UPDATE: January 29, 2018: The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously on Jan. 23 to approve the $1 billion Crossroads Hollywood project.
Harridge Development Group will allow current residents of the existing apartment complex on the site to rent units in the new development at the same rate they are paying now amid concerns about affordable housing in the area. In addition, as part of the same set of conditions, three buildings will be rehabilitated as historic properties — the Bullinger building, Crossroads of the World and the former Hollywood Reporter building.
Other conditions of the council’s approval include the completion of public rights-of-way, submission of parking and driveway plans, provision of privately-maintained fire lanes and fire hydrants, street lighting improvements, parking that is able to accommodate electric vehicles, security and sound-control measures during construction and new building features compatible with LEED Silver certification.
- The Los Angeles Planning Commission voted last week to endorse the $1 billion Crossroads Hollywood mixed-use project in Hollywood, California, according to the Los Angeles Times.
- The Harridge Development Group project will see the redevelopment of the historic Crossroads of the World pedestrian shopping village and two other buildings, and the addition of 1.4 million square feet of mixed-use space. Crossroads Hollywood will include more than 300 hotel rooms, 950 apartments, 190,000 square feet of commercial space and almost 2,300 underground parking spaces, all spread across nine buildings. Activists on both sides of the project weighed in at the planning meeting, with those opposed citing increased traffic, noise and elimination of rent-controlled apartments as negatives. Those in favor pointed to the creation of much-needed housing in the area. Construction is expected to create 2,500 temporary jobs.
- Some of the actions the planning commission backed were the consideration and certification of a draft environmental review, density bonus incentives, a permit for the on-site sales and consumption of alcoholic beverages and a site-plan review. The project will now go before the Los Angeles City Council's planning and land use management committee for its review and approval, according to The Real Deal.
The battle has been going on for some time between those who favor new development, including the housing that the area so desperately needs, and activists who push back against the higher density that they say stresses city services and creates congestion, noise and more air pollution.
A few years ago, things came to a head when opponents of high-density development managed to get a measure on the March 2017 ballot that would have put a moratorium on the zoning changes necessary for such projects to move forward. The Neighborhood Integrity Initiative, also known as Measure "S," failed to win voters over, and the proposed regulation was defeated. Developers hedged their bets in the run-up to the vote and bombarded the city with applications for mega-projects in case the measure passed.
As evidenced by the pushback against Crossroads Hollywood, however, activists have not given up on trying to put a stop to such large and impactful projects. After the Measure S failure, groups like the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which opposed high-rises going up next to its headquarters, vowed to fight high-density developments on a project-by-project basis, maintaining that nonprofits dealing with homelessness and affordable housing should have a say in developments that affect those issues.