The Big Picture Game Plan for Downtown Los Angeles Development: How the city is going to try and buy its’ way to the head of the convention business line/Corner the convention market by any means necessary!
by Zuma Dogg
Zuma's ZAP Blog
I guess if you raise enough money, or promise to raise enough money (and can convince the politicians you have a shot at doing so) you can just about build anything in this city, at any cost. (And I mean socially and economically, not the final price tag to developers and un-willing residents who end up paying for it, one way, or the other. (See tax hikes, fees, and skyrocketing property owner costs to help pay for what is ahead in the CRA/LA “Billion Dollar Plus” development club. (I’m not even gonna consider anything going on in this town with less than a billion dollar starting price. And all these projected costs are starting prices, because not only are the pueblos expenses skyrocketing, so are construction costs. And with all the planning, financing and construction delays; by the time you actually get the steamrollers rolling, and the developers start piling the cement 50 stories high anywhere they can get away with it, zoning and EIR restrictions, or not (and you think traffic is bad now), the cost has already jumped by at least a couple hundred million dollars; and the developer usually ends up running to the city for some kind of financial bail-out, claiming the project cannot carry on, otherwise.
This means either tax breaks/subsidies, or flat out money out of the CRA or other fund, that would have gone to something else.
And when you review the business deals these developers cut with the city, you gotta watch for these “sunset clauses”. A typical “small print, sunset clause, bamboozle could include a promise for a certain amount of “affordable housing”. Then put in a sunset clause stating if CRA doesn’t come up with enough “increment money”, then they can cut back on the amount of affordable housing, accordingly.
And of course all the revenue streams the CRA plans on using to raise this money, are new and completely speculative based on things like “expected parking revenues after completion of phase one.” Well, what if those cars don’t start flying into those parking lots as quickly as they expect. And what if phase one gets delayed. Then the CRA can come back and claim, “Well, Gee…we didn’t raise the affordable housing money we promised the developer.” And then all the city gets are the million dollar plus units (and I mean plus) -- but not any of the affordable housing. YOU DON’T THINK THAT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME? JUST ASK JAN PERRY, MAYBE SHE CAN EXPLAIN IT TO YOU, SHE’S SO SMART AND LOOKING OUT FOR HER DISTRICT’S BEST INTEREST!
Plus, when it comes to giving developers CRA money to build affordable housing, remember, that money was already earmarked for affordable housing anyway. So, all we are doing is letting the billion dollar developers and their international financial backers profit on the building of the affordable housing, as well as the high-end, five star, luxury stuff!
Sorry, every other local developers in town, and to all their families…No business in town for you! MegaCorp, International (A conglomerate of billionaire developers, their corporate backers and international financial institutions can handle that element, too. (The rich get richer, and everyone else goes out of business and has to leave the state, or take up accommodations somewhere on the sidewalk.) Hey, if Home Depots can put all the local supply companies out of business, why not apply this concept to the entire development process, as well. (Man, I’m starting to think if you want any construction or supply business in this town, you gotta have your kids on council, or pay for the politicians election and buy ‘em into office, so they can pave the way (for you to pave), or something.
So now that we know a little about HOW what is about to get done, is about to get done – let’s review the “master plan” for downtown Los Angeles, Cahootsifornia:
My friend Al Ries (International/Fortune 500 consultant and co-author of “Marketing Warfare” and author of “Focus”) says a product (in this cast the city) must have a narrow, specialized focus that allows the consumer to associate you with a specific benefit. (Be known for something.) Starbucks pulled this off by focusing on “coffee”. Domino’s with “delivery”. (They actually created the whole Domino’s concept from the bottom up. In other words, “OK, we’re gonna be the guys who deliver it in 30 minutes, or less. And built the facilities and zoned the delivery areas accordingly.)
Applying this concept to municipalities, Vegas has gambling; Detroit/cars; Texas/oil; Ft. Lauderdale/Spring Break, whatever…
So what is LA known for? (Besides being the open-armed embracer for all who wanna be a part of this fun)…Entertainment.
But, I guess the mere production isn’t good enough anymore. (Cause the city waived all the tax revenues to prevent runaway productions. And, Hollywood can show a loss on “Star Wars”, “Spiderman” or “Pirates” through creative accounting, if they want to. Poor fellas. They can just barely scrape by.)
So instead of gambling, or auto manufacturing, we are focusing on buying our way to the top of the convention city business, focusing on providing “world-class”, “state of the art”, “nice as f*ck” theater and broadcast facilities, so the whole world can fly here for their music award shows, and House of Blues cable broadcasts, and movie screenings and premiers with all the techno-structure to accommodate a TRUE international press corp and broadcasters to beam the even all over the world.
Of course, we are already getting that business anyway. So looks like the Hollywood area, currently attracting these gigs/business are about to become the CD in an iPod world. (Maybe we can house the homeless in all those empty unused venues that are about to become the LA Forum of the Hollywood ET/Access Hollywood world.)
And how do you blow away the rest of the world, and wipe everything else off the map? (At least in the California race for convention business that we consistently lose big to San Fran, San Diego and Orange County. Cause you ain’t never gonna beat Vegas till you get gambling inside that Ritz Carlton, JW Marriott, Hilton and Mandarin Hotels coming to Downtown LA. Skid Row isn’t as good a tourist attraction as Danny Gans, free alcohol and blackjack tables, apparently.)
So let’s take a look at one of the two billion dollar bookend projects the city has online to give LA that steroid injection it needs to become the international tourist and convention magnet it must become; or else we really will become that third world city the critics are warning us about. (And in this global war, the city is gonna have to focus all resources and funding toward this “Hail Mary” attempt if there is any hope of pulling it off.)
So let’s see what one, of these two mixed-use, luxury condo, five star hotel, specialty/boutique shop, fancy restaurant upscale billion dollar wife babysitter projects has in store, with the only the community’s best interest in mind:
[A MASSIVE, PRODIGIOUS, BULWARK OF AN ARTICLE, QUITE FITTING TO ADDRESS THE ALLEDGED SCALE OF THESE PROJECTS. AND SINCE LA TIMES IS HELL BENT ON BEING KNOWN AS THE “INTERNATIONAL NEWS SPECIALISTS”, here’s a little Sunday Times style reading, for yo azz! Except this is on the realest, dough.]
ZUMA DOGG LEGISLATIVE REVIEW: CRA/LA’s LA LIVE PROJECT
($2 Billion Starting Price)
THE FOLLOWING IS A COMPILATION OF INFORMATION ON THIS DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES REVITAILIZATION FANTASY PROJECT (ONE OF MANY PROMISED “CORNERSTONES”) THAT WILL MAKE THE DOWNTOWN SKYLINE LOOK GOOD FOR PEOPLE FLYING IN FROM OVERSEAS, BUT WON’T DO MUCH FOR THE RESIDENTS OF LOS ANGELES EXCEPT SUCK THE SOUL AND MONEY OUT OF THE CITY
CLICK HERE FOR FULL DETAILS AND ZD REVIEW OF CRA/LA'S "LA LIVE"