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Hollywood Redevelopment Study : Noise, Traffic Warning Issued on Galaxy Project

May 03, 1987|JEFF BURBANK | Times Staff Writer

The proposed $37.6-million Hollywood Galaxy project would increase traffic at four major Hollywood intersections and exceed state noise limits for residents near the site, according to an environmental impact report prepared for the Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency.

The Hollywood Galaxy, proposed by Los Angeles-based Kornwasser and Friedman Shopping Center Properties Inc., would be a three-story facility including fast-food and outdoor restaurants, retail shops, six movie theaters and a 739-space underground parking garage.

The 245,240-square-foot project at Hollywood Boulevard and Sycamore Avenue is the third largest of 21 developments planned for Hollywood, which include a health club, a 600-room hotel, office and retail businesses and 10 apartment complexes.

The Galaxy project, combined with traffic generated by the other developments, would significantly increase afternoon peak traffic at La Brea Avenue at the intersections of Hollywood and Sunset boulevards and where Hollywood Boulevard intersects Highland Avenue and Cahuenga Boulevard, according to the report, which was prepared by a consultant to the redevelopment agency.

The report said noise produced by cars at the project's four-level parking structure would exceed the state's 65-decibel limit for residential areas.

While most of the site is zoned for commercial use, developers must obtain a zoning change and conditional-use permit to build on part of the site that is zoned for residential use.

The impact of the anticipated 8,610 additional daily car trips may be reduced by prohibiting street parking within 350 feet of the site along Hollywood Boulevard, according to the report.

But noise from cars using the parking structure on Sycamore Avenue cannot be reduced below the state limit, according to the report.

Furthermore, traffic generated by the Galaxy "will further add to a decrease in air quality for residents in the area already subject to unhealthful conditions," the report said.

The Galaxy will generate nearly $500,000 in tax-increment revenue after expenses by 1989, the report said. The revenue is expected to increase to $586,000 by 1993.

Joseph Kornwasser, general partner of Kornwasser and Friedman, said he expects to have the project completed by fall, 1988.

Automated Traffic Control

Ileana Liel, a city planner, said the redevelopment agency will rely on installation of an automated traffic signal and control system to help control traffic flow in Hollywood. However, the system, which connects sensors at traffic lights to a central computer, would not be operational until 1991, she said.

Liel said the city also intends to require the developer to hire an attendant to direct traffic on Sycamore Avenue after the project is built. The city may also widen Sycamore Avenue, she said.

The combination of the projected impacts of the Galaxy project combined with other new Hollywood developments has drawn the ire of some Hollywood residents.

Scott Halper, director of the 100-member Hollywood Homeowners and Tenants Assn., said the Galaxy would add to traffic and parking problems foreseen at the proposed massive Hollywood Promenade (formerly Hollywood Center) office and hotel project on Highland Avenue and Hollywood Boulevard two blocks away.

The Hollywood developments, Halper said, "are all too much for the area. It's difficult to drive, difficult to park. . . . It's almost bumper-to-bumper traffic now. They might just as well make the intersection (of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue) a parking lot."

Gridlock Foreseen

Doreet Rotman, head of the 25-member Hollywood Merchants Assn., said the Galaxy would worsen traffic in the business district. "I can't see how Sycamore can take that much traffic. It will be gridlock."

Rotman said she was disappointed with the design of the project, which she said does not match the architectural styles of the 1920s, '30s and '40s found on some parts of Hollywood Boulevard, such as the Roosevelt hotel across the street from the Galaxy site.

"When it comes to the Hollywood district, our goal was to have complementary design on the boulevard that conforms to what we have," Rotman said. "It (the Galaxy) is a nice design, but it's something that should be on Ventura Boulevard because it doesn't conform to what we have in Hollywood."

However, Bill Welsh, president of the 1,700-member Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, said reaction to the Galaxy project has been favorable among business people and neighborhood organizations affiliated with the chamber.

Welsh praised the design of the building as "very attractive."

Catering to Tourists

He said that while Hollywood should try to save historic buildings such as the Pantages Theater, the business district must cater to 3 million tourists a year.

"I don't think we have to build things like they did in the '20s and the '30s and the '40s," he said. "If we are going to attract visitors to Hollywood, I think we will have to have modern facilities . . . . Hollywood can't look like it does today and attract people to it."

The public review period for the impact report ends May 27, Liel said. The redevelopment agency plans to conduct hearings on the report and the project in July, she said.

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