The Hollywood Sign

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Nathan
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The Hollywood Sign

Postby Nathan » Wed Feb 13, 2008 2:05 pm

Now, I like to think I can understand most things if I really try, but on the other hand, I've been keeping my head in the ground all ostrich-like of late, so perhaps I've missed some fundamental shift in human development, but seriously, explain this to me:

Here's the Hollywood Sign, and ok, note the 138 acres just to the west of the "H" --
Image

--which are, most likely, going to end up blanketed in Tuskan Townehomes. Because according to http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080213/ap_ ... d_for_sale, "Two years ago, city officials and conservationists tried unsuccessfully to raise money to buy the property to make the peak a part of Griffith Park."

Now, let me get this straight -- it was 1.675 mil; now it's 22 mil. And maybe that's a lot of money to you and me. To buy asparagus or whatever.

But compare it to the half-billion dollar boondoggle that is the Belmont center. Now, my property taxes are pretty high, and I pay them, but I don't like children or schools, so I'm not going to pay them anymore. I think that's fair. Because the Ambassador school is also costing half a billion dollars. The disparity between a billion dollars for two schools, and the inability to buy this property, is absurd.

Who woulda thought I'd become a tax resistor? Jeez. I like cops, but I also think half a billion dollars for a single building for 'em is pretty silly.

Maybe I'm overreacting, but honestly, one percent of the expenditure of these three buildings would be fifteen million dollars. The city can't divert that to the Hollywood sign and raise the rest from the private sector?

gwdiener
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Postby gwdiener » Tue Feb 19, 2008 8:43 pm

A couple of things I have read about the subject -

Only 5 acres of the 138 is buildable.

Currently there is only approval for up to 5 homes.

I haven't heard/read anything about townhomes. Your link is dead and I searched yahoo but didn't see anything about townhomes (tuscan or otherwise)?

According to a story about this elsewhere (don't know if factual) the property was landlocked (no access) when the Fox River people bought it for 1.6m in 2002 and they only recently received an easement providing a way to actually get people on the land. That has significantly increased the value.

I don't know what the value was 2 years ago but a recent appraisal came in at about 6 million. I also don't know if that is before or after the easement came through.

My opinion is the negotiations with the city have broken down over price and the seller is trying to strong arm them with the threat of being willing to sell to the highest offer.

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Postby nichols » Wed Feb 20, 2008 1:08 pm


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Nathan
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Postby Nathan » Wed Feb 20, 2008 6:29 pm

Woops. Bad link indeed. Should have looked like this:

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A mountaintop property located near the Hollywood sign and once owned by Howard Hughes is up for sale.

A group of Chicago investors is putting the 138 acres of land just west of the "H" in the sign on the market Wednesday.

The asking price: $22 million.

The property offers a stunning 360-degree panorama of the Los Angeles Basin and the San Fernando Valley, says Fox River Financial Resources, which acquired the land in 2002 for $1,675,000.

"We weren't sure at first what we had," Fox River general partner Keith Dickson said Wednesday. "After looking at it, we kind of feel we got a Van Gogh at a garage sale."

Hughes once planned to build a love nest on the land for his then-paramour Ginger Rogers. Their relationship didn't last, and the property remained undeveloped and in the eccentric billionaire's trust for decades.

The land atop the 1,820-foot Cahuenga Peak consists of five legal lots and "the ridges on the top are nice and smooth," allowing for construction of homes, Dickson said.

The Hollywood sign is just below and east of the property.

Two years ago, city officials and conservationists tried unsuccessfully to raise money to buy the property to make the peak a part of Griffith Park.

Councilman Tom LaBonge, who led the fundraising, said building homes on the peak would ruin one of the city's most famous views.

"That mountain should not be cluttered," LaBonge told the Los Angeles Times. "It's good for the psyche of Los Angeles."

"The city should acquire this land," he added.

Griffith Park suffered two damaging wildfires last year amid extremely dry, hot conditions. A blaze in May burned 800 acres, and one in March tore through the hills near the Hollywood sign and burned 150 acres.


http://www.wtopnews.com/?nid=104&sid=1344368 http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/23151839/ http://www.thechronicleherald.ca/Entert ... 38042.html http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/02/ ... r-Sale.php

No, gwdiener, no mention of townhomes; as far as Tuskan Townhomes, that was just my way of intending to connote that developers often build townhomes...which too often attempt to appear “Tuscan.â€￾ Ergo “Tuskan.â€￾ Think Geoff Palmer's apartment complexes... http://www.theorsini.com/

Anyway...indeed, everything you state about the acreage is true. And I certainly did not want to say that the property isn’t worth its asking price…as someone pointed out in the Curbed LA comments, “property is 10 million an acre in Bel Air, right?â€￾ Heck, if one deems this a five-acred property…as it’s only five buildable lots…this is a mere 4.4 mil per acre!


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