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Westside Building Limit

March 01, 1987

Since Proposition U was passed, there are only two remaining sites in the Westside where a significant office building can be built. Proposition U effectively doubled the cost of land, since a builder can only put one-half as much building on a site. The economics of development dictate what can be paid for land instead of vice-versa.

Property owners who had invested in commercial property for future development just had the value of their holdings reduced by 50%. Land costs can be double if amortized over a 30-story building instead of a 15-story building.

We are entering a new era:

1--Demand for office and retail space will continue to increase because the Westside is still a highly desirable place to live.

2--Rents for all but the elite will rise beyond reach.

3--More and more mid-management and clerical people will be forced to drive to lower-rent office centers. Commuting, now a painful task, will become nearly impossible and cars will burn more and more gas to cover the same mile. Smog will increase geometrically.

4--Traffic will be gridlocked, and working people will be forced to move to a less developed area, thereby compounding urban sprawl.

It certainly seems appropriate that we place a measure on the ballot to fund a freeway-based mass transit system and/or repeat Proposition U so that less commuting will be required.

BARRY ROSENGRANT

Brentwood

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