Friday, September 25, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
Saturday, September 12, 2009
A new post from Your Ponte Vista is offered below.
What I found interesting about the site is what is on it and what is gone.
The post below is a wonderful reminder of some of the very valuable events that have been held at the site.
The site may still contain far too much blight in my opinion, but I appreciate that Bob and now Ted offer part of the site for law enforcement training. It has been very helpful to a great number of Agencies and Departments to have training sessions among the duplexes, yards, and abandoned neighborhood.
I have seen a large number of parked cars on the property at times and I appreciate the explaination provided by the Outreach Team for why those cars are where they are and what the drivers of those cars are doing when the vehicles are stowed.
I will offer more comment below the post.
Although plans for the revised Ponte Vista Residential Community have not been finalized, Ponte Vista has been busy with activity. Last week, Camp del Corazon, a nonprofit organization that provides a free summer camp for children ages 7-17 with heart disease, stored their cars at Ponte Vista while staff worked on Catalina Island. By providing free parking for the Camp’s staff and counselors, Ponte Vista was able support the organization efforts by saving them parking fees.
Camp del Corazon started in 1995, with summer camps consisting of just 50 campers. Over the years, the camp has grown to two five-day sessions with close to 300 campers. Camp del Corazon is staffed completely by volunteer counselors, nurses, and physicians who give of their hearts to help these special kids, and Ponte Vista is happy to have been able to help! To find out more about Camp del Corazon, visit www.campdelcorazon.org.
The Ponte Vista site is also still active with law enforcement training. Every month, law enforcement agencies such as the LAPD, CHP, DEA, ICE, LA County Sheriff’s Department, and other police agencies from various cities throughout LA County come use the facilities and empty homes at Ponte Vista for training purposes. They are able to use the structures to play out various real life scenarios and to do movement training, and they also use the empty streets at Ponte Vista for training as well. Ponte Vista has provided this service to law enforcement agencies for over 4 years, and is proud to be able to continue to do so.
Apparently the elephant has left the trailers of the Outreach Team.
The Outreach Team has not offered any comment about their former boss' recent filing and whether it has little or no effect on plans or operations at Ponte Vista at San Pedro.
What I did find on the site is what I no longer can view on it. Any and all mention of the name "Bisno" has been stricken from view on the home page of the site.
It looks like there was an edit of the site by its Webmaster and a hastily done one at that. I can't find the copyright information stating 'Bisno Development Co' any longer, even in its tiny print. The copyright information is underneath the calendar and it now appears to be "Copyright 2009" "Ponte Vista Partners, LLC".
So perhaps Bob is really, really gone from anything and everything 'Ponte Vista'.
It still will be interesting to take a look at Bob’s Chapter 11 filing to see is any assets and liabilities are claimed in dealings with Ponte Vista after December, 2008.
Friday, September 11, 2009
I don't know yet if this week brings to a close the odds and ends of Bob Bisno's involvement with Ponte Vista at San Pedro. However, I feel the odds part will remain in place no matter where Mr. Bisno attempts to develop larger residential sites.
I think it will be revealing to learn about his recent assets and liabilities that he took into Chapter 11.
Below is a simple explanation of Chapter 11 Law Group and it came from the Moran Law Group:
"Chapter 11 bankruptcy is a form of bankruptcy reorganization available to individuals, corporations and partnerships. It has no limits on the amount of debt, as Chapter 13 does. It is the usual choice for large businesses seeking to restructure their debt.
A creditors committee is usually appointed by the U.S. Trustee from among the 20 largest, unsecured creditors who are not insiders. The committee represents all of the creditors in providing oversight for the debtor's operations and a body with whom the debtor can negotiate an acceptable plan of reorganization. The debtor usually remains in possession of its assets, and operates the business under the supervision of the court and for the benefit of creditors. The debtor in possession is a fiduciary for the creditors. If the debtor's management is ineffective or less than honest, a trustee may be appointed.
A Chapter 11 plan is confirmed only upon the affirmative votes of the creditors, who are divided by the plan into classes based on the characteristics of their claims, and whose votes are a function of the amount of their claim against the debtor.
If the debtor can't get the votes to confirm a plan, the debtor can attempt to "cram down" a plan on creditors and get the plan confirmed despite creditor opposition, by meeting certain statutory tests.
Chapter 11 is probably the most flexible of all the chapters, and as such, it is the hardest to generalize about. Its flexibility makes it generally more expensive to the debtor. The rate of successful Chapter 11 reorganizations is depressingly low, sometimes estimated at 10% or less."
Reaction to the news about Bob's filing was much lower than I had thought it would be.
The most animated response came from someone I never thought would be all that concerned about Ponte Vista as we have never really spoken about that subject at any length. Go figure.
I've heard or read nothing from the Outreach Team about the news and how it probably has no impact, in their opinion, on current plans.
It may take until Sunday until we read a letter to the editor in the Daily Breeze if anyone is really interested in writing a letter in the first place.
I don't intend on writing a letter to the editor concerning Bob at this point. That all may change if it comes out in filings that Bob has remained with some interest in the Project beyond last December when the new development team claimed Bob was out of the picture.
Fall will fall into place around September 20 or 21 and I hope the Outreach Team brings out to the public the newest plans for Ponte Vista.
It has been many months since we got a glimpse (in writing) dealing with plans for 1,395 units at Ponte Vista.
But I am getting 'vibes' that the newest plan will have a lower number of total units in the package.
All the time between last December and now need not be considered wasted though. I still can't see any developer pushing plans hard to get construction underway in this economy.
Whatever the newest form of an application to change the current zoning on the site are, it appears that there will be a 45-day circulation period for the new EIR before it goes back to the Planning Department, for what I hope is a lengthy, accurate, and complete review.
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Real estate developer Bob Bisno, who last year failed in an attempt to build a large redevelopment project in Baldwin Park, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
The Los Angeles developer owes his largest 20 unsecured creditors more than $250 million, according to an Aug. 31 filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. His largest creditor is listed as commercial real estate investment firm iStar Financial, which is owed $109 million.
His company, Bisno Development Co., has suffered a series of setbacks, including slow sales at luxury condominiums constructed in Santa Ana. He also withdrew plans last year for a controversial redevelopment of 109 acres in downtown Baldwin Park that would have relied on eminent domain to clear the land.
Bisno’s plan called for thousands of homes, a school and a hotel, but it reportedly ran into financing problems. The city is now moving forward with a much smaller plan.
Bisno recently listed his mansion in the hillside North Beverly Park neighborhood above Beverly Hills for $29 million, according to Orange Juice Blog, a political blog covering Orange County, where many of his developments are located.
Bisno was among the defendants in North Beverly Park sued by adjoining South Beverly Park for prohibiting their guests and household workers from using the north neighborhood’s streets to reach their homes. The dispute was later resolved.
Bisno could not immediately be reached for comment. Phone calls to Bisno Development, headquartered in Century City, went unanswered.
The news about Bob is not funny and I did not smile or smirk or chuckle or even make a remark other than to tell Terri who the person involved in this article is.
Times are tough all over and it is not unexpected that a Developer who probably should never have been attempting to develop large residential projects with such little experience in that type of building, would fall into this situation.
It is believed by some that Bob only invested somewhere in the neighborhood of 8 Million Dollars of his own money with his dealings with Ponte Vista at San Pedro.
I consider much of Bob's current situation was brought on by Bob himself and not the problems with the housing industry during the last year or so.
Bob had more than enough chances to remedy much of the problems he himself created with his marketing and management of the Ponte Vista as San Pedro Project.
I don't believe that Bob's current problems will have any real impact on Ponte Vista UNLESS we were given misinformation about whether Bob still continues to be a player in the project.
If he is truly gone, then I think Ted and Tim and the Outreach Team will continue to move forward this month, with launching the 'new' plans for Ponte Vista to the public.
Bob and "The Bob Years" provided many of us the opportunity to learn about developers and developments and what is good and very, very bad. For that, I think I thank him for the education we all got.
Now when folks attempt to come to OUR community and change it because they believe they know what is best for OUR community, whether we already know it or not, we can point to the mountain of information that is still being created related to Robert H. Bisno and those individuals and groups it is not nice to fool with OUR community.
Bob will probably be back out of bankruptcy at some point and he will probably work on future developments. But Bob and others know that those developments will not be in OUR community and we will be watching no matter where he goes and what he tries to do with other communities.
"Bob Bisno is going to save San Pedro!" That was a statement almost shouted out by one of his supporters during a CAC meeting. I don't think any of us want Bob to do anything in OUR community other than what he finally did.........left.
Sunday, September 06, 2009
- Large rocks were found in the soil, which were not revealed by the initial soil samples. These had to be broken up so they could be removed by the excavating equipment.
- The presence of unrecorded electrical lines under the street which had to be avoided or relocated.
- A revision to the design of the forms for pouring the eastern wall of the chamber, which lies right on the boundary of Western Ave.
- Coordination with other agencies for the diversion of traffic on Western Ave. to allow excavation for the main chamber and the new tie-in into the sewer line.