FROM Adrian Glick Kudler
Developer faces criminal charges for building $100 million home in Bel Air Luxury developer Mohamed Hadid has spent years building a mansion in Bel Air. But it turns out that multiple parts are not built to code, like the IMAX theater hidden under the driveway. Hadid never got permission to build the estate, and now he faces criminal charges that could land him in jail.
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.)
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?