The "Pay-To-Play" Report

Pay-to-Play in The City of Los Angeles

"Money Goes in, Favors Goes Out, We All Pay the Price: Who Do L.A. City Leaders Work For?"
 

A timeline of City Council and L.A. City Staff backroom meetings with developers and lobbyists; campaign donations to City Officials; and “spot-zoning” approvals for controversial projects
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 A Special March 4, 2017 Report on Backroom Governing and Undue Developer Influence Upon L.A. Elected Leaders
 
Sourcing: All facts provided by Los Angeles City Ethics Commission or contained in official documents released by Los Angeles City Council members as required by the California Public Records Act.
 
Released by the Coalition to Preserve LA, Yes on Measure S
 
Summary:
Yes on Measure S today releases a special report of official city information that has been released publicly, but unpublished to date. It reveals how L.A. City Hall works behind closed doors, on behalf of developers and usually without the knowledge of the public, to get around an area's zoning rules. Most developers donate to L.A. elected leaders throughout the backroom process.
 
"Pay to Play In Los Angeles City Government" contains a comprehensive timeline of private meetings and dinners involving billionaire developers, elected City leaders and their staffs. It reveals that private meetings are rarely granted by elected leaders to L.A. residents who question the developments.
 
The timeline, entirely made up of official city documents released under the California Public Records Act, or official city campaign finance and lobbyist data published by the L.A. City Ethics Commission, includes:

  • Dates and people present at private backroom meetings between developers and City Council officials and city employees.
  • Donations received by elected officials from these developers during the process.
  • City Council approval of projects achieved by badly bending L.A. zoning rules, often after private meetings and/or donations from the developer.

Nine Los Angeles City Council members were asked by the Coalition to Preserve L.A. to divulge this public information. All nine failed to release the subject of these backroom meetings with developers. They divulged only the fact that the meetings happened, in response to California Public Records Act requests by the Coalition.
 
The nine L.A. City Council members, of 15 on the City Council, were asked for their official appointment calendars regarding these large-scale developments, because their Council Districts contain a significant number of projects that have been allowed, by vote of the City Council, to ignore city zoning rules.
 
Some of the nine City Council members responded long after the 10-day deadline under the California Public Records Act (CPRA).
 
City Councilman Jose Huizar failed for several months to provide his meeting calendar. Councilman Huizar complied with California state law only after attorneys for the Coalition demanded that he divulge this public information.
 
The official city data provides a direct look at the campaign and lobbying cash spent to influence City Hall leaders as they decide, in a non-transparent and money-influenced system, how and where L.A. and its neighborhoods should absorb large-scale developments.
 
The official city campaign and lobbying data, and the official calendars released by City Council members, show that collusion between mega-developers and elected officials is endemic. Zoning is for sale at City Hall.
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11 Controversial L.A. Megadevelopments: Who Attends the Backroom Meetings and How Do L.A. Politicians and Developers Benefit?

 
1.    333 La Cienega Timeline:  Developer Rick Caruso
 This luxury tower would be 17 stories high, the tallest in the Beverly Grove community at the intersection of San Vicente and La Cienega. Concerned Citizens of Beverly Hills/Beverly Grove have sued the city for giving Caruso favorable treatment to override the zoning of the lands.
May 15, 2012
Rick Caruso donates $700 to Paul Koretz’s campaign for City Council.
March 17, 2014
Rick Caruso donates $500 to Paul Koretz’s campaign for City Council.
July 10, 2014
Private meeting between Councilmember Paul Koretz, Rick Caruso, Koretz’s planning director Shawn Bayliss and Caruso vice-president Sam Garrison
November 3, 2014
Private meeting between Councilmember Paul Koretz, Rick Caruso, planning director Shawn Bayliss and Caruso vice-president Sam Garrison
December 5, 2014
Rick Caruso donates $500 to Paul Koretz’s campaign for City Council.
March 2015
First public reports surface that Caruso is trying to build a megadevelopment next to Beverly Center at La Cienega and San Vicente.
February 26, 2016
A year later, the scoping meeting is held finally letting the public view and comment on project.
September 12, 2016
Private meeting between Councilmember Paul Koretz, Rick Caruso, planning director Shawn Bayliss and Caruso vice-president Sam Garrison
What Did Developer Caruso Get?
November 10, 2016
Los Angeles Planning Commission recommends approval of project with a General Plan amendment and Height District Change by a unanimous 7-0-2 vote (two commissioners missing).
December 28, 2016
David Zahniser at the Los Angeles Times writes an article on stream of donations flowing from Rick Caruso and his family and associates.
 
Real estate developer Rick Caruso has been a reliable benefactor at Los Angeles City Hall, giving donations big and small to the city’s politicians and their pet causes.
 
Caruso, known for the Grove and other shopping destinations, has donated to all but one of the city’s 17 elected officials. His charitable foundation provided $125,000 to a nonprofit set up by Mayor Eric Garcetti. ... Add in money from his employees and his family members, and Caruso-affiliated donors have provided more than $476,000 to the city’s elected officials and their initiatives over the past five years, according to contribution reports.
 
Now, Caruso wants Garcetti and the council to approve a 20-story residential tower on La Cienega Boulevard, on a site where new buildings are currently limited to a height of 45 feet. Opponents of the project view Caruso’s donations with alarm, saying the steady stream of contributions has undermined their confidence in the city’s planning process.
 
“I'm sorry, but that’s a lot of money,” said Keith Nakata, a foe of the project who lives roughly five blocks from the site. “That is obviously something that the community cannot compete against.”
 
Caruso’s residential tower is one of several real estate projects — some already approved, others still under consideration — to be reviewed at City Hall as six-figure contributions arrive from developers or donors with close ties to them. (Los Angeles Times, December 28, 2016)
December 29, 2016
City Councilman Paul Koretz pulls his support of the La Cienega project, then Koretz later backs the plan after Caruso makes modest modifications to his proposal.
 
"Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Koretz, under fire from an opponent in the March election, said Thursday that he has pulled his support for a controversial 20-story residential tower proposed near the Beverly Center. Koretz, standing on La Cienega Boulevard near the project site, said he now thinks the planned apartment building is “too tall” — and wants real estate developer Rick Caruso to enter into additional talks with a homeowners group.
 
“"I’m calling on Mr. Caruso to continue meeting with neighborhood representatives and to shrink the project until it is appropriate for the area,' said Koretz, who represents neighborhoods from the Westside north to Encino.
 
"The announcement came a day after The Times reported that Caruso, his family members, his companies, his charity and his employees provided more than $476,000 over the past five years to L.A. city politicians and their pet causes.
 
"Koretz’s hastily called news conference took place five hours after his opponent, attorney Jesse Max Creed, held his own media event on La Cienega to speak against the project — and the array of contributions made by Caruso to L.A. politicians and their causes." (Los Angeles Times, December 29, 2016)
What Did Developer Caruso Get?
January 24, 2017
Los Angeles City Council approves the Caruso project including two key exemptions from L.A. zoning rules — a General Plan Amendment and a Height District Change, by a 14-0-1 (unanimous with 1 absent) vote.
 

2. Koreatown Skyscraper Timeline: Developer Michael Hakim/Colony Holdings
This luxury 30-story skyscraper would displace affordable housing in Koreatown. Two neighborhood groups are suing to halt the project. The developer unsuccessfully ran for Beverly Hills City Council previous to this project, on an anti-development platform.
 
July 14, 2006
Michael Hakim donated $500 to Herb Wesson’s campaign for City Council.
August 1, 2007
Michael Hakim donated $500 to Herb Wesson’s campaign for City Council.
October 8, 2009
Planning Commission recommends that City Council not adopt General Plan Amendments for this project because it is unsuitable for the area.
December 15, 2009
Department of City Planning disapproves of project, concurring with Planning Commission.
December 23, 2009
Mayor Villaraigosa agrees with Planning Commission disapproval of development property.
February 12, 2010
Catalina Apartment is placed on the agenda for Los Angeles City Council's powerful Planning and Land Use Management Committee (PLUM) meeting on February 16, 2010.
February 16, 2010 through May 5, 2015
Catalina Apartments is "continued" at PLUM, holding the project in limbo.
December 15, 2010
Colony Holdings, LLC, operated by Michael Hakim, donated $500 to Herb Wesson’s campaign for City Council.
June 6, 2012
Private meeting between City Councilmember Herb Wesson’s deputy Andrew Westall, Wesson executive assistant Shawn Wallace, and Wesson deputy Elizabeth Carlin and the developer, Colony Holdings.
July 11, 2012
Wesson’s office has private meeting noted as being with “Planning” officials regarding  the Michael Hakim/Colony Holdings project.
What Did the Developer Get?
January 30, 2013
Skyscraper is “revived,” by city officials, this time 10 stories shorter and 23 units lighter.
"A developer is moving forward in an attempt to revive a proposed high-rise multifamily tower in the Wilshire District that was rejected by Los Angeles city planning officials in 2009.
 
"Colony Holdings LLC, a group of investors headed by Mike Hakim, originally proposed a larger-scale 35-story mixed-use project with 270 units, ground retail and 663 parking spaces at a site on South Catalina Street south of W. 8th Street. 

"In late 2009, the Los Angeles Planning Commission rejected zoning changes for the project bounded by 805-833 South Catalina St., the 800-block of South Kenmore Avenue, and West 8th Street, concerned that the project was incompatible with the surrounding low- and mid-rise neighborhood of older homes and apartments. 

"The company re-submitted the project as a smaller 25-story, 227-unit tower, with 3,600 square feet of retail and 454 parking spaces, and a rooftop helipad, according to documents filed with the planning department. Colony Holdings officials outlined the project at the city Planning and Land Use Management Committee meeting on Jan. 29." (CoStar News, January 30, 2013)
June 30, 2014
Colony Holdings, LLC, operated by Michael Hakim, donated $700 to Herb Wesson’s campaign for City Council.
December 17, 2014
Grand opening of another project, Onyx Tower, is attended by Herb Wesson by invitation of Michael Hakim.
May 18, 2015
According to the Los Angeles Times, during this spring, Hakim gives $1 million to the city's Affordable Housing Trust Fund, enough to build 3 units of affordable housing. He gives $250,000 to a public trust fund controlled by Councilman Herb Wesson.
What Did the Developer Get?
April 15, 2015
Mayor Eric Garcetti issues letter to City Council stating he disagrees with findings of the City Planning Commission and overrules it, approving a General Plan Amendment and Zone Change for Hakim's skyscraper.
"But Mayor Eric Garcetti did something recently that surprised activists, housing advocates and planning wonks: He rejected a decision by a panel of his own appointees.
 
"Last month, Garcetti threw his support behind a controversial 27-story residential tower in Koreatown. He did so even though the people he put on the city Planning Commission unanimously rejected the apartment project, saying it would be too big for the surrounding neighborhood. On April 15, Garcetti notified the council he was disapproving his commissioners' decision.
 
"The mayor's action is the latest example of city leaders helping to boost the value of a piece of property via generous zoning changes or other deviations from city planning rules. It also may signal how Garcetti, who hopes to add 100,000 housing units in the city by 2021, will approach other development projects enmeshed in controversy." (Los Angeles Times, May 18, 2015)
June 15, 2015
Community Impact Statement submitted by Wilshire Center-Koreatown Neighborhood Council recommended that City Council not approve the project.
June 17, 2015
LA City Council, in a 10-0-5 vote (unanimous, with 5 missing council members), approves the General Plan Amendment and Zone Change for Hakim’s skyscraper in Koreatown.


3.  Cumulus Skyscraper Timeline: Carmel Partners of S.F.
This 30-story luxury skyscraper with a 10-story complex around its base is proposed for the corner of La Cienega and Jefferson is being sued by several community groups Crenshaw Subway Coalition and Friends of the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative for violating the City Charter and California Environmental Quality Act.
November 3, 2014
Private meeting between Councilmember Herb Wesson and Carmel Partners of San Francisco.
November 14, 2014
Michael Lahorgue, President of Carmel Partners, donates $700 to Herb Wesson’s campaign for City Council.
November 14, 2014
Christopher Bede, who works at Carmel Partners, donates $700 to Carmel Partners.
November 14, 2014
Ron Zeff, Managing Partner at Carmel Partners, donates $700 to Herb Wesson’s campaign for City Council.
December 23, 2014
Carmel Partners donates $700 to Jose Huizar’s campaign for City Council.
February 5, 2015
Private meeting with Councilmember Herb Wesson, Carmel Partners vice-president Neils Cotter and Carmel Partners founder Ron Zeff at Morton’s Steakhouse.
March 2015
First public reports surface of a massive skyscraper complex sought by Carmel Partners at the current site of KABC Radio. Initial study published of the environmental impact of the Cumulus project.
December 15, 2015
Carmel Partners donates $700 to Jose Huizar’s campaign for City Council.
December 29, 2015
Carmel Partners donates $700 to Curren Price’s campaign for City Council.
December 31, 2015
Carmel Partners donates $700 to Gil Cedillo’s campaign for City Council.
January 25, 2016
Private meeting with Councilmember Herb Wesson, his deputy Andrew Westall, his deputy Elizabeth Carlin, and Carmel Partners vice-president Neils Cotter.
April 4, 2016
L.A. Planning Commission, appointed by the mayor, issues a report on the development.
June 7, 2016
City Council approves a General Plan Amendment, Zoning Change and Height Change.
June 30, 2016
Nicholas Zaharow who works at Carmel Partners donates $200 to Mitch O’Farrell’s campaign for City Council.
June 30, 2016
Carmel Partners donates $700 to Paul Koretz’s campaign for City Council.
June 30, 2016
Carmel Partners donates $700 to Joe Buscaino’s campaign for City Council.
June 30, 2016
Nicholas Zaharov, who works at Carmel Partners, donates $700 to Bob Blumenfield’s campaign for City Council.
What Did the Developer Get?
September 15, 2016
Financial transaction on the property is finalized after City Council approves of project. The deal, sweetened by the City Council's major exemptions from LA's zoning rules, closes for $111 million.
 
4.  The Reef Mega-Skyscraper Timeline: Kanon Ventures
(The Reef is known as a Black Lung Loft—freeway-adjacent new housing that allows children to reside there. USC's seminal Children's Health Study has found these developments result in high levels of  lifelong lung damage among children, and USC researchers have testified before the City Council to end their practice of encouraging and granting favors to the developers of Black Lung Lofts. See Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com/projects/la-me-freeway-pollution/and LA Weekly stories on Black Lung Lofts, http://www.laweekly.com/news/black-lung-lofts-2164048.)
May 3, 2013
Ava Bromberg, Kanon Ventures executive, donates $1,300 to Eric Garcetti’s campaign for mayor.
June 12, 2013
Ava Bromberg, Kanon Ventures executive, donates $1,000 to Eric Garcetti’s campaign for mayor.
June 2014
First public reports surface of a massive skyscraper complex initially called SoLA Village.
June 4, 2014
Curren Price “thrilled” about project coming to his City Council district.
 
"The neighborhood has the chance to evolve as a lower-cost alternative to downtown, where land costs are high, said Rob Katherman, head of planning and economic development for City Councilman Curren D. Price, who represents the 9th District where SoLA is proposed.
 
"Downtown has become very expensive. It's no cheaper to live downtown in an apartment than it is on the Westside," Katherman said. "I think this is a natural progression."
 
"The development proposal still has to pass through an approval process expected to last about three years that would include multiple public hearings. "There are certainly a lot of details that need to be worked out," Katherman said, "and they need to get the community and stakeholders onboard."
 
"Still, the councilman's office is "thrilled" at the prospect of such substantial privately funded development in the area, he said.
 
"'This is a wonderful opportunity to show what the future of downtown is going to be as it migrates southward.'" (Los Angeles Times, June 4, 2014)
July 15, 2014
Private meeting between Councilmember Curren Price, Price's deputy Rob Katherman, Price's chief of staff Curtis Earnest, Price's deputy James Westbrooks, and Kanon Ventures executive Ava Bromberg, The Reef project attorney Edgar Khalatian, and Marathon Communications developer lobbyist Richard Lichtenstein.
August 18, 2014
Private meeting between Price's chief of staff Curtis Earnest, Price's deputy Paloma Perez-McEvoy, and deputy James Westbrooks and Kanon Ventures executive Ava Bromberg.
October 7, 2014
Private meeting between Councilmember Curren Price, deputy Paloma Perez-McEvoy and Kanon Ventures executive Ava Bromberg, attorney Edgar Khalatian, Marathon Communications lobbyist Richard Lichtenstein and LA Economic and Workforce Development Department's Jenny Scanlin.
November 10, 2014
Private meeting between Price's deputy Paloma Perez-McEvoy and Marathon Communications lobbyist Shelia Gonzaga and Kanon Ventures executive Ava Bromberg
March 31, 2015
Jon Vartan Hovsepian, managing director for Kanon Ventures, donates $1,400 to Eric Garcetti’s campaign for mayor.
April 14, 2015
Private meeting between Price's deputy Paloma Perez-McEvoy and Rodolfo Monroy, Win Pham, Craig Bullock, Gregg Vandergriff, Planning Department's Martiza Przekop, Taimour Tanavoli, Los Angeles city employee Ammar Eltawil, L.A. fire inspector John Dallas and attorney Edgar Khalatian
June 30, 2015
Ava Bromberg donates $250 to Eric Garcetti’s campaign for mayor.
September 2015
Draft EIR released.
December 17, 2015
Private meeting between Price's chief of staff Curtis Earnest, Price's deputy Paloma Perez-McEvoy and developer lobbyist Howard Sunkin.
June 8, 2016
Private meeting with Price's chief of staff Curtis Earnest, Price's deputy Paloma Perez-McEvoy and attorney Edgar Khalatian.
June 30, 2016
Private meeting with Price's chief of staff Curtis Earnest, Price's deputy Paloma Perez-McEvoy and attorney Edgar Khalatian, developer lobbyist Howard Sunkin, developer lobbyist from Marathon Communications Richard Lichtenstein, developer lobbyist from Marathon Communications Sheila Gonzaga and Kanon Ventures' Will Cipes.
July 27, 2016
Private meeting with Price's chief of staff Curtis Earnest, Price's deputy Paloma Perez-McEvoy and developer lobbyist Marathon Communications Richard Lichtenstein.
What Did the Developer Get?
August 11, 2016
Project approved at L.A. City Council Planning Committee meeting by a 5-3 vote.
November 22, 2016
Los Angeles City Council approves of Planning Committee report by a unanimous 12-0-3 vote (three council members absent).
Controversial plans to build a massive housing, hotel, and retail project with a skyscraper on a parking lot in South LA was unanimously approved by the Los Angeles City Council Tuesday.
 
City leaders have said the development, called The Reef, has the potential to transform the neighborhood, which has been overlooked by developers until now. It may bring job opportunities and quality restaurants to a neglected area, but it has drawn fierce opposition over fears it will drive up living costs and displace thousands of residents.
 
Streetsblog LA has followed the plans closely and offered this critique today: While it sounds like “livability wet dream” it “caters to a well-heeled clientele;” it is “situated on the edge of a neighborhood that is both one of the poorest in the city and the most overcrowded in the entire country.”
 
Los Angeles City Councilman Curren Price, who reps South LA, told the Los Angeles Times: “It is new … and we have not seen this in the 9th District or South Los Angeles and there’s certainly some uncertainty about it but definitely some excitement and enthusiasm.” (Curbed Los Angeles, November 22, 2016)
December 14, 2016
City Council approves General Plan Amendment and Zone Change to exempt The Reef from L.A.'s zoning rules, and approves the development agreement, by a unanimous 12-0-3 vote (three are absent).
 

5.  8150 Sunset Tower Timeline: Townscape Partners
This 300,000 square foot megadevelopment at the foot of Laurel Canyon was approved by the city using a process that set aside local height limits. The group Fix the City is suing the project for violating environmental laws and LA Conservancy is suing the city for violating historic preservation laws.
May 30, 2013
Townscape Management Inc donates $1,000 to Eric Garcetti’s campaign for mayor.
August 2, 2013
Townscape Management Inc donates $500 to Paul Koretz’s campaign for City Council.
June 26, 2014
John Irwin, an executive of Townscape Management Partners, donates $700 to Carolyn Ramsay’s campaign for City Council.
August 6, 2014
Townscape Management Inc donates $1,000 to Eric Garcetti’s Officeholder Account.
November 14, 2014
Townscape Management Inc donates $700 to Herb Wesson’s campaign for City Council.
February 25, 2015
John Irwin, an executive of Townscape Management Partners, donates $500 to Jose Huizar’s campaign for City Council. (Ramsay is Council member Tom LaBonge’s chief of staff.)
March 26, 2015
Tyler Siegel, an executive of Townscape Management Partners, donates $700 to Carolyn Ramsay’s campaign for City Council.
December 26, 2015
Tyler Siegel of Townscape Partners donates $500 to Mitch O’Farrell’s campaign for City Council.
December 30, 2015
John Irwin, an executive of Townscape Management Partners, donates $500 to Curren Price’s campaign for City Council.
January 4, 2016
Mitch O’Farrell returns the $500 contribution from Tyler Siegel.
January 20, 2016
Private meeting with Council member David Ryu, Ryu’s senior planning deputy Renee Weitzer and, Ryu’s chief of staff Sarah Dusseault and Townscape lobbyist from Marathon Communications Richard Lichtenstein, Marathon Communications Gabe Kramer, Townscape founder Tyler Siegel, Townscape founder John Irwin, lobbyist Wendy Mitchell, Mok Wan and Annand Devarajan of Frank Gehry Parnters about EIR Comments and discuss outreach efforts and project process timeline.
June 17, 2016
Marathon Communication lobbyist Richard Lichtenstein meets privately with Ryu chief of staff Sarah Dusseault and Ryu deputy Julia Duncan.
June 22, 2016
John Irwin, an executive of Townscape Management Partners, donates $700 to Karo Torossian’s campaign for City Council.
June 22, 2016
Tyler Siegel of Townscape Partners donates $700 to Karo Torossian’s campaign for City Council.
June 28, 2016
John Irwin, an executive of Townscape Management Partners, donates $700 to Joe Buscaino’s campaign for City Council.
June 30, 2016
Townscape Management Inc donates $700 to Paul Koretz’s campaign for City Council.
June 30, 2016
Tyler Siegel of Townscape Management Partners donates $700 to Felipe Fuentes’s Officeholder Account.
June 30, 2016
John Irwin, an executive of Townscape Management Partners, donates $700 to Paul Koretz’s campaign for City Council.
June 30, 2016
Tyler Siegel of Townscape Management Partners donates $700 to Joe Buscaino’s campaign for City Council.
July 22, 2016
David Ryu's City Council staff hold follow up private meeting with developer lobbyist Richard Lichtenstein.
August 11, 2016
Private meeting with Council member David Ryu, deputy Julia Duncan and chief of staff Sarah Dusseault with developer Townscape Partners
What Did the Developer Get?
October 25, 2016
Planning Committee approves of “reduced” size development.
A mixed-use project that would anchor the eastern edge of the Sunset Strip received preliminary approval Tuesday night after developers agreed to a number of compromises, including a request to reduce the size of a proposed 15-story tower. 
 
The Planning and Land Use Management Committee voted unanimously to approve the Frank Gehry-designed residential and commercial complex at Sunset and Crescent Heights boulevards. The committee delayed a vote on whether to preserve Lytton Savings, a 1960 bank building designed by architect Kurt Meyer on the project site.
 
The Los Angeles City Council is expected to sign off on the development next week. 
 
The project at 8150 Sunset Blvd. includes two residential towers with a total of 229 units, including 38 for low-income residents; 65,000 square feet of commercial space; and a pedestrian plaza. (Los Angeles Times, October 25, 2016)
November 1, 2016
Los Angeles City Council approves 8150 Sunset by a unanimous vote.
The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved a mixed-use development designed by Frank Gehry that will anchor the eastern edge of the Sunset Strip. 
 
The relatively swift approval of the project Tuesday was a contrast to last week’s three-hour discussion on the famed architect’s design for 8150 Sunset Blvd. The five-building complex at Sunset and Crescent Heights boulevards will include two residential towers, terraced gardens and a shopping center. (Los Angeles Times, November 1, 2016)
November 15, 2016
John Irwin, an executive of Townscape Management Partners, donates $700 to Jose Huizar’s campaign for City Council.
November 16, 2016
Tyler Siegel of Townscape Management Partners donates $700 to Jose Huizar’s Officeholder Account.
December 2016
The Los Angeles Conservancy and the group Fix the City, which fights for updated infrastructure, environmental safeguards and other key problems created by major development, sues the City of Los Angeles for failing to comply with CEQA, the California Environmental Quality Act.
February 2017
Fix the City alleges that City Officials hid an existing covenant limiting the 178 foot tall project to 45 feet that should prevent approval of 8150 Sunset. Los Angeles Times, Feb. 16.
 

6.  Sunset Palladium Tower: Miami Developer Crescent Heights
These dual skyscrapers, proposed at the corner of Sunset and Argyle at the location of the famed Palladium concert hall, were approved with height and density exemptions to override local zoning. AIDS Healthcare Foundation is suing the city for violating the City Charter and the California Environmental Quality Act.
December 27, 2012
Sonny Khan of Miami, an executive at Crescent Heights Employment Services, LLC donates $700 to Alexander Cruz de Ocampo’s campaign for City Council.
December 28, 2012
Crescent Heights donates $700 to Matt Szabo’s campaign for City Council.
February 15, 2013
Casey Max Klein, a managing director at Crescent Heights of America, donates $700 to Matt Szabo’s campaign for City Council.
February 19, 2013
Casey Max Klein, a managing director at Crescent Heights of America, donates $700 to Alexander Cruz de Ocampo’s campaign for City Council.
April 30, 2013
Sonny Kahn, the CEO of Crescent Heights, donates $1,300 to Eric Garcetti’s campaign for mayor.
June 19, 2013
Russell Galbut, co-founder of Crescent Heights donates $700 to Mitch O’Farrell’s campaign for City Council.
July 2013
First public reports surface about the massive proposed project.
November 6, 2013
Private meeting with Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell and O’Farrell deputy Marie Rumsey and lobbyist Steve Afriat, Crescent Heights executive Bruce Menin and developer lobbyist Aaron Green
June 24, 2014
Private meeting with Councilmember O’Farrell, deputy Marie Rumsey, O’Farrell deputy Gary Benjamin and O’Farrell deputy Dan Halden and lobbyist Steve Afriat, Crescent Heights executive Bruce Menin, lobbyist Aaron Green, Crescent Heights attorney Cindy Starrett and Crescent Heights executive Adam Tartakovsky
January 20, 2015
CH Palladium, LLC, a subsidiary of Crescent Heights, donates $700 to Wally Knox’s campaign for City Council.
January 21, 2015
CH Palladium, LLC, a subsidiary of Crescent Heights, donates $700 to Carolyn Ramsay’s campaign for City Council.
February 2, 2015
CH Palladium, LLC, a subsidiary of Crescent Heights, donates $700 to Joan Pelico’s campaign for City Council.
February 4, 2015
Private meeting with Councilmember O’Farrell, O'Farrell deputy Jeanne Min, O'Farrell deputy Gary Benjamin and O'Farrell deputy Christine Peters and Crescent Heights exec. Bruce Menin, lobbyist Steve Afriat and lobbyist Aaron Green
February 6, 2015
Joan Pelico’s campaign returns the $700 contribution from CH Palladium.
February 10, 2015
Sonny Kahn, developer at Crescent Heights, donated $700 to Jose Huizar’s campaign for City Council.
February 11, 2015
CH Palladium, LLC, a subsidiary of Crescent Heights, donates $700 to Joan Pelico’s campaign for City Council.
March 25, 2015
Private meeting with Councilmember O’Farrell, O’Farrell deputy Jeanne Min, O’Farrell deputy Gary Benjamin, and O’Farrell deputy Dan Halden and lobbyist Aaron Green and lobbyist Steve Afriat
April 27, 2015
CH Palladium, LLC, a subsidiary of Crescent Heights, donates $700 to City Councilman Gilbert Cedillo’s Officeholder Account.
June 25, 2015
Private meeting with Councilmember O’Farrell, O’Farrell deputy Jeanne Min, O’Farrell deputy Gary Benjamin, O’Farrell deputy Dan Halden and O’Farrell deputy Marisol Rodriguez and Crescent Heights executive Bruce Menin, Crescent Heights executive Adam Tartakovsky, Crescent Heights executive Elliot Kahn, developer lobbyist Steve Afriat and developer lobbyist Aaron Green
October 21, 2015
Private meeting with O’Farrell Staffer Chris Robertson and lobbyist Aaron Green
October 27, 2015
Private meeting with Councilmember O’Farrell, O’Farrell deputy Jeanne Min and O’Farrell deputy Chris Robertson and Crescent Heights executive Bruce Menin, Crescent Heights executive Adam Tartakovsky, developer John Kilroy of Kilroy Realty and Kilroy Realty exec. David Simon.
What Did Miami Developer Crescent Heights Get?
November 19, 2015
Los Angeles Planning Commission certified and adopted Environmental Impact Report and approved a General Plan Amendment to dramatically alter the land use, by a unanimous 7-0 vote.
December 10, 2015
Los Angeles Planning Commission approves Palladium development.
The Los Angeles City Planning Commission on Thursday backed a proposal for two 30-story residential towers in Hollywood, despite a challenge from the nonprofit group next door.
 
Commissioners praised the proposed Palladium Residences, saying the 731-unit project would provide much needed housing on a stretch of Sunset Boulevard served by bus routes and the nearby Metro Red Line subway.
 
“That housing should be near public transportation, and this is the perfect place for it,” said commissioner Dana Perlman. (Los Angeles Times, December 10, 2015)
January 19, 2016
Private meeting with Councilmember O’Farrell, O’Farrell deputy Jeanne Min and O’Farrell deputy Chris Robertson and Crescent Heights executive Bruce Menin and lobbyist Steve Afriat
What Did Miami Developer Crescent Heights Get?
February 2, 2016
Los Angeles City Planning Commission submits their findings, recommending amendments to Los Angeles General Plan to ignore the existing zoning and certifying the Environmental Impact Report.
March 2, 2016
Private meeting with O’Farrell Staffer Chris Robertson and developer lobbyist Aaron Green
What Did Miami Developer Crescent Heights Get?
March 22, 2016
Los Angeles City Council unanimously approves Zone Change and Height District change by a unanimous 12-0-3 vote, overriding the existing zoning on the land.
March 23, 2016
Private meeting with O’Farrell Staffer Chris Robertson and lobbyist Aaron Green
 

7.  Crossroads of the World Timeline: Morton La Kretz and Harridge Developers
This dual skyscraper with eight total buildings would displace numerous families on heavily congested Sunset Boulevard near Highland and seeks major exemptions from city zoning rules.
 
March 21, 2013
Morton La Kretz, founder of Crossroads Management, donates $1,300 to Eric Garcetti’s campaign for mayor.
April 1, 2013
David Schwartzman, CEO of Harridge Development Group, donates $1,300 to Eric Garcetti’s campaign for mayor.
April 5, 2013
David Schwartzman, CEO of Harridge Development Group, donates $700 to Mitch O’Farrell’s campaign for City Council.
April 8, 2013
Morton La Kretz, founder of Crossroads Management, donates $700 to Mitch O’Farrell’s campaign for City Council.
April 25, 2013
Bradley Woomer, the CFO at Harridge Development Group, LLC, donates $250 to Mitch O’Farrell’s campaign for City Council.
September 20, 2013
David Schwartzman, CEO of Harridge Development Group, donates $700 to Mitch O’Farrell’s campaign for City Council.
November 18, 2013
Private meeting with Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell and Morton La Kretz and Linda Duttenhaver of Crossroads Management.
November 22, 2013
Bradley Woomer of Harridge Development Groups donates $250 to Mitch O’Farrell’s Officeholder Account.
November 22, 2013
David Schwartzman, CEO of Harridge Development Group, donates $500 to Mitch O’Farrell’s Officeholder Account.
September 30, 2014
David Schwartzman, CEO of Harridge Development Group, donates $700 to Marqueece Harris-Dawson’s campaign for City Council.
January 6, 2015
David Schwartzman, CEO of Harridge Development Group, donates $700 to Gloria Molina’s campaign for City Council.
January 27, 2015
Marc Annotti of Harridge Development Group donates $700 to Mitch Englander’s campaign for City Council.
February 12, 2015
Marc Annotti of Harridge Development Group donates $700 to Nury Martinez’s campaign for City Council.
March 26, 2015
Yuri Gurevich, a consultant at Harridge Development Group, donates $250 to Carolyn Ramsay’s campaign for City Council.
March 26, 2015
James D. Hearn, an attorney at Harridge Development Group, donates $700 to Carolyn Ramsay’s campaign for City Council.
March 26, 2015
David Schwartzman, CEO of Harridge Development Group, donates $700 to Carolyn Ramsay’s campaign for City Council.
March 26, 2015
Bradley Woomer of Harridge Development Groups donates $700 to Carolyn Ramsay’s campaign for City Council.
April 20, 2015
Private meeting with Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, O’Farrell deputy Christine Peters, O’Farrell deputy Gary Benjamin and Crossroads attorney Jerry Neuman and Crossroads executive Linda Duttenhaver.
May 20, 2015
David Schwartzman, CEO of Harridge Development Group, donates $500 to Gil Cedillo’s campaign for City Council.
May 29, 2015
First public announcement, two years into the private negotiations at City Hall, that the Crossroads multi-tower skyscraper project is being proposed by Harridge Development Group and Mort La Kretz.
"As these preliminary renderings show, the Crossroads complex—which is both a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument and on the National Register of Historic Places—will be completely "restored to its glory," says Glenn Gritzner, a rep for developer Harridge Development Group. (Crossroads owner Mort La Kretz will continue to control the land the project sits on.) The red-tile-roofed building between the Blessed Sacrament Church and the Crossroads' signature 30-foot spire (currently offices) is planned to be revamped as a market. All the Crossroads buildings would reopen as retail space.
 
"In addition to the reintroduction of retail at the Crossroads, the project will create eight new mixed-use buildings rising on parts of the two blocks between the complex and Highland Avenue to the west, and the block immediately to the north of the complex on Selma: a 308-room, 31-story hotel, a 32-story apartment tower, and a 30-story condo tower with 950 units total (including 70 units of designated affordable housing), 95,000 square feet of office space, and a total of 185,000 square feet of retail/commercial uses (including the 60,000 square feet at Crossroads). The shorter buildings range from two to six stories tall. All the new buildings would have retail and commercial components on the ground floor; parking for the complex—2,596 total spaces—would all be underground." (Curbed Los Angeles, May 29, 2015)
 
June 30, 2015
Marc Annotti of Harridge Development Group donates $700 to Jose Huizar’s Officeholder Account.
October 2015
Initial Environmental Impact Report released.
November 2, 2015
Private meeting with O’Farrell Staff Christine Peters, O’Farrell deputy Chris Robertson, O’Farrell deputy Dan Halden with attorney Jerry Neuman.
November 10, 2015
Private meeting with O’Farrell Staff Chris Robertson, O’Farrell deputy Christine Peters, O’Farrell deputy Dan Halden with attorney Jerry Neuman.
November 12, 2015
David Schwartzman, CEO of Harridge Development Group, donates $700 to Bob Blumenfield’s campaign for City Council.
November 14, 2015
Public scoping meeting held to, allowing the public to see the skyscraper multi-tower plan.
December 23, 2015
James Hearn, an attorney at Harridge Development Group, donates $700 to Mike Bonin’s campaign for City Council.
December 23, 2015
David Schwartzman, CEO of Harridge Development Group, donates $700 to Mike Bonin’s campaign for City Council.
December 30, 2015
James Hearn, an attorney at Harridge Development Group, donates $250 to Herb Wesson’s Officeholder Account.
December 30, 2015
Bradley Woomer of Harridge Development Groups donates $700 to Curren Price’s campaign for City Council.
December 30, 2015
David Schwartzman, CEO of Harridge Development Group, donates $700 to Curren Price’s campaign for City Council.
December 31, 2015
James D. Hearn, general counsel at Harridge Development Group, donates $700 to Gil Cedillo’s campaign for City Council.
December 31, 2015
Bradley Woomer of Harridge Development Groups donates $700 to Gil Cedillo’s campaign for City Council.
December 31, 2015
David Schwartzman, CEO of Harridge Development Group, donates $700 to Gil Cedillo’s campaign for City Council.
August 5, 2016
James Hearn, an attorney at Harridge Development Group, donates $700 to Mike Bonin’s campaign for City Council.
August 5, 2016
David Schwartzman, CEO of Harridge Development Group, donates $700 to Herb Wesson’s campaign for City Council.
August 5, 2016
Bradley Woomer of Harridge Development Groups donates $250 to Herb Wesson’s campaign for City Council.
August 16, 2016
Developer asked City Hall for "CEQA streamlining" to avoid complying with California Environmental Quality Act rules. Seeks Zone Change and Height District Change exemptions from the City Council to override existing land-use zoning.
August 26, 2016
David Schwartzman, CEO of Harridge Development Group, donates $700 to Joe Buscaino’s campaign for City Council.
August 26, 2016
Bradley Woomer of Harridge Development Groups donates $500 to Joe Buscaino’s campaign for City Council.
September 26, 2016
Private meeting with Councilmember O’Farrell, O’Farrell deputy Amy Ablakat, O’Farrell deputy Christine Peters, O’Farrell deputy Dan Halden with Friends of Hollywood Central Park president Laurie Goldman, Harridge executive David Schwartzman, developer lobbyist Kyndra Casper
September 28, 2016
Marc Annotti of Harridge Development Group donates $100 to Karo Torossian’s campaign for City Council.
December 1, 2016
David Schwartzman, CEO of Harridge Development Group, donates $700 to Gil Cedillo’s campaign for City Council.
December 31, 2016
Gil Cedillo’s campaign returns $700 donation to David Schwartzman.
What Did Developer Morton La Kretz/Harridge  Get?
Nothing — yet. The developers are currently working on the Environmental Impact Report to justify this megadevelopment to the L.A. City Planning Commission, which approves 90% of all major land-use changes brought before it, according to a Los Angeles Times investigation.

 
8.  NoHo West Timeline: Merlone Geier and Goldstein Planting Investments
(The NoHo West luxury housing/mall complex is known as a Black Lung Loft—freeway-adjacent new housing that allows children to reside there. USC's seminal Children's Health Study has found these developments result in high levels of  lifelong lung damage among children, and USC researchers have testified before the City Council to end their practice of encouraging and granting favors to the developers of Black Lung Lofts, Los Angeles Times. L.A. Weekly Black Lung Lofts.
April 31, 2014
Cliff Goldstein, the founder and managing partner of GPI Companies, gives $700 to Mitch Englander’s campaign for City Council.
May 29, 2014
Private meeting with Krekorian Chief of Staff Areen Ibranossian and Cliff Goldstein of GPI Companies.
June 3, 2014
Clifford Goldstein, founder and managing partner of GPI Companies, donates $700 to Jose Huizar’s campaign for City Council.
June 3, 2014
Lee Wagman, a partner at GPI Companies, donates $700 to Jose Huizar’s campaign for City Council.
July 28, 2014
Private meeting with Laurel Grove neighborhood leader Diann Corral who opposes the size and density of the proposed luxury housing/mall complex, Krekorian deputy Karo Torossian, Krekorian deputy Doug Mensman, CD2 Chief of Staff Areen Ibranossian, Ken and Barbe, GPI exec. Clifford Goldstein, Mike Grehl.
October 30, 2014
Private meeting with Claire Bronowski, Chad Doi, Krekorian deputy Doug Mensman, Gregg Vandergriff, Krekorian deputy Karo Torossian, Kit Awakuni, Nicholas Hendricks, Robert Duff, Simon Pastucha, GPI exec. Clifford Goldstein, Jameson Lee, Mike Grehl and Lincoln Lee.
December 12, 2014
T.R. Gregory, a partner at GPI Companies, gives $250 to Carolyn Ramsay’s City Council campaign.
December 12 2014
Barbara Wagman, a partner at GPI Companies, gives $250 to Carolyn Ramsay’s City Council campaign.
December 17, 2014
Private meeting with Krekorian deputy Doug Mensman, Krekorian deputy Karo Torossian and lobbyist Ira Handelman
December 31, 2014
C. Drew Planting, a managing partner at GPI Companies, gives $500 to Carolyn Ramsay’s campaign for City Council.
January 14, 2015
Private meeting with Krekorian deputy Doug Mensman, Krekorian deputy Karo Torossian, GPI exec. Clifford Goldstein and Mike Grehl.
January 15, 2015
Private meeting with Arlene Simon, neighborhood activist Diann Corral, Krekorian deputy Doug Mensman, lobbyist Ira Handelman, Krekorian deputy Karo Torossian, Mike Grehl, Susan Ware, GPI exec. Clifford Goldstein
January 16, 2015
Private meeting with Krekorian deputy Doug Mensman, Krekorian deputy Karo Torossian, GPI exec. Clifford Goldstein, Mike Grehl, Ernesto Hidalgo, lobbyist Ira Handelman, Sam Sonarch, Terri Foster and Mary Garcia.
April 2015
First public reports emerge, of what the developer is proposing.
April 30, 2015
Private meeting with lobbyist Ira Handelman, Merlone Geier exec. Scott McPherson, Krekorian deputy Karo Torossian and CD2 Chief of Staff Areen Ibranossian.
June 26, 2015
Lee Wagman of GPI Companies gives $1,400 to Eric Garcetti’s campaign for mayor.
June 30, 2015
Lobbyist Ira Handelman, Krekorian deputy Karo Torossian, Krekorian deputy Doug Mensman, Ian Thompson.
June 30, 2015
Jonathan Lischke of GPI Companies donates $1,400 to Eric Garcetti’s campaign for mayor.
July 30, 2015
Renderings revealed for NoHo West.
Architectural renderings have emerged for NoHo West, a proposed development which would transform North Hollywood's 25-acre Laurel Plaza shopping center into a mixed-use community.
 
The project - which is being developed by a joint venture between Goldstein Planting Investments and Merlone Geier Partners - would include a series of low-rise structures featuring apartments, retail and commercial office space.
 
The commercial heart of NoHo West would be Laurel Plaza Drive, a main street slicing diagonally through the development site.  Images displayed on the project's official website portray a four-block pedestrian paseo, lined with trees and flanked by shops and restaurants.  An elliptical plaza would sit at the mid-point of the paseo, offering water features, landscaping and outdoor seating.
 
According to plans filed with the City of Los Angeles, the project would include 190,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, as well as a gym, a supermarket and a cinema multiplex.  These uses would be served by approximately 2,600 parking spaces, to be located in an eight-story structure abutting the 170 Freeway. (urbanize.LA, July 30, 3015)
July 31, 2015
C. Drew Planting, a managing partner at GPI Companies, gives $1,400 to Mitch O’Farrell’s Legal Defense Fund Account.
July 31, 2015
Clifford Goldstein, founder and managing partner of GPI Companies gives $1,400 to Mitch O’Farrell’s Legal Defense Fund.
August 18, 2015
A huge private "Major Development Services Meeting” involving dozens of City Employees working to pave the way for the project. with Ara Sargsya, Assistant Deputy Superintendent of Building at City of Los Angeles; Ashley Atkinson, Planning and Housing specialist, Mayor’s office of economic development; Bob Stone, Advisor to Deputy Mayor for Economic Development at City of Los Angeles; Carl Mills, Charlie Rausch, Associate Zoning Administrator and Manager of Major Project Section at City of Los Angeles, Department of City Planning; Colin Kumabe, Sr. Structural Engineer at City of Los Angeles; Estineh Mailian, Senior City Planner at City of Los Angeles; Frank Bush, General Manager of the L.A. Department of Building and Safety; Hani Malki, Ifa Kashefi, Joel Jacinto, Commissioner at Los Angeles Board of Public Works; Karo Torossian, Kevin Keller, Deputy Director, Los Angeles Department of City Planning ;Larry Galstian, Assistant Bureau Chief at City of Los Angeles; Millena Zasadzien, City Planner at City of Los Angeles; Nicholas Marichich, Director of Planning Policy and Development at Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti; Osama Younan, Division Chief at City of Los Angeles; Peter Kim, Senior Structural Engineer at City of Los Angeles, Department of Building and Safety; Regine Osorio, Student Worker at City of Los Angeles Building and Safety;  Shahen Akelyan, Verej Janoyan, Wesley Tabijiri, Chen-Yu Kuo, Greg Spotts, Assistant Director, Bureau of Street Services at City of Los Angeles; John Vidovich, Deputy Chief - Fire Marshal at Los Angeles Fire Department; John Weight, Pascal Challita, Raymond Chan, General manager of Dept. of Building and Safety; Seleta Reynolds, Vince Bertoni, Ed Ebrahimian, General Manager/Director Bureau of Street Lighting at City of Los Angeles; Marvin Moon, Nazario Sauceda.
August 20, 2015
Lee Wagman of GPI Companies gives $700 to Marqueece Harris-Dawson’s Officeholder Account.
September 3, 2015
Private meeting with lobbyist Ira Handelman, Merlone Geier executive Scott McPherson, Krekorian deputy Karo Torossian and Krekorian Chief of Staff Areen Ibranossian.
December 12, 2015
Jonathan Lischke of GPI Companies gives $700 to Councilman Mitch O’Farrell’s campaign for City Council.
December 14, 2015
Private meeting with GPI executive Cliff Goldstein, Merlone Geier executive  Scott McPherson, Krekorian Chief of Staff Areen Ibranossian and Councilmember Paul Krekorian.
December 18, 2015
Clifford Goldstein, founder and managing partner of GPI Companies, gives $700 to Mitch O’Farrell’s campaign for City Council.
December 22, 2015
C. Drew Planting, a managing partner at GPI Companies, gives $700 to Mitch O’Farrell’s campaign for City Council.
January 12, 2016
Private meeting with Krekorian deputy Karo Torossian, Claire Bronowski, Chirs Joseph, David Geiser, Krekorian deputy Doug Mensman, Jauld-altoonpartners, Jacqueline Murphy, Jose Sanchez, Lisa Webber, Milena Zasadzien, Matthew Stone, Nicholas Hendricks, Merlone Geier exec. Scott McPherson, Stacie Henderson.
January 22, 2016
Private meeting with Merlone Geier Scott McPherson, GPI exec. Cliff Goldstein, Krekorian deputy Karo Torossian, Krekorian Chief of Staff Areen Ibranossian and Councilmember Paul Krekorian.
March 8, 2016
Private meeting with Merlone Geier exec. Scott McPherson and CD2 Chief of Staff Areen Ibranossian.
July 7, 2016
Private meeting with neighborhood activist opposing the project, Diann Corral, Krekorian deputy Karo Torossian, Krekorian deputy Doug Mensman and Krekorian Chief of Staff Areen Ibranossian.
July 7, 2016
Private meeting with Krekorian deputy Karo Torossian, lobbyist Ira Handelman and Stephen Logan.
August 4, 2016
Private meeting with Merlone Geier exec. Scott McPherson, Stephen Logan, Krekorian deputy Karo Torossian, Krekorian Chief of Staff Areen Ibranossian and Councilmember Paul Krekorian
September 1, 2016
Private meeting with Merlone Geier exec. Scott McPherson, Krekorian deputy Karo Torossian and Krekorian Chief of Staff Areen Ibranossian.
What Did the Developer  Get?
September 22, 2016
Los Angeles Planning Commission approves proposal for NoHo West. Paul Krekorian spoke in favor of the development at the hearing. The Planning Commission, following its 90% approval rate for overriding existing zoning, recommended to the City Council that Zone Change and Height Change be adopted to override existing zoning on the land.
 
"The Los Angeles Planning Commission on Thursday backed a proposal for NoHo West, a residential and commercial development planned on the site of the old Laurel Plaza shopping center and soon-to-be-shuttered Macy’s in North Hollywood.
 
"If approved by the city, NoHo West would bring 642 rental housing units, 256,000 square feet of office and retail use, and 316,000 square feet of new commercial development, including a cinema, to the 25-acre site.
 
"The development — at the corner of Laurel Canyon Boulevard and Oxnard Street — is a joint venture between Merlone Geier Partners and GPI Co.
 
"Los Angeles Councilman Paul Krekorian, who represents North Hollywood, spoke in favor of NoHo West at Thursday’s hearing. He also sent a letter to the commission last week, calling the development “a shot of adrenaline to the area by delivering retail and entertainment facilities for the community.” (Los Angeles Daily News, September 22, 2016)
September 25, 2016
Councilmember Paul Krekorian writes letter in support of project.
December 12, 2016
C. Drew Planting, a managing partner at GPI Companies, gives $560 to Mitch O’Farrell’s Officeholder Account.
What Did the Developer  Get?
December 14, 2016
In a surprise vote in which Laurel Grove activists were given just 24-hours notice to object, Los Angeles City Council by a unanimous 14-0 vote approves of the project by implementing the Zone Change and Height Change recommended by the Planning Commission.
 

9.  Clarendon Luxury Complex Timeline: Developer AMCAL Housing
(Clarendon would demolish the existing Woodland Hills Post Office less than 200 feet from the 101 Freeway at Topanga Canyon Blvd. It is known as a Black Lung Loft—freeway-adjacent new housing that allows children to reside there. USC's seminal Children's Health Study has found these developments result in high levels of  lifelong lung damage among children, and USC researchers have testified before the City Council to end their practice of encouraging and granting favors to the developers of Black Lung Lofts. Los Angeles Times and L.A. Weekly, Black Lung Lofts.)
August 29, 2005
AMCAL General Contractor’s Inc donates $500 to Jose Huizar’s campaign for City Council.
December 4, 2008
AMCAL Multi-Housing Corp donates $500 to Herb Wesson’s campaign for City Council.
February 17, 2009
AMCAL Multi-Housing Corp donates $500 to Eric Garcetti’s campaign for City Council.
December 23, 2010
AMCAL General Contractors, Inc donates $500 to Jose Huizar’s campaign for City Council.
December 13, 2011
AMCAL Multi-Housing Corp donates $1,000 to Eric Garcetti’s campaign for mayor.
March 12, 2012
Percival Vaz, the CEO of AMCAL Multi-Housing, Inc, donates $500 to Jose Huizar’s campaign for City Council.
May 1, 2012
Maurice Ramirez, a developer of AMCAL Housing, donates $1,000 to Eric Garcetti’s campaign for mayor.
April 4, 2013
J. Maurice Ramirez, executive vice president of AMCAL Housing, donates $200 to Curren Price’s campaign for City Council.
April 9, 2013
Percy Vaz, CEO of AMCAL Multi-Housing, donates $500 to Nury Martinez’s campaign for City Council.
April 16, 2013
Maurice Ramirez, executive vice president of AMCAL Housing, donates $250 to Eric Garcetti’s campaign for mayor.
May 7, 2013
Maurice Ramirez, executive vice president of AMCAL Housing, donates $250 to Eric Garcetti’s campaign for mayor.
May 11, 2013
Maurice Ramirez, executive vice president of AMCAL Housing, donates $250 to Eric Garcetti’s campaign for mayor.
May 13, 2013
J. Maurice Ramirez, a developer at AMCAL Multi-Housing, donates $100 to Mitch O’Farrell’s campaign for City Council.
April 22, 2015
Private meeting with BOB BLUMENFIELD deputy Cesar Diaz, BOB BLUMENFIELD deputy Andrew Pennington, Darin Hansen of AMCAL, Eric Leiberman of QES, Inc.
June 5, 2015
Private meeting with BOB BLUMENFIELD deputy Andrew Pennington, BOB BLUMENFIELD deputy Cesar Diaz, Darin Hansen of AMCAL and Eric Leiberman of QES, Inc.
June 22, 2015
AMCAL Multi-Housing Corp donates $700 to Jose Huizar’s campaign for City Council.
September 3, 2015
Private meeting with BOB BLUMENFIELD deputy Andrew Pennington, Councilmember Bob Blumenfield, and Percy Vaz of AMCAL.
November 12, 2015
Private meeting with BOB BLUMENFIELD deputy Andrew Pennington, Darin Hansen of AMCAL and Eric Leiberman of QES, Inc.
April 5, 2016
AMCAL Multi-Housing LLC donates $500 to Marqueece Harris-Dawson’s campaign for City Council.
Spring of 2016
First public word gets out of plan to demolish Woodland Hills Post Office for Clarendon luxury complex.
June 2, 2016
Draft EIR report published on project.
"A draft environmental impact report published by the Los Angeles Department of City Planning has revealed AMCAL Multi Housing Company's proposal for a new apartment complex on the site of the Woodland Hills Post Office.
 
"The proposed Clarendon Street Apartments, slated for a 4.2-acre site at 22055-22147 Clarendon Street, would consist of a five-story building features 335 studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, in addition to enclosed parking accommodations for 564 vehicles and 369 bicycles.  Plans also call for a variety of open space amenities, including three courtyards, a fitness center, a dog park and a club room.
 
"The podium-style development, designed by Architects Orange, would be clad with a variety of exterior materials, including plaster, perforated metal, stone veneer and stucco.
 
"The project would also incorporate a number of green building features such as energy star appliances and fixtures, a rooftop trellis system and permeable pavers for rainwater harvesting.
 
"Construction would occur over approximately 18 months in a single phase.  A groundbreaking date is currently unknown." (urbanize.LA, June 9, 2016)
July 1, 2016
Maurice Ramirez, a developer at AMCAL, donates $250 to Curren Price’s campaign for City Council.
July 21, 2016
Private meeting with BOB BLUMENFIELD deputy Andrew Pennington, Abraham Mercado of Consensus Inc, Eric Leiberman of QES, Inc, Darin Hansen of AMCAL, Josh Gertler of Consensus Inc.
What Did Developer AMCAL Get?
November 17, 2016
Los Angeles Planning Commission recommended Height District and Zoning Changes for the project, continuing their 90% approval of major zone changes.
January 20, 2017
Project referred to Planning and Land Use Management Committee by City Council.
March 3, 2017
LA City Council approved project with Zone Change and Height District change.
 

10.  Martin Expo Town Center: Martin Automotive Group
Owners of Martin Cadillac at Bundy and Olympic are trying to build a 10-story luxury housing office tower megadevelopment of 807,200 square feet. Westsiders Opposed to Overdevelopment are suing the City for failing to address its significant traffic impacts and environmental impacts.
June 4, 2012
Martin Automotive Group donates $700 to Bill Rosendahl’s campaign for City Council.
November 27, 2012
Martin Automotive Group donates $500 to Mike Bonin’s campaign for City Council.
January 29, 2013
Private meeting between Bonin Councilmember Mike Bonin with Jaime Rojas and lobbyist Steven Afriat about Martin Cadillac.
June 6, 2013
Martin Automotive Group donates $500 to Eric Garcetti’s campaign for mayor.
August 21, 2013
Private meeting with lobbyist Steve Afriat, Noel Fleming, Bonin deputy Tricia Keane and Bonin chief of staff Chad Molnar.
December 5, 2013
Private "Martin Expo Town Center Design Meeting" with Bonin deputy Tricia Keane, LA city planner Luciralia Ibarra, lobbyist Phil Simmons, Simon Pastucha and Tom Hsieh.
September 5, 2014
Private meeting at Planning with Chris Robertson, J Miller, lobbyist Philip Simmons, Simon Pastucha, Tom Hsieh and Bonin deputy Tricia Keane.
October 23, 2014
Private Martin Expo Town Center Meeting with Chris Robertson, Bonin deputy Claudia Luna and Bonin deputy Tricia Keane.
November 2014
Draft EIR Report published.
November 19, 2014
Private Martin Expo Town Center Meeting with Chris Robertson, Bonin deputy Tricia Keane and Bonin deputy Paul Backstrom.
January 21, 2015
Private meeting with Bonin staff and lobbyists Steve Afriat and Aaron Green.
September 17, 2015
Private meeting with lobbyist Steve Afriat, Bonin deputy Tricia Keane, Chris Robertson and Councilmember Mike Bonin.
December 2015
Final Environmental Impact Report published for the project.
February 9, 2016
Private meeting with Bonin deputy Tricia Keane and Councilmember Mike Bonin.
April 13, 2016
Martin Automotive Group donates $300 to Gil Cedillo’s campaign for City Council.
April 18, 2016
Private meeting with Bonin deputy Tricia Keane, Bonin deputy Ezra Gale, Dave Bantz, lobbyist Phil Simmons and Tom Perkins on METC design.
April 20, 2016
Private meeting between Bonin deputy Tricia Keane, Bonin deputy Ezra Gale, Bonin deputy Marietta Torriente, lobbyist Steve Afriat and Councilmember Mike Bonin.
May 4, 2016
Private meeting between lobbyist Joel Miller and Bonin deputy Tricia Keane.
May 10, 2016
Private meeting between Martin Automotive Group CEO Dan Martin and Councilmember Mike Bonin.
May 11, 2016
Private call between lobbyist Steve Afriat and Bonin deputy Tricia Keane.
May 13, 2016
Private call between Martin Automotive Group CEO Dan Martin, Bonin deputy Tricia Kean, and land-use attorney Alex DeGood.
May 17, 2016
Private call between Bonin deputy Tricia Keane, Martin Automotive Group CEO Dan Martin and lobbyist Philip Simmons.
May 20, 2016
Private call between Bonin deputy Tricia Keane and Martin Automotive Group CEO Dan Martin.
May 24, 2016
Private call between Bonin deputy Tricia Keane and Martin Automotive Group CEO Dan Martin
May 25, 2016
Private call between Bonin deputy Tricia Keane, attorney Alex DeGood and Martin Automotive Group CEO Dan Martin.
What Did Developer Martin Cadillac (Martin Automotive) Get?
May 26, 2016
Planning Commission approves by an 8-0-1 (unanimous vote, 1 absent) vote for a General Plan Amendment, a vesting zone change and a Height District change to override existing zoning and recommends action to City Council, continuing its 90% approvals of overriding city zoning rules.
May 27, 2016
Private call between Bonin deputy Tricia Keane and Martin Automotive Group CEO Dan Martin.
May 28, 2016
Private meeting between lobbyist Steve Afriat, Martin Automotive Group CEO Dan Martin and Bonin Chief of Staff Chad Molnar.
June 8, 2016
Private “Signal Discussion” with attorney Alex DeGood, Martin Automotive Group CEO Dan Martin, Tom Gaul and Bonin deputy Tricia Keane.
June 30, 2016
Private call between lobbyist Steve Afriat and Bonin deputy Tricia Keane.
July 15, 2016
Private meeting with Bonin deputy Ezra Gale, Aaron (No last name given, probably lobbyist Aaron Green), Len Nguyen, Don Swiers and a redacted name.
August 3, 2016
Private meeting with lobbyist Steve Afriat, Bonin deputy Tricia Keane and Bonin Chief of Staff Chad Molnar.
August 12, 2016
Private meeting with Aaron (No last name given, probably lobbyist Aaron Green), Bonin deputy Ezra Gale, Len Nguyen, neighborhood activist Xochitl Gonzalez and a redacted name.
August 15, 2016
Private meeting with Martin Automotive Group CEO Dan Martin and likely L.A. City Councilmember Mike Bonin.
August 22, 2016
Private meeting with Bonin deputy Tricia Keane and Councilmember Mike Bonin.
What did Developer Martin Cadillac Get?
September 20, 2016
The Los Angeles City Council, by a 12-0-3 vote, unanimously approves a General Plan Amendment and Zone Change, overriding existing zoning for the land.
September 21, 2016
Private conference call with Bonin deputy Tricia Keane, attorney Alex DeGood, lobbyist Phil Simmons, Sharon Dickinson of PLUM.
September 30, 2016
Mayor Garcetti transmits his approval of council action.
October 17, 2016
Martin Automotive Group donates $250 to Curren Price’s campaign for City Council.
 

11.  Alexan 27-Story Skyscraper: Developer Trammell Crow of Texas
This luxury tower in DTLA would obliterate most viewpoints Angelenos have of the historic 1930s Art Deco Eastern Columbia Building, a famed L.A. landmark. The Society for the Preservation of Downtown L.A. and other historic preservationists are fighting the project.
October 10, 2010
Bradley Cox, a real estate investor at Trammell Crow Company, donates $500 to Paul Krekorian’s campaign for City Council.
October 11, 2011
Brad Cox, a real estate investor at Trammell Crow Company, donates $500 to Eric Garcetti’s Officeholder Account.
December 8, 2011
Bradley Cox, a real estate investor at Trammell Crow Company, donates $500 to Bill Rosendahl’s campaign for City Council.
September 24, 2012
Bradley Cox, a real estate investor at Trammell Crow Company, donates $500 to Eric Garcetti’s campaign for mayor.
October 14, 2012
Bradley Cox, a real estate investor at Trammell Crow Company, donates $700 to Mike Bonin’s campaign for City Council.
December 22, 2012
Bradley Cox, a real estate investor at Trammell Crow Company, donates $500 to Bob Blumenfield’s campaign for City Council.
August 26, 2013
Bradley Cox, a real estate investor at Trammell Crow Company, donates $700 to Nury Martinez’s campaign for City Council.
November 13, 2013
Bradley Cox, a real estate investor at Trammell Crow Company, donates $700 to Jose Huizar’s campaign for City Council.
July 31, 2014
Bradley Cox, a real estate investor at Trammell Crow Company, donates $500 to Mike Bonin’s campaign for City Council.
April 22, 2015
Bradley Cox, a real estate investor at Trammell Crow Company, donates $500 to Marqueece Harris-Dawson’s campaign for City Council.
August 5, 2015
Private meeting with Councilmember Jose Huizar, JOSE HUIZAR deputy Kevin Ocubillo, lobbyist Morrie Goldman and Trammell Crow Residential
September 10, 2015
E. Garth Erdossy, a real estate developer at Trammell Crow Residential, donates $700 to Jose Huizar’s campaign for City Council.
October 23, 2015
Bradley Cox, a real estate investor at Trammell Crow Company, donates $500 to Curren Price’s campaign for City Council.
October 28, 2015
Private meeting with lobbyist Morrie Goldman and JOSE HUIZAR staffers Clare Eberle and Shawn Kuk, and JOSE HUIZAR chief of staff Paul Habib.
November 17, 2015
Bradley Cox, a real estate investor at Trammell Crow Company, donates $700 to Marqueece Harris-Dawson’s Officeholder Account.
December 9, 2015
Private meeting with JOSE HUIZAR deputy Clare Eberle, Estela Lopez, John Readey of Trammell Crow, Kelly Farrell of Callison RTKL, JOSE HUIZAR chief of staff Paul Habib, Sara Hernandez and JOSE HUIZAR deputy Shawn Kuk
February 2, 2016
Private meeting with JOSE HUIZAR deputy Shawn Kuk, Alex Irvine and John Ready of Trammel Crow.
March 13, 2016
Bradley Cox, a real estate investor at Trammell Crow Company, donates $500 to Bob Blumenfield’s campaign for City Council.
March 22, 2016
Private meeting with Councilmember Jose Huizar,  Huizar's deputy Shawn Kuk with Trammell Crow Residential.
May 1, 2016
Bradley Cox, a real estate investor at Trammell Crow Company, donates $500 to Mitch O’Farrell’s campaign for City Council.
June 29, 2016
Private meeting with JOSE HUIZAR deputy Paul Habib, JOSE HUIZAR deputy Shawn Kuk, Martin Schlageter and John Readey of Trammell Crow.
June 30, 2016
Bradley Cox, a real estate investor at Trammell Crow Company, donates $500 to Paul Koretz’s campaign for City Council.
October 12, 2016
A DTLA neighborhood group hires California Environmental Quality Act Attorney Robert Silverstein, renowned for halting development projects where the City Council has overridden the existing zoning.
"The battle over a tower proposed right next to the Eastern Columbia Lofts, the majestic turquoise Art Deco building in Downtown Los Angeles, is heating up, and the tower’s opponents have an ace up their sleeve: Robert Silverstein, the Pasadena attorney best known for bringing construction on the East Hollywood Target to a halt.
 
"Silverstein is representing a group of Downtown residents in their appeal of the city planning department’s approval of the tower. Called the Alexan, it would rise 27 stories from a parking lot at the corner of 9th and Hill. That’s tall enough to block views of the Eastern Columbia’s iconic clock tower, and opponents, who have organized under the name Society for the Preservation of Downtown Los Angeles, say the new structure just doesn’t jive with the neighborhood’s character." (Curbed Los Angeles, October 12, 2016)
What Did Developer Trammell Crow Get?
October 25, 2016
Central Area Planning Commission rules against the community, which had appealed the project, voting that the new skyscraper does not need an Environmental Impact Report on its effects on the community, and allowing it to move forward without an environmental assessment.
December 12, 2016
E. Garth Erdossy, a real estate developer at Trammell Crow Residential, donates $700 to Jose Huizar’s campaign for City Council.
 

12. Ferrante Luxury Complex:  Developer Geoff Palmer
(Ferrante is a Black Lung Loft—1,500 Harbor Freeway adjacent luxury housing that allows children. Developer Geoff Palmer specializes in complexes beside freeways, and has been allowed by the LA City Council to build three megadevelopments without an Environmental Impact Report on the projects’ dangers to children. USC's seminal Children's Health Study found these developments result in high levels of  lifelong lung damage among children. USC researchers testified to the City Council to end their practice of encouraging and granting favors to the developers of Black Lung Lofts. Los Angeles Times,  L.A. Weekly: Black Lung Lofts.
March 9, 2006
Geoff Palmer, owner of GH Palmer Associates, donates $500 to Jose Huizar’s campaign for City Council.
September 23, 2010
Geoff Palmer, owner of GH Palmer Associates, donates $500 to Jose Huizar’s campaign for City Council.
March 19, 2014
Meeting with Cedillo's deputy Gerald Gubatan and GH Palmer Associates vice-president Darrel Malamut
April 23, 2015
Meeting with Cedillo's deputy Gerald Gubatan, GH Palmer Associates exec. Darrel Malamut, Blake Lamb, Jennifer Karmels, Sergio Infanzon.
November 10, 2015
Geoff Palmer, owner of GH Palmer Associates, donates $700 to Gil Cedillo’s campaign for City Council.
November 19, 2015
Meeting with Councilmember Gil Cedillo, Cedillo’s senior planning deputy Gerald Gubatan, GH Palmer Associates senior vice-president Darrel Malamut.
February 4, 2016
Geoff Palmer, owner of GH Palmer Associates, donates $700 to Mike Bonin’s campaign for City Council.
What Did Developer Geoff Palmer Get?
March 29, 2016
The City Department of Planning announces that Palmer needs only to produce a “mitigated negative declaration” of his project’s environmental effects, and not a full Environmental Impact Report that would address the serious health risks warned by US.
June 6, 2016
Lunch between Councilmember Gil Cedillo, senior planning deputy Gerald Gubatan and Geoff Palmer at Central Kitchen at The Lorenzo.
June 30, 2016
Meeting at Checkers Hilton Restaurant in DTLA with Councilmember Gil Cedillo, Cedillo’s chief of staff Arturo Chavez, senior planning deputy Gerald Gubatan and GH Palmer vice-president Darrel Malamut.
June 30, 2016
Geoff Palmer, owner of GH Palmer Associates, donates $700 to Gil Cedillo’s Officeholder Account.
 
_____

What They’ve Spent on City Hall
Total campaign & lobbying on City Hall politicians/candidates: $11.1 million.
 
Rick Caruso: 2000-2016
$418,000 in campaign and lobbying cash
 
Michael Hakim and Colony Holdings: 2005-2015
$1.2 million in campaign, lobbying, and City Hall trust fund cash
 
Carmel Partners: 2013-2016
$545,476 in campaign and lobbying cash
 
Kanon Ventures: 2001-2015
$369,775 in campaign and lobbying cash
 
Townscape Partners: 2013-2016
$832,370 in campaign and lobbying cash
 
Crescent Heights: 2000-2016
$2.6 million in campaign and lobbying cash
 
Crossroads of the World, Mort La Kretz and Harridge Development: 2004-2016
$1 million in campaign and lobbying cash
 
Merlone Geier and Goldstein Planting Investments: 2008-2015
$428,431 in campaign and lobbying cash
 
AMCAL: 2000-2016
$245,577 in campaign contributions and lobbying cash
           
Martin Automotive Group: 2012-2016
$762,771 in campaign and lobbying cash
 
Trammell Crow: 2000-2016
$1.9 million in campaign and lobbying cash
 
Geoff Palmer: 1999-2016
$886,599 in campaign and lobbying cash
 

Top News

Support the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative for a livable Los Angeles. Read Measure S News and Updates. Vote Yes on S on March 7, 2017

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