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Beverly Hills Weekly
Beverly Hills, California
March 30, 2000     Beverly Hills Weekly
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March 30, 2000

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cit00 ,,  Beverly Hills Makes Room for More Culture? City Council votes unanimously in favor of proposed lease on the Crescent Drive post office. By Michele Lu The City Council voted unanimously, 5-0, in support of the proposed 55-year lease on the Crescent Drive post office at Tuesday's night meeting. The provisions of the proposed lease stipulate that the City will receive $1 a year rental from the foundation. The City is also responsible for the removal of asbestos and exterior grounds main- tenance. For its part, the foundation will do its own fundraising for adap- tive re-use and operations and mainte- nance. The proposed facility will have a performance arts space with 499 proposal, as well as what would hap- pen to the property should the Foundation fail to raise the resources. Residents asked the City Council to delay voting on the issue for another 30-60 days. "This thing has been manipulated from the beginning. 1 think there are genuine conflicts of interest. We need to have workshops with people. ! think you need to step back and take a little more time so that we can work with you, not oppose you," Howard Schultz, president of the Southside Homeowners C '}: .. - This thing has been manipulated from the beginning. I think there are genuine conflicts of interest -- Howard Schultz, president of Ihe Southside Homeowners Association seats, a 4,000 square foot gallery/reception space and a 3,400 square foot visitor's center. in 1994, the foundation was formed as a iron-profit organization. Members of the Cultural Center Foundation say they found it neces- sary in 1998 to expand its member- ship. According to Paul Selwyn, presi- dent of the Cultural Center Foundation, special efforts were made to include people on the board with, not only skills and expertise, but also a deep commitment to the City. "When we found out the post office was moving out, we saw it as a rare opportunity to do something really spe- cial for the community. We think [the Cultural Center] will be an extraordi- nary addition to the heart of our city," Selwyn said. Upon approval of the lease for the property, the Foundation will under- take the enormous task of raising $20 million for renovations of the historic post office building. Many of the con- cerns voiced by residents were related to traffic congestion, availability of parking, the impact on property val- ues, lack of information about the Association, said. In response to people's claims that they were excluded from discussions about the project, City Council members were quick to note that there had been numerous public notices about meetings to discuss the issue. City Attorney Larry Wiener point- ed out that the lease had three protec- tive measures. First, the lease pro- vides that the Foundation does not possess the site unless it has 100% of its funds by December of 2002. Second, the Foundation is required to purchase a performance bond. If it does not purchase a performance bond, it cannot proceed with the ren- ovation. Third, the Foundation must have sufficient funds to complete constructior, before it can proceed with construction. "We encourage everyone to get involved. Let's live it and enjoy it together," Vicki Reynolds, Mayor of Beverly Hills, said. g 5 X{.',EP'I tONAL Pbt(.'PERTIES ION DOUGLAS COMPANY 9201 Sunset Blvd., Suite A, Los Angeles, CA 90069 WANT RESULTS? 1) 2200 Bowmont Dr., B.H. 90210 Exclusively Represented By: Nydia Lavine 310.278.9470 x212 Denny Lyons 310.278.9470 x258 Voice maillpager 310.599.9990 Whether buying or us for a FREE no obligation consultation. Recently remodeled Mediterranean. Great curb appeal- completely gated. Ready to Go! Bright and spacious. 4 Bd + 3 Ba, marble and hardware floors thru/out. Frplc, faro. Rm, cedar closets, 2 balconies. 2 car garage plus motor court. Separate guest house overlooking pool. 1 Bd + 1 Ba., Kit + eating area. 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