Recent research concludes that, when comparing buildings of equivalent size and function, building reuse almost always offers environmental savings over demolition and new…or as we’ve come to term it, the greenest building is the one already built
A recent report produced by the Preservation Green Lab of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and called “The Greenest Building: Quantifying the Environmental Value of Building Reuse,” offers statistical validation. The report, offers policy-makers, building owners, developers, architects and engineers compelling evidence of the merits of reusing existing buildings as opposed to tearing them down and building new.
• Reuse Matters. The study finds that the majority of building types in different climates will take between 20-30 years to compensate for the initial carbon impacts from construction. Energy Efficient new construction can take between 10 to 80 years to overcome the climate change impacts created by its construction.
• Scale Matters. Collectively, building reuse and retrofits substantially reduce climate change impacts. Retrofitting, rather than demolishing and replacing, just 1% of the city of Portland’s office buildings and single family homes over the next ten years would help to meet 15% of their county’s total CO2 reduction targets over the next decade.
• Design Matters. The environmental benefits of reuse are maximized by minimizing the input of new construction materials. Renovation projects that require many new materials can reduce or even negate the benefits of reuse.
Historic rehabilitation has a thirty-two year track record of creating 2 million jobs and generating $90 billion in private investment. Studies show residential rehabilitation creates 50% more jobs than new construction. Rah! Rah! Adaptive reuse.
HOW IMMINENT DOMAIN AT THE BELMAR TRIANGLE EVOLVED INTO THE NEW VILLAGE AT SANTA MONICA MIXED-USE REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENTApril 10, 2012 on 5:17 pm | In Fascinating Information, For Your Purchasing Pleasure, fUNNY...mONEY, Historic Properties, Legal, Of Local Importance, Santa Monica Landmarks, Uncategorized | 3 Comments
There is great irony in the Village at Santa Monica > the$350-million, 318-unit apartment / condo / retail development going up the 1700 block of Ocean Avenue. The low-rise Village at Santa Monica project will offer 158 luxury condominiums adjacent to 160 affordable apartments crowning 20,000 square feet of commercial space. The irony is that the 160 affordable housing units replace an African-American neighborhood that the City took by imminent domain back in the ‘50s.
Once upon a time the Belmar Triangle was an African-American neighborhood nestled between Pico Boulevard, Main and Fourth Streets. It was destroyed in the 1950s by the City of Santa Monica, which took to aggressive imminent domain action to condemn the area, burning now-landmarked shotgun houses to make room for the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium.
The Belmar Triangle was home to a vibrant community which was categorized as blighted by the City. The area became a target of “urban renewal” as the City used eminent domain to condemn black-owned properties.
Accordingly, local planners leveled homes and businesses to build what is now the Civic Auditorium and its parking lot. Back then, the grazing took place by fire, as the homes were burned to the ground as planners watched.
Santa Monica got their high profile venue. The Civic Auditorium hosted the Academy Awards from 1961 to 1967.
The Belmar neighborhood was a few blocks from Ink Well Beach, the 200-square-foot portion of Santa Monica State Beach that was once roped off and reserved only for African-Americans. The remnants of the Inkwell neighborhood were annihilated when the 10 Freeway was built on that location.
So those 160 affordable apartments came about because of Belmar Triangle politics.
Community Corporation of Santa Monica, the city’s largest affordable housing developer, made it happen. So, in an attempt to right past wrongs, the new Village at Santa Monica will bring back a mixed-income population to the area. A low income building will be named Belmar in its honor. That makes it better…lol….
“We cannot replace the deeds and misdeeds of the past, but we can help in some small way,” offers Andy Agle, director of housing and economic development for the City.
Community Corporation of Santa Monica has been the most aggressive developer of new housing units in the City of Santa Monica. It’s state counterpart, the redevelopment Agency, an entity funded through local taxes to fight blight and repair infrastructure, ceased to exist Feb. 1 after the California Supreme Court ruled that that the legislature could dissolve the 400 agencies in California as part of the state budget. It was the agency that spent $53 million on the 11-acre parcel in the Civic Center area that made it possible to create the affordable housing project on the site.
The Village is within walking distance of a diverse range of Santa Monica attractions and amenities, including the 3rd Street Promenade, public parks and beaches, Main Street, world-class restaurants, shopping, hotels and nightlife. Next door to the Village is the city’s $55-million seven-acre Palisades Garden Walk & Town Square designed by James Corner and expected to be an international landmark when it opens in 2013.
The whole neighborhood is under renovations. City Hall, as well as the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium (in a public/private partnership agreement with the Nederlander Organization) are each scheduled for close to a $50-million restoration and revitalization. Down the block we have the light rail coming in 2015, as well as the recently refurbished Santa Monica Place mall which received a $265-million open-air renovation.
“The Village will enhance the image of Santa Monica as a place of beauty, style and spirit,” observed Mayor Richard Bloom at the groundbreaking ceremony. “The City’s commitment to affordable housing is an integral part of this development. It will help ensure that Santa Monica is an accessible and welcoming community that fosters economic diversity.” Mayor Bloom always knows the right thing to say.
By Jodi Summers
When creating fresh office space, use a fresh approach. Google’s idea for their new space on Main St. Venice, put the user first. For the same reason Google chose one of the most unique building in one of the hippest locations in the country for their office space > 340 Main St., Venice, 90291 > in hopes of luring the best talent. They’ve taken the same approach to their office space in the Binoculars building > make it a user-friendly experience.
Google’s goal (try saying that 5x fast) is to create the healthiest work environments possible so Google masterminds can thrive and innovate. From concept through design, construction and operations, the search engine’s goal is to create a brick + mortar workplace that optimizing access to nature, clean air and daylight. The great thing about is happens to be is what’s good for Google is good for the neighborhood.
Let’s explore how the fabric of Main St. is going to change for a better non-car experience…Thomas Williams, Google’s Venice office director, recently attended a Venice Neighborhood Council meeting and shared the info that about 450 engineers will move into space @ 340 Main Street in early November. He also pledged that the company will have a positive impact on the community.
“Generally, they are fairly young, they like computers, and they are really smart,” Williams shared.
At the same meeting, the VNC approved a motion that is also of interest to Main St. Santa Monica. They approved the “Main Street Diet,” a plan to change the configuration of Main Street by adding bike lanes, reducing traffic lanes and adding a center median. These bike tracks are also being discussed in Santa Monica’s bicycle action plan.
It is expected that approximately one-third of the company’s employees bike, walk or take public transportation to work. ”A lot of people are happy because they are going to be able to walk to work now,” Williams said. All 450 of the people who will be relocating to the Venice office currently work in Google’s local offices.
Google is well-known for its support of bike commuters – Venice has a large number of bikers and surprisingly little support for them in the North-South directions. Perhaps now we will develop plans for bike lanes and street lights through the long, dark stretches along Main Street.
WeLoveVenice.com noted that this is a huge potential win for locals. They are hoping that Google will bring more logical bus routes, such as from Washington Blvd. to downtown Santa Monica. As well as other innovative routes from Santa Monica’s Big Blue and Culver City buses that run throughout Venice without it being necessary to walk a mile to Windward Circle to catch one.
Anything to make Main St. more pedestrian friendly is a good thing and a nice step to greening the neighborhood….
Bravo to billionaire investor Ron Burkle, who has the estimated $15 million – to buy and restore Frank Lloyd Wright’s Ennis House in Los Feliz. He bought the Mayan Revival property for the “bargain” price of $4.5 million (original asking price was $15 million)…now he gets to spend an estimated $9.5 million to restore this legacy asset. Thank you Ron for making Los Angeles a better place.
Ron Burkle has been good for L.A. He is an American business magnate from Pomona, born on November 12, 1952, named Ronald Wayne Burkle. Known as a major political fundraiser, he is listed on the Forbes 400, with an estimated net worth of $3.2 billion in 2011.
He got his start in the supermarket business as a bag boy at his father’s grocery store. Later, he dropped out of college and founded Yucaipa Companies, a private equity firm which invests in retail, manufacturing, and distribution.
Ennis House is Burkle’s second L.A. area property on the National Register of Historic Places. He purchased the majestic Greenacres Estate in 1993. This manor was built in the late 1920s for silent film legend Harold Lloyd.
“Mr. Burkle has a track record of preserving important historic homes,” praises Maria Felber, chair of the Ennis House Foundation. We know he’ll be an excellent steward of the Ennis House.”
The Ennis House is a brilliant blend of Mayan temple and Italian villa in high deco style. It has been noted that some of Wright’s most engaging and innovative architecture was done in Southern California in the years following the end of World War I. From 1919 to 1923, the architect worked part-time in the blooming metropolis of Los Angeles. . In this span of 4 years, Wright conceived a uniquely monumental, adaptable and efficient textile block design which redefined impressive architecture.
The home on a hilltop has a striking composition of patterned and smooth concrete blocks that give it the appearance of an ancient temple. It contains more than 27,000 concrete blocks, and is in need of extensive repair. Already $6.5 has gone to rehabilitate the deteriorating property (smog and textile block are not a good combination)…not to mention in the 1994 Northridge Earthquake and record rainfall in 2005. Work that still needs to be done is estimated at more than $9 million…
Fortunately, Ennis House is in the hands of a capable man. Forbes has collected records of Burkle’s investments and transactions, including:
* Sold Dominick’s chain to Safeway in 1998 for over $200 million in profits;
* Owns 20.7% stake in Americold Realty Trust;
* Leveraged buyouts of Jurgensen’s, Fred Meyer, Food 4 Less, and Ralphs supermarket chains, and sold to Kroger for $13.5 billion;
* Majority stake in Pathmark grocery stores;
* Cyrk, the former Beanie Baby promotion agency;
* Merged Alliance Entertainment with Source Interlink;
* Invested $100 million in Sean Combs’s (P. Diddy) Sean John clothing line;
* Purchased Enthusiast Media publications and assets of Primedia for $1.2 billion;
* Burkle’s investment firm, Yucaipa Cos., is a major shareholder of Barnes & Noble.
* Donated $750 million to the Renner Burkle Fund;
* Owns 6% stake in American Apparel, Inc.
* Started buying Wild Oats stock in February 2005, was the largest shareholder when Whole Foods Market, a natural-foods grocer, agreed to pay $565 million for Wild Oats.
* Burkle sold his majority stake in supplier Golden State Foods to St. Louis-based Wetterau Associates for about $110 million. Golden State, one of McDonald’s biggest suppliers, operates 11 distribution centers in the United States and abroad and two U.S. processing plants.
* Ron has received numerous honors and awards from labor including the AFL-CIO Murray Green Meany Kirkland Community Service Award and The Los Angeles County Federation of Labor Man of the Year.
* Ron has three children with Janet Burkle; Kate Burkle, John B. Burkle and Andrew Burkle (Grandson). Ron and Janet divorced in 2003 after a period of separation from 2001 to 2003.
Ennis House will be a labor of love for Burkle. Located at 2605 Glendower Avenue in Los Feliz, designed in 1923, and built in 1924. The 6,200 square foot property features 4 bedroom, 4 1/2 bathrooms home with separate chauffeur’s quarters designed for clothier Charles Ennis and his wife Mabel. The entrance fondly recalls Falling Water and other Wright designs where the entrance is obscured, inviting visitors to interact with the house from the beginning. It is trademark Wright that the entry space is dark, with a low ceiling, allowing a dramatic entrance into the light and bright space.
Architectural details include high wood-beamed ceilings, art-glass windows, a window-lined loggia looking out on the pool and a glass mosaic-tile fireplace in the living room. There is a billiard room, bar, library, den, office, pantry and basement. Chauffeur’s quarters, with a bedroom, bathroom, kitchenette and living area, are above the four-car garage. It has been said that the glass-tile mosaic fireplace in the living room is one of only four ever created and the last remaining intact example in any Wright residence.
The textile block pattern for the Ennis House is rumored to be inspired by a Greek key. The symbol represented by interlocking forms , is reminiscent of the Masonic Order, of which Ennis was a member.
“You see, the final result is going to stand on that hill a hundred years or more,” wrote Frank Lloyd Wright to The Ennis’, in 1924. “Long after we are gone it will be pointed out as the Ennis House and pilgrimages will be made to it by lovers of the beautiful from everywhere.”
It is designated as Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument #149 and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Burkle will open the house to the public at least twelve days out of each year. The Los Angeles Conservancy holds a detailed conservation easement on the house that will protect it in perpetuity.
“The Foundation looks forward to working with Mr. Burkle to ensure the long-term preservation of this beloved Los Angeles landmark,” concludes Conservancy executive director Linda Dishman.
by Jodi Summers
Dilemma: High Water Bills
Solution Circa 1800-600 BC
Way back in 1800 BC. , an Egyptian pharaoh used a lake as a reservoir to store surplus rainfall for irrigation to support crops where rainfall wasn’t adequate.
Developers are finding success with rainwater harvesting. The simplest systems cost as little as $200 and can capture rainwater for landscaping. More expensive and complex systems can even create fresh drinking water.
Solution Circa Late 1800s
During the Victorian Era, light paint colors were used on building exteriors to reflect heat and reduce interior temperatures.
Products now exist to increase the energy efficiency of vinyl siding with insulation. Using insulation foam under vinyl siding or choosing a specialized siding that is already fused to a foam backing, these products provide an additional layer of insulation and moisture protection to the building envelope, which can dramatically slice heating and cooling costs.
Solution Circa 1900
More than a century ago homes were usually built with a front porch for residential and awnings for retail. These building details kept sun from beating through the windows, reducing heat and glare.
Window films are able to block up to 99% of UVA and UVB rays, as well as reducingheat and glare.
By Jodi Summers
Oh, being pressed up against the stage of a concert hall with strangers sweating on you is such an intrinsic part of the general admission concert experience…you can still smell the press of headbangers as they squeezed around the stage as multi-platinum rockers Motley Crue performed at a benefit for Children of the Night at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. The experience is etched indelibly in our brain.
Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie, the Academy Awards – and wow just steps from the ocean! The Santa Monica Civic Auditorium used to be on everyone’s list of favorite venues. The City is taking steps to make the Civic Auditorium a world class concert hall again. In late winter, the city council gave the green light for the Nederlander Organization to move forward with its plans to revitalize the Civic Auditorium as an “exclusive presenter/joint venture.”
Under the council’s directive, the Nederlander Producing Company of America, will deliver a full season of programming for a minimum of five years. Additionally, Nederlander will contribute to the Civic Auditorium’s first significant renovation this century.
“It has been sad to see what has happened to the Civic within the last 30 years or so as it stopped being a top concert venue,” Council member Kevin McKeown stated. “It’s beyond time to turn this around. The building is a landmark, the building is a classic. I think we have the capability to do this… and I think we have a great partner, the right partner, for this venue.”
The terms of the agreement have Nederlander earning a base management fee of $200,000, with the requirement of creating “at least $500,000 annually in net event-related revenue” for the fee to take effect.
Designed by Welton Beckett and built in 1958, the Civic Auditorium was state of the art. This property has been described as “an excellent example of the mid-20th century International Style.” It replaced the classically inspired Ocean Park Municipal Auditorium which had been located on Lick Pier. It was renowned for the unique engineering and landmark use of hydraulic technology for adapting an assembly space to accommodate a vast variety of stage performances, athletic events, and exhibitions.
It has been cited as a forerunner to the retractable domes and flexible seating of contemporary stadiums. Its acoustical design by UCLA Chancellor Vern O. Knutsen, was described as, “the most perfect and…(deserving)…a rating higher than that of the Royal Festival Hall in London” (Progressive Architecture, May 1959).
The Santa Monica Civic Auditorium was constructed in response to the development of the Santa Monica Civic Center. It was the third of three major 20th century Civic Center structures, which includes City Hall (1938) and the Courthouse (1951). It’s International Style (Modern) of architecture dominated building design from the first decade of the 20th century until 1972.
Artists that have performed at the Civic Auditorium include Andre Previn, Dave Brubeck, Pete Seeger, Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Bill Cosby, and Bob Hope, Beatnik poet Allen Ginsburg, Elton John, Ray Charles, Arlo Guthrie, the Beach Boys, the Carpenters, Motley Crue, White Zombie and Beck.
This public/private partnership will have both the City and Nederlander sharing the responsibilities of staffing, event scheduling, concessions, and promotions. The Civic would commit $45 million in funding to the project – an amount that was approved under the assumption redevelopment funds would still be available and well before Gov. Jerry Brown proposed eliminating redevelopment agency (RDA) funding.
“My concern here is the whole RDA process. My own take is that in the new world order, we have to consider things like (corporate naming rights),” noted City Council member Bobby Shriver, adding a venue such as Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles has revitalized an entire neighborhood of that city despite being named after a corporate entity. “I am open to the idea, actually, of private financing.”
The terms of the agreement call for some of the Civic Auditorium’s staff to be downsized. Community and city events at the venue may be limited, plus the City may be responsible for undisclosed overhead costs.
According to Community and Culture Affairs staff report, “the proposed operating model would reduce the operating subsidy required of the general fund from the ‘status quo’ range of $32.9 (million) over the 10 year term to a range of $8.7 (million) to $14.7 (million).”
There is also an option for a five-year extension of the exclusive presenter/joint venture agreement.
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