January 30, 1997 - From the January, 1997 issue

Inside Planning: Rebuild L.A, Budget comparison, and more!


Rumors abound that the City of Los Angeles—with little help from Mayor Riordan—failed to win even $1 of its $11 million application for the new federal Homeownership Zones program funds from HUD.

Bankers Trust Co. of New York has foreclosed on the 18-square-mile Ritter Ranch property, which was to be a planned community for 20,000 in Palmdale, and backed by Lorimar founders Merv Adelson and Irwin Molasky.

Orange County developer Don Koll is reportedly interested again in bidding for Santa Anita Co. now that Colony Capital has relinquished its exclusive negotiating rights.

TPR is betting that new ownership of the Dodgers, now that Peter O'Malley is selling, will include Catellus Development Corp.

A three-page report on the much-debated Downtown Arena was released in mid-January, and the proposal is likely to be heard by the full City Council on Jan. 17.

The new Calif. Earthquake Authority sold 2,000 policies during its first three weeks in operation at an average cost of $503 each.

Grubb & Ellis report that the Orange County office vacancy rate will drop below 10% for the first time since 1980, sending rental rates up by 25%.

The Los Angeles Conservancy is contributing $25,000 and teaming up with USC to put together a crack team of developers and architects to look at practical reuse options for St. Vibiana's Cathedral. 

The Morphing of Rebuild L.A. 

As of Jan. I, Rebuild L.A. has become Los Angeles Prosper Community Partners, and will join the Community Development Technologies Center (run by Denise Fairchild) and the Los Angeles Community College District. The RLA Board sorted through 17 proposals for the future of the agency, whose five-year charter expires on April 29, 1997. During its first retreat as L.A. Prosper, the agency chose its new mission: "to be a nationally-recognized community development institute that provides collaborative planning and development consulting services." 

Who's Got The Biggest Budget? 

Who tops the list in the City of L.A. for the highest budget? Albeit a proprietary department, The Dept. of Water and Power weighs in with a $3.6 billion budget for fiscal year 1997, the largest of any department in L.A. An LABJcomparison of 25 departments ranked the Police Dept. second with $1.15 billion (a 68% increase from last year). How did planning do? The fight for general funds for non-proprietary departments is tough: The Community Redevelopment Agency ranked sixth ($352 million), but the Planning Dept. ($22.5 million) and the Housing Dept. ($19.2 million) ranked near the bottom (19 and 21). 


A Late Train With New CEO 

At a special Jan. 10 Board meeting, the MTA chose Linda Bohlinger, Deputy CEO to temporarily lead the agency and replace Joe Drew, who announced his resignation in Dec., following a dispute over the much-contested construction management contract for the Red Line extension in East L.A. Although the agency shifted $300 million of its budget to subway construction, the extension to East LA. will be delayed by another year to 2004.


In the heated race for a Los Angeles City Attorney Ted Stein, the Encino lawyer-developer running against three-term James Hahn this spring has hired veteran consultant Harvey Englander, who recently managed Don Knabe's campaign for County Supervisor. 

TPR Publisher David Abel has been elected Chairman of the L.A. County Economy & Efficiency Commission. The Commission, composed of four appointees of each County Supervisor and the past foreman of the Grand Jury, has as its mission "to examine any function of County government at the request of the Board of Supervisors, (or) on its own initiative … and to submit recommendations to the Board directed toward improving local government economy, efficiency and effectiveness." 

Ralph Lippman, long-time Director of the Los Angeles Local Initiative Support Corporation's (LISC) office, has left the agency and will be starting up a new Community Development Center in L.A. area opening in early February. A new director has not yet been named 

Barbara Nelson, Vice President of Radcliffe College, has been named the first permanent dean of the new UCLA School of Public Policy and Social Research (SPPSR), and succeeds founding Dean Archie Kleingartner. Kenichi Ohmae, a partner in the international management consulting firm of Mc Kinsey & Co. has also been appointed Professor of International Policy at SPPSR. 

New California Assemblyman Robert Hertzberg (D-Sherman Oaks) has selected Miriam Jaffe as Chief of his district office, and Elise Thurau as Chief of his Sacramento office. 

About half of Rebuild L.A.'s former staff will stay with the agency as it transitions into Los Angeles Prosper. One of those staying onboard, Yvette Nunez, formerly RLA's Director of Communications, is the new Director of Operations. 

Luchi Magante, a recent Master's graduate of New York University's Public Administration program has joined L.A. City Councilman Ridley­Thomas' office as Press Deputy. 

Angie Rho, Legislative Deputy for Councilman Michael Feurer, is joining the multimedia Company 2Way Media, Inc. Eric Story, working on special projects in the Council Office, will replace her. 

Jonathan Zasloff, formerly a staff attorney with Public Counsel, has joined Hall & Associates, affiliated with the Center for Law in the Public Interest. 

Jon Fullinwider, San Diego County's Information Services Director has been hired as the County of L.A. 's new Chief Information (technology) Officer. 


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