Traffic Seen as Key Problem Posed by Hollywood Project

Times Staff Writer

The developer of a proposed $150-million hotel-office complex in Hollywood must alleviate traffic and parking problems to gain community approval of the project, according to a community redevelopment leader.

Marshall A. Caskey, chairman of the Hollywood Project Area Committee, a citizens advisory group on redevelopment, said that questions to those problems are certain to be raised by Hollywood residents.

“Traffic already is pretty bad on Highland, the western boundary of the new project,” Caskey said. “Although I do not happen to be among them, there are people who believe that any additional traffic will result in gridlock on an already heavily traveled thoroughfare.”

Caskey said there are similar concerns about parking shortages in most areas of Hollywood and about preservation of historic buildings in the community.


The privately funded project, fronting on Hollywood Boulevard between Highland Avenue and Orange Drive, will be the first in the newly created Hollywood Redevelopment Project.

The complex includes a 28-story office tower, a 25-story, 400-room hotel, 150,000-square-foot museum and assorted shops, restaurants and movie houses.

Meetings Scheduled

James A. McDermott, a consultant representing developer Melvin Simon & Associates, said that meetings with the developer and various community groups are being scheduled to address the community’s concerns.


The first meeting will be held with the Project Area Committee at 6 p.m. Monday at Hollywood First Presbyterian Church, 1716 Gower St. A second meeting will be held at noon Tuesday at the Hollywood Roosevelt hotel with representatives of the Federation of Hillside and Canyon Areas, a coalition of 48 residential groups, 11 of them in the Hollywood area.

“We want to acquaint people with our project and to find out their concerns about, among other things, traffic,” McDermott said. “I do not believe parking will be a problem because all of the parking necessary for the project will be self-contained on the property.”

Brian Moore, president of the federation, said that his group’s main concerns relate to the density of the project and associated traffic and parking problems. “We want to know how they are going to get in and out of the place,” Moore said.

Towers May Block Views


He said that the group also objects to the two high-rise buildings, saying they will obstruct views from homes on the hillsides north of the project.

“Although protecting our views is not our major priority,” Moore said, “it does not make sense to put two high-rise buildings right in the middle of our view lines. We think a 12- to 14-story height limit is more appropriate to the area.”

Moore said that the three residential groups most directly affected by the project are the 500-home Outpost Assn., the 200-home Whitley Heights Assn. and the 700-home Hollywood Heights Assn.

Construction on the project could begin within 18 months, assuming there are no snags in the city approval process. Some parts of the project could be completed by 1989.