As a property owner with considerable interests in Hollywood, and one who was quoted in the Ferrell article, I feel obliged to respond. The questions asked of me by Ferrell in the telephone interview he requested were not so much questions as they were his conclusions, phrasing questions such as: "Didn't you give money to the CRA in order to make profits?"
As to Ferrell's conclusion that secret profits are made from CRA involvement, I know nothing secret about the CRA coming into Hollywood. There has been lots of press about it. Mayor Tom Bradley, former Councilwoman Peggy Stevenson, and the present councilman, Michael Woo, regularly have press conferences about it. The CRA may be coming to Hollywood but it is not here yet. There is plenty of property for sale in Hollywood. There always has been. So what is the issue? Is it today's profits, or tomorrow's future?
The tone of the article encourages groups who do not wish to have major, new industry, retail and office developments locate in Hollywood. Those interests might succeed in scaring off the investment community. Investors are not begging to come to Hollywood. I know property owners who face losses in Hollywood, as well as those who look forward to profits. Investing in Hollywood is risky business.
What about shopping? What about offices and hotels? All of these are wonderful in Beverly Hills, Mid-Wilshire, downtown Los Angeles, Glendale, Eagle Rock and Burbank. They are safe, clean, great stores and that's where lots of Hollywood residents shop.
If one major new development comes to Hollywood of the scope and quality to compete with those already located in other communities, then Hollywood will have a start.
To entice risk capital to come to Hollywood, the community must make it attractive. Capital flows into an environment that is conducive to increasing itself.
Yes, there are those business interests with plans for Hollywood--a theater district for live theater, hotels, office buildings, shops and restaurants--but they are just ideas. They need help and encouragement. Nothing stays the same, it either gets better or worse.
If the business community is not successful in reshaping Hollywood into a new and safe environment, then all of Hollywood loses.