Friday, March 13, 2009

Compare. Reason and History.

Elise Swanson stated to me that whatever happened during 'The Bob Years' is history and everything is different. To me it snot.

Ms. Swanson, Ted Fentin, Tim McOsker Steve Afrait, the Architect, and just about all the others from The Bob Years are still in place.

What is true is that the marketing strategy is very different.

The name of the applicant's equity funding group simply changed its name by dropping "BDC" and the idea that Bob is out of the picture.

When the group still wants to build units that are between just over 1-1/2 times and 1-2/3 times the maximum number of units that the Planning Department's guidelines suggest, there is still something very wrong.

The group, while suggesting that single-family houses would be too pricey for the area, seem to be willing to build the majority of their units as upscale Town Houses.

The Town Houses suggested during The Bob Years would have been sold for at least $900,000 and he was suggesting many units at over 1 Million Dollars.

Of course back then there would have only been about 10% of those types of units.

Now it is up to over 50% of the most expensive type of housing.

Ted also wants only 20% of the senior units and mixed-family condos set aside for "workforce housing."

That would me only as many as 175 of as many as 1,575 units.

I do appreciate that he wants up to 425 senior units even though the Planning Department suggest a total of 0 of those segregated units on the site.

I also appreciate that Ted want the fewest number of multi-family condos which would undoubtedly become the haven for leased and rented units, which is a very bad thing.

So, how many total units should be built at Ponte Vista?

For the answer, all we need to do is compare.

The Gardens has 1,100 units on 80 acres of land. the dwelling density per acre is 13.5.

I have to real numbers as to how many of those units are being leased or rented out, but I am sure that not every single units is owner-occupied.

The folks who live at The Gardens can use Westmont or even Toscanini and other roads to access either Western Avenue or Gaffey Street.

Ponte Vista residents will only have Western as their ingress and egress route and may only have two access roads into or out of Ponte Vista.

The Gardens do not have the same number and types of amenities that the Ponte Vista folks want to put into their site, but The Gardens is very close to Eastview Park.

Each units in The Gardens seems to have its own garage and the communal land is maintained and not unsightly.

If we use equivalent numbers of The Gardens and Ponte Vista, there would be only 831 units at Ponte Vista. Well actually it would be 830.655 units, but who would want to live in .655 of a unit?

The number of units being 831 fits quite well into the Planning Department's guidelines for the Ponte Vista project not havin a density bonus applied.

Ted doesn't want a density bonus applied to Ponte Vista even though the Mayor of Los Angeles is hoping every large residential project has some inclusionary housing.

830 units would not allow for union participation in construction at Ponte Vista because it would not allow for any profit and it could actually cause quite a loss for the developer.

That number of units would also probably preclude Mr. Fentin from keeping a route open between Western and Mary Star High School.

There is no route between The Gardens and Mary Star at this time and there probably never will be.

830 units would also not allow any senior housing area specifically set aside for those 55-years of age and older.

If you look at the skyline of San Pedro and notice the third tallest building, it is an entire senior housing building.

I think there are some San Pedro seniors who may wish to live in a segregated area of Ponte Vista, but it is unlikely that will happen, even though I still wish for some units of that type.

Maybe it is finally time to reason that Ponte Vista should be developed equivalent to a large residential project that has worked for OUR community for decades.

The actual site of Ponte Vista requires some open spaces because some of the land is not suitable for residential structures and a security zone by the Defense Fuel Support Point must be maintained.

If 1,100 units at The Gardens on 80 acres of land is good enough, why wouldn't 831 units on 61.53 acres be good enough for OUR community?

If Ted wants to build 831 upscale Town Houses valued at over $800,000 each, might that not be the best result for OUR community?

It is 193% of the 429 single-family dwellings that the "No Project" Alternative allows Ted to build on the site.

If he's suggesting a maximum number of 700 in his current thoughts, perhaps an extra 131 will help his financials.

Even if the Planning Department and the Planning Commission suggest he can build 885 town houses, that may be something OUR community can discuss more, in a favorable light.

Without a road to Gaffey or a public access through Mary Star High School to Taper Avenue, it is still very difficult to find enough mitigation for Western.

While I am still leaning towards my dream, I can probably see 831 upscale Town Houses being successfully sold at Ponte Vista.

If it works for The Gardens, it should work for Ponte Vista.


mellonhead said...

I went to the Interloper's open house and I was not impressed. I looked around for a print-out of their current proposals and found none. When I saw the piece of cardboard with the names of the 60 people who were interviewed not one was a member of the Re-Use Committee. I was SHOCKED when I saw the piece of cardboard with the numbers 1375-1475. I was so SHOCKED that I went to the food table and started eating. Good thing they had food or I might have eaten the cardboard. I'm thinking "What the hell is it with these people? Do they think we are all brain-dead?" My opinion: the open house was BOGUS and an insult to our intelligence.

M Richards said...

Thanks Mellonhead for your comment.

It is true that we might all agree that the open house was bogus, but it really was a different marketing attempt to get something approved that simply is far too large for the area.

It might appear that they knuckled under the pressure, but theire bottom number was still about 60% of the original 2,300 units.

Their high-end number is 167% of the guidelines proposed for the site with no density bonus.

They dropped their lowest number by about 30% fewer units that 1,950.

The math alone is outrageous on its face.

I am waiting for what Ted Fentin told me about the fund and the police and fire and other pension funds that have provided funds for DLJ and Ponte Vista Partners LLC.

I can just see the dire warnings that if Ted doesn't get what he wants, too many pension funds will lose money.

I have misplaced my wooden nickle or I might have purchased that line with it.

I am now wondering if most of the up to 700 town houses Ted may want may be priced at least 2/3 of what they would charge for R1-SFR houses.

Jim said...

I don't care if they make a profit or not. That property is and must remain R-1. They simply shouldn't have purchased R-1 property if they didn't want an R-1 development. Period. It's that simple.

They are wasting everyone's time and energy with one bogus claim or promise after another. The bank is just as greedy as Bisno, maybe more so. Why would they have surported and approved a loan for such a terrible development? It's simple. Greed. It's the same thing that has caused the current financial crisis.

I say the hell with them, and send them and their "sell out surporters" packing