Friday, January 16, 2009

Odds and Ends 100

Wow and THANK YOU!!!!!

If someone had told me just after I wrote "Odds and Ends 10" that I would still be creating weekly posts for Friday publication, I would not have believed them.

It's 2009 already and many people thought the old duplexes would have been gone by now and Bob would have left to let a contracting firm deal with the site, while the marketing team was busy collecting deposits on units that had blueprints drawn and willing buyers.

I don't know if any of us could have imagined that opposition to the first plans for Ponte Vista at San Pedro would get us, partially, to where we are today.

It is impossible not to believe that the recent, current, and future economic turmoil has had an impact on all of the issues, but when OUR community got together and said, "NO!" I guess we were believed.

I feel all of us have learned quite a bit. I am still looking for someone to help me with a book about what has happened so far. To claim that events surrounding Ponte Vista as San Pedro weren't interesting, would not be a believable claim.

Where we are today is where we were almost four years ago with the giant exception that all of us have learned so much more than we knew that long ago and the Outreach Team also has learned quite a bit, I believe.

That exception provides the fact that we will not be starting over from scratch and as we start over, many new implications, concerns, visions, and discussions will become very important.

Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, shame on you. In this case, we will watch very carefully for any attempts by anyone to fool anyone else. This is a major piece of education I think we have all learned.

Caution now replaces the optimism first expressed by too many people when thinking about the project.

Caution in this instance is going to be a good thing to insure that whatever is approved of at the site will meet the best interests of OUR community and not just a developer trying to profit at our expense.

Caution is also something we need to use as we really try to work with everyone, including the Outreach Team and the development team, whoever they are, now and in the future.

Can some kind of development of the property be successful? I certainly hope it can and I will help try and make it so.

I feel everyone is a stakeholder if they feel they are. Everyone should be heard who wants to speak.

If I remember correctly, Mr. Ted Fentin, the Credit Suisse representative identified in the article was one of the two people Ms. Swanson gave me the name of, last year.

I bring that point up because I have not seen any published reports as to who makes up the 'new' development team for Ponte Vista at San Pedro.

We have been told that DLJ Real Estate Property Management Co. is now involved, but wouldn't it be a good, trust-providing thing to do, for the Outreach Team to provide the names of the individuals who will be making up the new development team?

If the names of Mr. Alan Abshez or Mr. Hoffman are included, that is a sign that some of the 'new' members are not new at all and are still affiliated with Bisno Development Co., LLC.

It's kind of funny to see "Copyright 2009 Bisno Development Company, LLC" on the right side of the 'your ponte vista'. It might make somebody think that Bob is still in the picture. Is he?

I thought Bob was removed in 2008. Oh well, he may still own the site.

If may bring up the issue of whether to trust folks representing Ponte Vista at San Pedro, but I think I uses a word several times on this post that states what I feel should be the way folks look at the issues.

Since the Outreach Team still seems to try and tell you that Ponte Vista at San Pedro will be used using 'smart growth' techniques, I moved the very, very large article by Mr. David Zanhiser up to where you can find it.

The article was first published in June, 2007 in the L.A. Weekly and it is titled;
What's so smart about smart growth.

Real smart growth involves many things including creating a community that favors walking places, nearby mass transit hubs, many shopping venues, and a community that fits in with the mush larger surrounding community.

I am sure the Outreach Team will advise you to go to: so I am jumping in and letting you know about that site. It is a treasure trove of information about smart growth and what qualifies and what does not.

A smart growth community has businesses that allow residents to walk from their home to where they work or take a few steps to a mass transit hub to get to work in an area close to another mass transit hub.

A smart growth community also tries to reflect the nature and tenor of the overall area of the city where it is located.

A smart growth community allows for residents to get to and from major shopping and entertainment venues by walking or utilizing mass transit that is located at the smart growth community.

Line 205 of the MTA, the ONLY bus line traveling past Ponte Vista does NOT go to the Del Amo Mall, the Promenade Mall in Rolling Hills Estates, but does end up at the 110-105/Green Line hub.

I'll be watching how the Outreach Team spins their smart growth concepts and how Ponte Vista fits in with the rest of the San Pedro community.

Frankly, with all my reading, it could never qualify to receive official claim of being a smart growth project.

The Outreach Team will also spin LEEDs certification. It is a very good thing to be environmentally conscious and Ponte Vista will (hopefully) be built satisfying all the requirements for LEEDs certification. What folks may not know is that by the time the project gets approved for any new building, the requirements will be mandatory and more regulations are being approved of all the time.

Ponte Vista will provide the benefits of the certification because they will most probably be required to do so.

I think since the time span has literally been years since the traffic and transportation studies and the school enrollment studies have been done regarding the Ponte Vista at San Pedro project, new ones for any new application need to be conducted.

Now that Mary Star is open, we can get a better set of studies conducted. Since Dodson Middle School continues to have about 600 students bused in and an unknown number of students being driven to that campus from outside San Pedro and R.P.V., this is another reason why new studies should be undertaken.

The economic arena should be restudied because of the opening of Target and the loss of businesses within a five-mile radius of the site may have changed the dynamics in a big way.

I highly doubt that a revised application should be accepted by anyone.

The guidelines set up by the Planning Department suggest one fewer access route into and out of Ponte Vista so just about everything associated with the very area most local to the project's site will be greatly changed. Longer turning lanes, different signal timing, more congestion, and more mitigation will be necessary.


km said...

I highly reccomend the book "Save Our Land, Save Our Towns" to anyone interested in the principles of smart growth and livable communities. One of the elements they stress is "human scaled" development. Historic San Pedro already has a lot going for it, we just need to polish up the stone.

Anonymous said...

Don’t be fooled. Mr. Ted Fentin of Credit Suisse, Bisno’s largest investor, Ms. Elise Swanson, in charge of the outreach at Ponte Vista, Mr. Robert Bisno, Bisno Development Co., LLC, are on the team. Councilwoman Janice Hahn is still the councilmember for the 15th District. Therefore, nothing has changed.

Anonymous said...

according to a former commercial real estate executive, dlj are just the "money guys."

here's what he said:

"they have no operational capability."

while he acknowledged they may have taken bisno off the deal, they have no capability to handle operations. so if we continue to see elise, allen, and the rest of the crew, it's silly to assume anything's changed.