If we learned anything at the nearly 5 hours of the public hearing that took place via telephone yesterday, August 26, it’s how much people do not understand about this project. But, we’ve also learned that many of you are very aware of the shell game being played by the City officials and this developer.
Let us clarify some things:
- THE HOLLYWOOD CENTER PROJECT IS NOT GOING TO SOLVE THE CITY’S PROBLEMS WITH HOMELESSNESS
The developer has consistently misrepresented the affordable component of the project. Initially, we were told the project would mitigate the homelessness epidemic because it would potentially include 133 Extremely Low Income (ELI) units for seniors. The ELI category is very meaningful because it captures a population at high risk of homelessness, especially for seniors on fixed incomes. ELI includes a one-person household with an income not exceeding $21,950. Now, the developer has decided to include only Very Low Income units, with incomes for a one-person household up to $36,550, allowing them to charge seniors higher rents and providing no meaningful relief for seniors at risk of homelessness. The developer has not provided an explanation for why it initially dangled ELI units as a public benefit, or why they have been removed. It seems intended to mislead the public from the very start of the process, then stripping away public benefits later in the process behind closed doors.
The developer requests approval of the most oversized project in Hollywood in exchange for just 133 Very Low Income units which provide no local benefit to existing low-income residents of the Hollywood community. The future residents of the Very Low Income units could reside anywhere in the County and the system is prone to abuse. Yet our City is asking us to approve the gargantuan increases in FAR on the sole basis that the project will provide these 133 units, which are not even affordable to our most at-risk seniors?
It is not even clear that the project would be obligated to provide any affordable units as long as they provide enough senior housing to qualify as a density bonus project under state law. After ditching the Extremely Low Income units after the Draft EIR, the project could ditch even the Very Low Income units.
This is more bait and switch by the same developer of the Leaning Tower of San Francisco.
2. THE HOLLYWOOD CENTER PROJECT IS NOT GOING TO SOLVE THE “HOUSING CRISIS”
The 872 LUXURY housing units (referred to as “MARKET-RATE” in the DEIR) does not solve the City’s housing challenges. Although they have been asked, Millennium has not provided an actual number for what they plan on charging for these units. There is currently no shortage of market-rate/luxury housing in the City. The 2 skyscrapers will not be contributing to the solving of the alleged housing crisis.
3. THE HOLLYWOOD CENTER PROJECT IS NOT GOING TO FORCE RESIDENTS TO USE METRO
Ridership was down before the COVID-19 pandemic. There are no signs that anyone that doesn’t have to take Metro will do so especially with the fear of contracting the deadly virus. As one commenter stated, anyone that can afford to live in the proposed project will not be taking public transportation.
4. THE HOLLYWOOD CENTER PROJECT IS NOT GOING TO CREATE GROCERY STORES IN HOLLYWOOD
One caller who stated she had moved to Hollywood from New York insisted how the Hollywood Center Project is a great idea because it will bring more grocery stores. Nothing in the Project Description claims to provide the neighborhood with grocery stores. We’ve also already seen that any grocery store taking retail space in these luxury mixed use project are typically higher end stores that low-income residents in the area can’t afford to shop at.
The issue consistently raised and what continues to go ignored is COMPLIANCE
If anything was made clear at yesterday’s hearing it is how obvious it is that supporters of Millennium’s project have not read a single document related to it.
Comments revolved around nonsensical assumptions related to jobs, housing, outdoor dining, COVID-19 and that concerned citizens needed to be okay with building on top of active earthquake faults because we live in the “land of earthquakes”. One commenter went so far as to say, “…hope everyone can just get past the earthquake issues.” They are trying so hard to repeat words they want you to hear so you forget about the ones they refuse to listen to themselves and the ones that matter; facts, data and truth.
What also became clear is how this case is moving quickly in one direction and in one direction only — to the courts.
Our legal team is getting more and more inundated with work in this case showing no signs of slowing down. We can only keep going with your generous support. Please consider making a donation.