The Hollywood Palladium, where everyone from Frank Sinatra to Megadeath has performed, was deemed a historic, cultural treasure by the Los Angeles City Council yesterday. A cherished and legendary part of Hollywood history, the Streamline Moderne concert venue is safe for now.
Built in 1940 and located at 6215 Sunset Boulevard, the Palladium was a sleek, graceful ballroom that opened with Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra, featuring vocalist Frank Sinatra. Major artists such as Rock and Roll hall-of-famers Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Wonder, MC5, Jay-Z, Megadeath, Bad Religion and numerous others also performed there.
It is also the site of a current controversy.
Miami-based development firm Crescent Heights wants to build two 30-story residential skyscrapers on the property while keeping the Palladium. The L.A. City Council approved the mega-project in March, and AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which has headquarters next door, has sued the city and developer.
AHF, a major sponsor of the Coalition to Preserve LA and the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative, alleges that the city of L.A. undertook an illegal and improper planning approval process to green light the project.
“We believe and assert in our lawsuit that the pattern and practice of the Mayor, City Attorney, City Planning Department, City Planning Commission, and City Council operating in defiance of an express City Charter limitation on authority to process and grant general plan amendments is a willful failure to comply with public duties imposed by the city’s fundamental land-use laws,” said Michael Weinstein, AIDS Healthcare Foundation president, in a statement. “Through this legal action, we seek to hold these public officials accountable and overturn the faulty — and we believe illegal — approval of the Palladium Project.”
Developers have been keenly focused on Hollywood, looking to build tall and dense office buildings and luxury housing skyscrapers. L.A. City Hall has been all too willing to accommodate them.
But developers and City Hall politicians have received major pushback from community activists, who are concerned that such mega-projects will ruin the historic character of Hollywood, create even more gridlock traffic and displace longtime, lower-income residents.
What’s taking place in Hollywood is happening elsewhere in Los Angeles — from Venice to Koreatown. Coalition to Preserve L.A., a grassroots, citizen-driven movement, is addressing these serious quality of life issues.
Developer Crescent Heights, on the other hand, is the top donator to the campaign that wants to stop the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative, a measure that seeks to reform L.A.’s rigged and broken planning and land-use system. To date, Crescent Heights has shelled out $511,000 to prevent that much-needed fix — and maintain the status quo of backroom deals at City Hall, ruined neighborhoods across L.A. and displaced residents.
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