Tag: City

LA finalizes its bid for 2024 Olympics

LA finalizes its bid for 2024 Olympics

The city of Los Angeles officially committed to plans to host the 2024 Olympics Wednesday, as the City Council voted unanimously to enter into a hosting agreement with the International Olympic Committee.

The agreement puts the city on the hook for any cost overruns produced by the games—a potentially risky proposition given recent history. But the city’s bid leaders are confident that LA will be able to deliver a fiscally responsible, and even profitable, games if selected as host city (Paris and Budapest are also still in the running).

“If LA is selected as the 2024 Host City, our low-risk, high-tech and sustainable Games will inspire the next generation to grow the Olympic Movement and provide social and economic benefits for our communities,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Part of that optimistic financial outlook comes from the fact that LA plans to make very few of the costly infrastructure investments that have brought other host cities to the brink of bankruptcy. The city’s plan for the games relies mainly on venues that already exist or are in construction. Events that require very specific infrastructure, like BMX, would be staged in temporary facilities.

LA’s bid leaders project the games will cost $4.8 billion, with revenue totaling $5.3 billion. When the city last hosted, in 1984, the games produced a surplus of $232.5 million.

The timing of the council’s vote coincided with a series of aggressively isolationist announcements from President Donald Trump. Though Trump has said he will cooperate with the city in its bid for the games, some have speculated that his controversial stances on immigration and refugee assistance will turn off IOC voters.

Also complicating matters is Trump’s promise to cut federal funding to “sanctuary cities.” Though LA has made fiscal responsibility a hallmark of its bid, any unresolved questions about federal support might not play to the city’s favor.

City Council unanimously approves Rick Caruso’s 16-story tower near Beverly Center

City Council unanimously approves Rick Caruso’s 16-story tower near Beverly Center

With unanimous approval from the City Council, the Grove owner Rick Caruso won the final stamp of approval needed Tuesday to build a luxury tower near the Beverly Center.

Instead of topping out at 240 feet as originally proposed, the apartment tower will reach a height of 185 feet, going from 20 stories to 16, a design tweak requested by councilmember Paul Koretz, who reps the neighborhood. Caruso also agreed to make 10 of the units in the tower affordable and to give the city $500,000 for affordable housing.

Koretz had originally supported the project, but withdrew his support in December on the grounds that the project was too tall. Koretz’s about-face came after he received “a petition with more than 1,000 signatures” from a group that opposed the project, the Los Angeles Times reported.

When Caruso agreed to a height reduction earlier this month, Koretz announced his support for the development again.

Koretz defended the project’s height Tuesday, citing nearby buildings that could also be considered “tall,” including the 10-story Sofitel and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, which he said is 188 feet tall. He also addressed concerns about the project’s traffic impacts, saying that since the project’s size was reduced, the impact on traffic has also decreased compared to what could otherwise be built on the site.

In a written statement, Caruso said, “The vote demonstrates that by working closely with the community, we can bring a project to the neighborhood with tremendous community benefits and that sets new standards in environmental sustainability.”

City votes to acquire 41 acres known as the ‘crown jewel’ of LA River’s revitalization

City votes to acquire 41 acres known as the ‘crown jewel’ of LA River’s revitalization

The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously Friday to spend $59.3 million to acquire land that Mayor Eric Garcetti has dubbed the “crown jewel” of the Los Angeles River’s revitalization.

Known as G2, the property measures 41 acres on the river’s east bank in Cypress Park and is key to a much bigger plan to restore 11 miles of river habitat. As one of seven parcels that comprise the Taylor Yard, a 247-acre former freight switching facility owned by Union Pacific Railroad, the soil is contaminated and will have to be cleaned up—a project that could take several years.

But once finished, “It will create much-needed public open space in the middle of the city, provide extensive habitat restoration, and serve as a key access point for local communities to connect to the river,” Garcetti said in a statement.

Los Angeles City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell said in the Los Angeles Times that, “In order to do anything along the river, we must control the property.”

G2 will connect Rio de Los Angeles State Park with the Bowtie parcel, which is also owned by the state. That opens up more than one mile of direct riverfront access, said Tony Arranaga, a spokesman for O’Farrell.

It’s the lynchpin for Alternative 20, the ambitious plan to restore 11 miles of the river from Griffith Park to Downtown, said Marissa Christiansen, senior policy director of Friends of Los Angeles River, which has pushed for the city to buy the land.

“This is the first step in making that vision a reality,” she said.

The city has 30 days to close escrow.

’La La Land’ inspires Hermosa Beach to consider lighting up its pier

’La La Land’ inspires Hermosa Beach to consider lighting up its pier

Ryan Gosling lights up the screen in the hit musical movie La La Land, and the city of Hermosa Beach is taking his cue: It is considering improving its landmark pier to look like it does in the movie, streetlamps and all.

Gosling sings “City of Stars” while strolling at sunset along the Hermosa Beach pier, which appears in the film with vintage-looking streetlamps lining both sides.

The lamps don’t exist in real life. But enough residents liked the film’s improvement to lobby the city council to make them a permanent addition.

Councilman Jeff Duclos asked city staff to study what it would take, the Daily Breeze reported.

“It’s an inspiring movie, it’s a very positive movie,” Duclos told the City Council, according to the Breeze. “It presents Hermosa Beach in just the best possible light.”

The council has allocated $250,000 to fund the project if it’s approved: “If more money is needed, Duclos said the city council would find a way to secure the funds because of the overwhelming community support behind the project,” KABC reported.

“There are a lot of us in the community who would like to see those art production lamp posts that were there just for the film permanently installed, perhaps in place of what we have,” city resident Dency Nelson, a Directors Guild of America member, told the council, according to the Daily Breeze.

#lalaland

A photo posted by Iris B (@iris_bi) on

The pier could use the improvement: It’s otherwise a pretty utilitarian structure.

The pier isn’t the only Hermosa Beach landmark to appear in the movie: Gosling’s piano-playing character also performs at the city’s Lighthouse Cafe, which plays itself.