UPDATE: Dakota Smith’s take at CurbedA. and the Wall Street Journal’s story (wsj-vinest.doc)
Emboldened by their election triumph over ordinary citizens committed to fixing what the city’s leaders broke, the City Council Wednesday moved swiftly to approve the $4.7 million gift for the Cesspool on Vine project and moved forward on massive tax gifts to the Wilshire Brand project.
Both required project labor agreements as payback to the unions and massive subsidies of taxpayer money as payback to the developer community for their generous contributions to re-electing LaBonge, Huizar, Cardenas and Wesson and installing Englander, a friendly vote in the Northwest Valley.
You can take wannabe mayors Eric Garcetti and Jan Perry at their words that these are great projects well worth your money because they will create union jobs and your tax dollars to the Community Redevelopment Agency, or its successor if abolished by the state.
Or you can see through the public stories that have nothing to do with what really has gone in private behind the scenes.
Only Paul Krekorian, the biggest winner in Tuesday’s election, dared to vote against Garcetti’s pet project at 1601 N. Vine St., an office building for a developer beset by bankruptcy proceedings over his runaway film production facility in New Mexico and lawsuits over his many other dealings.
It was a whitewash of the first order by the Council President who never mentioned it took him 14 tries to finally bully his colleagues into submission by arguing “a lot of incompetence” by the CRA occurred but it’s too hard to know by whom so it doesn’t matter.
The Wilshire Grand project is another story. It has taken 22 months to browbeat Korean Airlines and its actual developer, the king of downtown development Jim Thomas, into submission.
We won’t know the true cost to taxpayers until March 29, two days before the deadline to approve the deal set by Perry.
What we do know is there will be lots of digital billboards, tax breaks and twin towers — luxury condos in one, luxury hotel rooms in the other and 21 bars.
It’s just what LA needs or at least what we, collectively, voted for or, in the case of the 88 percent who didn’t vote, abstained on.