Friday, November 07, 2008

Odds and Ends 90

I am starting off this post by using wording directly from a site supporting Ponte Vista.

I agree and accept the confirmation below that states the developers of Ponte Vista at San Pedro will NOT request a density bonus.

"One issue that the Ponte Vista Development opponents have raised has to do with housing density. We would like to clear up the misconception that Ponte Vista will be asking for a density bonus from the state or from the City of Los Angeles. The reality is that Ponte Vista will be restricted from applying for a density bonus because our Development Agreement with the City expressly states that no density bonus will be requested or given. This picture shows the type of density that the architect for Ponte Vista is reflecting based upon a similar housing development."

While it is true that other developments have recently been granted the rights to have a density bonus, Bob Bisno has consistently stated that all of the units he wants built at Ponte Vista will be priced at 'market-rate' levels and not be subject to 'low-income' types of regulations.

Whether the "Development Agreement with the City" can be renegotiated is a good question.

It is hoped just about everyone knows by now that the disapproval of the Vesting Tentative Tract may have much broader psychological implications than factual implications.

If the L.A. City Council finally approves a project at Ponte Vista at San Pedro, early next year, it won't matter that the Tract map was disapproved.

But in the hearts and minds of many people on both sides of the issue, it looks like a defeat for the project, whether it really is or isn't and I bet the members of the Outreach Team know that.

The deck is more decidedly stacked against Bob's current plans, at this time. It is clearly probable to blame the sour economy and housing market.

Had Bob originally used the minimum number of units he can build and still include all his promised amenities, it looks very good that the approval process for the project would have been done early this year and there would have been much less opposition to his plans.

Since the original number of units was lowered by only 350-units, that too caused a longer delay in seeking approval for the project.

Councilwoman Janice Hahn has been very clear for well over a year now that she feels that the site must remain with population density equivalent to R1 type housing. She still does not necessarily demand only R1 housing on the site. She has steadfastly stated that "something will be built at Ponte Vista".

Many people on all sides of the issues understand that the value of the land purchased in 2005 for $122 Million Dollars has dropped.

The financial institution primarily backing the project, Credit Suisse, has had some problems recently, but is still considered to be one of the stronger financial institutions, right now.
In this regard, what happens in Europe may have significant impacts on what happens with Ponte Vista, because of involvement by Credit Suisse in those places.

Another piece of straw the Ponte Vista camel has to bare is with another Bisno Development project in Santa Ana.

The marketing of City Place is taking a change of course this weekend with an Auction style event to attempt to sell 140 units at that site that have gone unsold for some time now.

The Auction has nothing to do with any foreclosure and it is just another way of trying to unload units that haven't been sold as they normally would have been.

The 'reserve' price, the minimum bid of a unit, is significantly lower than the asking prices for the units. Some units have minimum bids at least 50% below the original asking price for the same unit.

I think I need to remind some senior citizens who read this blog that I am the only R Neighborhoods Are 1 Steering Committee member who has publicized a 'dream' or a 'wish' for Senior Housing at Ponte Vista.

Dreams and wishes do not always come true, as we all know. But I still 'wish' for 550 Senior units, 130-upscale town houses, and 400-regular condos, whether it ever happens or not.

My 'dream' for 1,080 units is based on a concept, rational or not, that the population living in the project I 'wish' for is equivalent to the number of residents in an all R1 Ponte Vista WITH a density bonus applied, even though Bob isn't asking for one.

Bob's original plan was for 2,300 units. He lowered that total number to 1,950-units. In a recent article it was opined that he may lower the total number down to "1,700-units".

All of these numbers of units are still higher than the total number of units that was told to a friend of mine by a senior member of the Ponte Vista Outreach Team.

I have to opine that I feel Bob is still being unreasonable by not creating a compromise we all can live with.

We still have not received word yet from the Los Angeles City Attorney or the members of the Harbor Area Planning Commission whether there will be any recusals necessary, by members of the Commission.

Supporters and opponents of Bob's current plans need to still plan to attend the November 18 meeting of the Harbor Area Planning Commission and extend comments about the Ponte Vista at San Pedro project.

We will see the 'usual suspects' on both sides with Bob probably busing in some folks into San Pedro from other areas and a strong showing by Union members. This is all perfectly fine because we live in a country that endorses freedom of expression and speech.

So, Tuesday November 18, 2008, beginning at 4:00 PM at the Port of Los Angeles building is the time and place for the Harbor Area Planning Commission hearing, if it is held.

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