Monday, January 28, 2013

Grand Avenue Authority Tells Developer Related - No More Extensions!

At today's meeting of the JPA that administers Bunker Hill's Grand Avenue Project, the board - as expected - approved a temporary 90 extension for the contract with the Related Companies (which was to expire on February 15th - making the new date May 15th) to give the developer time to develop a new plan for their approval.

Bill Witte of Related had earlier announced that rather than proceeding with the massive Frank Gehry project, that the site would be redesigned so that it could be built out in a series of phases which would be designed in concert with each other - but would also be designed be built incrementally to meet the changing needs of the market in Downtown.

What was not expected was how forcefully Chair and LA County Supervisor Gloria Molina made it exceptionally clear to Related there would be no more extensions of any kind from that board.  She - along with Co-Chair,  Los Angeles City Councilperson Jose Huizar - repeatedly stated they expected to have a new plan presented to them which had a buildable design with real world construction dates that would each have to be met  for each phase of the now multi-phased project to proceed or the remainder of their contract would be canceled.  They also asked  Related to provide proof of their ability to finance the project.

Molina additionally reminded them this was not the time for further architecture contests; that this was the time to commit to what was going to be built and commit to who was going to design it and who was going to finance it.

Related was also asked to report to a closed session of the JPA in 60 days to review the status of their plans to make certain that they were headed in the right direction to be able to get the their final extension.

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