Friday, May 28
On a 9 -2 vote, City Council gave the Mid-City community a boost by approving a plan that will allow the CIM development group to begin immediate construction of the Midtown Shopping Plaza (anchored by a Lowe’s home improvement center) at Pico and San Vincente. They will receive the $19.3 million city loan they require to complete the project with most if not all of it repaid from taxes generated by the center. Councilmen Dennis Zine and Paul Krekorian voted against it with Zine expressing concerns about CIM’s inability to meet expectations.
The Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) recently approved the project during a public hearing at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center. Although the project enjoys community support, some activists expressed concern that the taxes raised by the center would normally have gone into the city’s general fund to pay for basic city services but according to CRA without the construction of this project, the taxes would not exist and in fact 51% of the sales tax will go to the general fund. Jack Humphreville from The Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, felt the project warranted greater scrutiny. But Councilman Herb Wesson, who had pushed for the project knowing it would attract much needed development, was pleased to receive community and City Council support. Residents are looking forward to getting rid of the weed covered hole in the ground and are hoping the center will attract retail services they really need.