Two things in life are certain: death and taxes. But, if you live in Los Angeles, there is a third certainty: growth and development.
It seems as though every time an old building or house gets demolished, a bigger structure replaces it, often adding more people to already congested areas as well as reducing open spaces.
Development in and of itself isn’t bad, but it seems project after project, be it commercial or residential, seems to be bigger and bigger, but not necessarily better.
Current case in point: Fred Segal on the corner of Fifth and Broadway in Santa Monica, which old-timers remember as being an ice skating rink back in the day. The ramp that leads down to what was the ice is still there.
I was in the building last week to pick up an Umami Burger for my son for the first time. I wandered around while waiting, and about 80 percent of the building was vacant. Turns out the many decades old quaint, one-story building with the large outdoor parking lot was sold a while ago, and some sort of mixed use condo/retail building will be put up in its place.
Though stopping progress may seem impossible, Santa Monica residents forced the Santa Monica City Council into revoking a permit allowing the 765,000 sq.-ft. Hines Project to be built at 26th Street and Olympic Boulevard, adding 7,000 car trips daily to an area that is already gridlocked many hours of the day.
Slow, well thought out growth is the way to go, and Santa Monica residents have proved that they can, indeed, fight City Hall, which should be a lesson to communities all over the Westside.