Monday, February 28, 2005

Eating Humble Pie On Grand Avenue - And Savoring Every Bite of It.

This morning the Grand Avenue Authority met for an update on the first set of development plans by the Related Companies for the 1.2 billion dollar project along Grand Avenue on Bunker Hill and their proposed plans for the new Civic Park Between the DWP Building and City Hall.

And history was made on two counts.

First, I privately told Eli Broad that I should have never doubted him when he told me that Related was an appropriate choice for the project. Of course, considering Mr. Broad's quite advanced age, I needed to break this to him very gently to keep from outright killing him. Second - in a move that stunned the audience - I publicly admitted I was wrong about Related.

Then, after paramedics finished resurrecting audience members, I further announced that this project was going so well - that I couldn't believe that it was actually happening in Los Angeles. At this point everyone realized that it actually was me speaking - and not a non-celebrity imposter.

In the less life threatening parts of the meeting, Bud Ovrum - head of the CRA - expressed his concerns about the three streets the cut across the various parts of the new civic mall. And he and I had earlier talked about platforming over Spring to have the monumental - but now closed Spring Street entrance to City Hall - with its great staircase re-open and attached to a bridge/plaza built over of a slightly lowered Spring Street - creating a great civic park across from City Hall.

The other positive note was that Supervisor Gloria Molina expressed her desire to demolish both the old Courthouse and the old Hall of Administration (yea!) - something that the vast majority of downtowners will concur with.

The only negative note was that there was no juice served with the coffee and the pastries... were lacking in imagination.

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