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Election 2008

Voter Guide: Residents Fight Hotel and Condo Development in Beverly Hills

11:01 AM PDT on October 24, 2008

10_24_08_waldorf.jpg

Commuters who have to pass the crowded intersection of Wilshire and Santa Monica Boulevards know that is one of the most congested intersections in Los Angeles.  When commuters find out that the City of Beverly Hills has approved plans to replace the Hilton that sits on one of the corners of that intersection with a larger Waldorf-Astoria complex that includes two condominium towers, they wonder, sometimes graphically, what in the world the city was thinking.

They're not alone.  2,700 residents of Beverly Hills signed a petition to place Measure H on this fall's ballot, which would revoke the city's approval for the project, forcing the developer to redesign their plans and go through the approval and environmental review processes all over again.  For their part, the developers claim the project will have a minimal traffic impact and will generate hundreds of millions of dollars for the community.

The Times explains the proposal and the related transportation plans:

Oasis West wants to overhaul the nine-acre property, replacing theHilton with a 170-room, 12-story Waldorf-Astoria hotel – 47 fewer roomsand four added stories. It would be the West Coast’s first version ofthe New York icon.

Plans also include two condominium high-rises: a six- to eight-storytower with 26 to 36 units and a 16- to 18-story tower with 64 to 74units, according to a statement. A two-story conference center would bereplaced, and a new park added with 4.5 acres of landscapingand gardens.

The Hilton has promised to spend as much as $10 million on trafficimprovements, and estimates that in 30 years, the project wouldgenerate $750 million in revenue for the city.

The bulk of the traffic improvement funds would be spend on widening Wilshire Boulevard to allow easier access to the complex and left hand turns at the light.

The City of Beverly Hills has developed a website to help explain the proposition to voters.  For a complete breakdown of the arguments for and against the project, please read the pdf. here.

Image: LA Curbed

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