Los Angeles Development Encountering Issues

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor While a number of development projects have moved forward in recent weeks, others are hitting speed bumps, as evidenced by a couple of reports in The Los Angeles Times. Retail developer Rick Caruso failed in his attempt [...]

While a number of development projects have moved forward in recent weeks, others are hitting speed bumps, as evidenced by a couple of reports in The Los Angeles Times.

Retail developer Rick Caruso failed in his attempt to erect a new shopping mall near the historic Santa Anita racetrack. One of the major developments already in Caruso’s portfolio, The Grove shopping mall, had been considered enough of an indication that the Santa Anita project was a shoe-in. However, ongoing opposition from a competing mall owner, the bankruptcy suffered by the track owner and the repeated hits real estate as a whole has taken during the past few years have buried plans for the new mall. Original plans to develop the property date from 2004.

The development, which at one point during planning stages was estimated to cost $400 million, has been confirmed dead by Caruso’s spokesperson . The proposed name for the project would have been The Arcadia.

Another area where development has failed is in the vicinity of the MTA’s future Expo Line. The line, which will run from downtown Los Angeles to Santa Monica, is set to be completed in 2015. A transit project of such size should generate considerable interest in commercial and residential real estate. But until now, there have been few substantial moves on properties running adjacent to the future line.

The only property that stands out among existing projects is Blackwelder. The facility, which at a glance sends a down-market vibe, is actually undergoing an $80 million renovation and is housing upscale firms in a space that tends to go for the “greener” approach, a big point with most high-end firms these days.