The August 8th, 2004 Edition of the Slatin Report (a leading real estate newsletter) describes New York's The Related Companies winning the Grand Avenue 'competition'. Peter Slatin does his usual superb, concise overview of the project and its most recent history (though I would disagree with some of his more subjective judgments) and he hits the major points of both the community's almost unanimous distain for the secretiveness of the process and the concerns that many of us have in Related's past failures in developing even one project with any strong sensibility for either design or urbanism. (And in interest of full disclosure, I am the unnamed community activist they identity as stirringly speaking in favor of one of the their competitors, Forest City.)
But Slatin's most interesting point, though, was that West Coast Related head Bill Witte was quoted as saying that he would start working with the community the very day he got back from vacation on August 19th. Well, it is now September 10th - three (3) weeks later and if anyone's phone has rung - no one has yet told the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council, which is only organization officially designated by the city charter to represent the community in land use matters.