang on Tuesday, Sept. 15, at the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce as part of the Chamber’s top-notch California Candidates series. It was a small crowd, what charitable folk might call intimate, and what those who watch campaigns closely could interpret as a sign of trouble, considering that gubernatorial candidates Gavin Newsom and Meg Whitman each lured about twice as many folks to their respective addresses at the Chamber’s
September 21, 2009
Downtown Los Angeles headquarters. If you can’t pull people, then you certainly can’t ask them for money. Actually, the size of the crowd is not surprising, at least considering Poizner’s manner at the podium. While he offered some ideas worthy of consideration, his address lacked sizzle. When the second bullet point of your plan to resuscitate the Golden State is “tort reform,” perhaps your only path to victory will be by boring the other candidates to the point that they drop out. Top Male Student This is not an attempt to be unnecessarily harsh to the potential Poizinator. He already demonstrated some chops by winning one statewide election (even if all he had to do was beat Cruz Bustamante). Since taking office, he has notched a few impressive feats, among them decreasing the number of people who work for the California Department of Insurance from 1,300 to 1,100, and arresting 2,000 people in the state in two years for insurance fraud. If you just said “Wow!” you’re not
Poizner made a fortune starting companies in Silicon Valley. Then he taught high school for a year.
alone — who knew we had a state Department of Insurance? “Being Insurance Commissioner is a fantastic job,” Poizner said with a straight face. “When we make a decision, it impacts everybody.” Poizner is a bit different than the average Sacramento career pol. His manner is more folksy than most of those who toil in the state capital, though this approach, along with a tinge in his voice and his cadence, give him a curious hi-ho! Kermit the Frog quality. At the Downtown appearance his slight frame was cloaked in a sharp gray suit. He eschewed a tie and wore glasses that looked expensive. His resume boasts that he was named the Top Male Student at the University of Texas, whatever that means. The bio also mentions that he has a black belt in Shotokan karate, so even if he can’t take Whitman, Newsom or the presumed other contender, Jerry Brown, in the election, he could probably whup ’em in a street fight. Poizner made a fortune during his decades in Silicon Valley. He founded Global Mapping Inc., a software business involved with planning and logistics, and SnapTrack, known for putting GPS receivers into cellular phones. He sold the latter company to Qualcomm for a reported $1 billion. Then he taught a year of American Government at a rough East San Jose high school. After that he started a charter school organization and, a few years later, decided he wanted to be the insurance guy. Four-Point Plan Poizner may have business chops, some Sacramento expertise and the ability to run a campaign, but the question is, can he connect with enough people to allow him to overcome Whitman, who with a kajillion Internet dollars from her years atop eBay is seen by many as the one to beat on the Republican side. To woo voters, Poizner unveiled his four-point business plan at the Downtown event. In addition to tort reform it includes altering labor laws to put them in line with other states (e.g. have overtime in California occur after a 40-hour work week, rather than after eight hours on any given day). His big gun is a proposal to cut taxes across the board, with 10% chops in personal and corporate taxes and a 50% cleaving of the capital gains tax. Although this sounds like a wonderful recipe to shrink already emaciated state coffers, he swore that cutting tax rates would actually, and fairly quickly, result in increased tax revenues. He said such a plan paid off for President Kennedy and, then, perhaps remembering which party he is part of, he also said it worked for Ronald Reagan. His final element sounded thrilling, considering he introduced it as “slaying the regulatory monster that exists in the state of California.” Sadly, the regulatory monster has nothing to do with either the giant alien from Cloverfield or Kanye West. Instead, it was just code for streamlining the permitting process for new businesses. A good idea yes, but it has nothing to do with actual slaying or actual monsters. Poizner has a few other points of intrigue in his campaign closet. Like everyone else who aspires to be governor, he says he will work to stop businesses from fleeing to less-expensive states like Nevada. He also wants to make the California elected legislature part time, which will earn him the enthusiastic backing of just about no one in Sacramento. Of course, in the addition by subtraction school of thinking, that may be a good thing. Then there’s the really curious approach he’ll roll out. He intends to tell every voter, “Please don’t vote for me unless you agree with me.” Be careful what you ask for. Contact Jon Regardie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Los Angeles Downtown News is a free weekly newspaper distributed in and around downtown Los Angeles.