FROM Adrian Glick Kudler
The Edge's Controversial Land Deal One Malibu dream home might be enough for Barbie, but it’s not enough for U2’s David Evans, aka “The Edge.” For nearly a decade he’s been trying to get permission to build five homes and a swimming pool along an undeveloped ridge in Malibu. But he had trouble clearing regulatory and environmental hurdles. This week, however, he finally prevailed. The California Coastal Commission voted to allow The Edge to go forward with his plan. What changed?
Beverly Hills Dog Park Approved In Beverly Hills this week, hundreds of people showed up at a city council meeting... for a vote on a dog park. Around 1 a.m., after hours of debate, the five council members finally voted to approve the park.
Rent and the Creative Class In recent weeks and months, we’ve seen a flurry of coverage from national outlets like the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal citing the great weather and the burgeoning gallery scene as reasons why it’s great to be a creative professional in LA. But rents continue to rise – at upwards of twice the national average, according to some statistics – and housing prices are through the roof.
Back to the Bubble? Housing prices are on the rise in Southern California, in some places much more than others. In Venice, a house that the website Curbed LA described as a “hideous shack” is on the market for one and a half million dollars. And don’t go looking next door for something more reasonable. Every house on that block is priced at more than a million now. So, are we in another bubble?
The Decline of Westwood Village Westwood Village, between UCLA and Wilshire Boulevard, was a lively neighborhood of crowded bars and restaurants with long lines at movie theaters showing the latest releases. We hear from KCRW's Saul Gonzalez, who compares what it was then to what it is now, and from Adrian Glick Kudler, editor of the website Curbed LA . Saul spoke with Steve Sann (Westwood Community Council), Andrew Thomas (Westwood Village Improvement Association), Ann Philbin (Hammer Museum) and (Westwood resident) Patti Seidenbaum. For more pictures of Westwood, then and now, check out our Which Way, LA? blog at kcrw.com/whichwaylablog .
The Ups and Downs of Urban Planning Next month the new Los Angeles City Council will vote on the much reduced Millennium Towers in Hollywood, those skyscrapers planned to dwarf the Capitol Records Building. One has been cut from 55 stories to 39, the other from 45 to 35. Neighborhood groups in West LA are hoping to get the current city council to approve what they call a similar "victory." Massive reductions have been negotiated in the Casden West LA project at the congested corner of Pico and Sepulveda Boulevards. Retail space of 160,000 square feet is down to 15,000. There will be fewer homes in the mixed-use project, and there won't be any supermarket or a new Target after all. Looking north on Sepulveda Boulevard with the Metro station in the foreground Proposed Casden West LA, looking from the Expo Rail Sepulveda station
Is LACMA Ready for the World Stage? Even before becoming director of the LA County Museum of Art seven years ago, Michael Govan was talking with Swiss architect Peter Zumthor . The subject was a re-creation of LACMA , and the conversation is still going on. The goal is to elevate Los Angeles to become a center of art in the same league as Paris, Rome, Athens and —especially — New York. In June, LACMA will open an exhibition to showcase Zumthor's design. In the meantime, Goven is building interest by talking about it in various forums.
For the Hollywood Skyline, How High Is Too High? At a major intersection in Hollywood, KCRW's Saul Gonzalez talked with Adrian Glick Kudler, editor of Curbed LA, about Millennium Hollywood , a horizontal city going vertical. City Councilman and mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti is opposed. So is the other Hollywood councilman, Tom LaBonge. But the city planning commission — to Mayor Villaraigosa's applause — has approved more than one million square feet of offices, apartments, condos and retail stores on just five acres of land surrounding the Capitol Records Building. To opponents it's an "alien implant," an "eyesore" that's "disproportionate" to a historic district. To New York developer Phil Aarons it's part of a much needed new urban core. He's co-founder of Millennium Partners, which has changed the skylines of New York, Boston, Washington, DC and San Francisco. (This is the first of an occasional series, LA Grows Up, on WWLA? and other KCRW programs about high-rise development and LA's changing skyline.)
Future of the Palestinians as Trump welcomes Abbas President Trump says there's "no reason there can't be peace" between Israel and the Palestinians… but the first step will have to be unity between the West Bank and Gaza. Are the Palestinian Authority and Hamas any closer to speaking with one voice?
Should we 'hack the climate' to fight global warming? The Paris Agreements won't be enough to reverse global warming, whether President Trump pulls the US out or not. Is it time to try altering the atmosphere by what's called "geoengineering?" We hear about unintended consequences, international relations… and ethics.
Trump, the GOP and the rule of law Conservatives — and some Republicans — are criticizing the President for "the mess he made" in firing FBI Director James Comey. We hear about a potential successor, the possibility of "obstruction of justice" and the constitutional separation of powers.