by Rick Abrams
Beneath all the traffic congestion, lack of water and deficient infra-structure problems as well as high rises hiding of the views of the Hills lies the corrupt financial world of the CRA. The city councilmen such as mayor aspirant Eric Garcetti use the Corrupt Redevelopment Agency as the way to funnel tax payer dollars to the developers. If there were no CRA to bailout the developers, these hideous mistakes would not occur. For example, a rational developer would have understood that the Kodak Theater was either to be The Home for the Oscars or a shopping mall. Instead, they tried to do both and did it poorly resulting in a monstrosity and a $1/2 Billion loss.
If the CRA stays dead, then the Garcetti’s of this world will still look for ways to give billions of tax dollars to their buddy developers, but it will not be so easy. Without tax payer money, almost all the proposed nightmare projects for Hollywood are most likely dead.
The developers can read; they know Hollywood is in decline, and those who are intellectually honest also know density is a significant problem.
1. We do not have a Traffic problem; we have a Density problem. Cars do not fall from the sky to run around on our streets. Cars are like a person with the flu who has a 103 temperature. The infection causes the temperature, just as density causes cars.
2. Transit Oriented Districts [TOD’s] increase density, and hence, they increase traffic congestion. It has been known for over a decade that TOD’s do NOT result in people not having cars. Anyone who lives near a TOD also needs to have a car unless they wish to be a Urban Serf tied to their own little area.
3. The dumbest move of all is to provide limited off street parking in a TOD. People who may use the subway to commute to work, need off street parking even more since that need to park their cars in a secure place all day. They cannot take the subway home at 10:00 a.m to switch sides of the street and then subway back to Bunker Hills. The social engineers, however, think that coercing people into giving up their cars by not providing parking is wise. This may have worked temporarily in East Germany after WW II when people were too poor to have cars, but as the former Soviet Union can attest, coercive social measures tend to back fire. In Hollywood, the extra density with lack of parking has caused an accelerating exodus.
4. The real reason for the Big Lie about no need for parking in TOD’s is that off street parking costs money — between $20,000 and $50,000 per parking space. The developers prefer to keep the cash and not build adequate parking, pretending that they are doing something helpful. This Big Lie comes directly from the councilmembers like Garcetti and will outlive the demise of the CRA’s.
5. However, without the CRA’s loot to underwrite their projects, developers may realize that not providing adequate parking will make their projects financial losers and that they themselves will have to bear the financial loss. Compare the financial vibrancy of the Ralphs Complex on the N/E corner of Hollywood & Western with the financial disaster of the CRA Metro Project on the S/E corner of Hollywood & Western. Ralphs has parking and is busy; Metro has virtually no parking and after 12 years, it cannot rent 1/2 of its retail space.
Thus, killing the CRA is the first step to resuscitate Hollywood.