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El Segundo City Council Approves 2 Major Commercial Developments

February 18, 1988|TIM WATERS | Times Staff Writer

Two major commercial developments, including one that calls for construction of a high-rise hotel and an office tower, have been given the go-ahead by the El Segundo City Council.

The larger of the projects will allow an office building up to 16 stories and a hotel up to 20 stories to be built on El Segundo Boulevard between Sepulveda and Continental boulevards. The project is part of the Xerox Center development being built by HDXR Associates, a partnership of Homart Development Co. and Xerox Realty Corp.

Under a development agreement approved by the council on Tuesday, the company has 15 years to begin work on the project. Because the hotel is expected to provide the city with more tax revenue than the office building, the developer must open it first.

The other project approved Tuesday is a 196,000-square-foot office building at the northeast corner of Rosecrans Avenue and Douglas Street.

City officials have said they do not know whether the projects will be affected by a proposed slow-growth initiative that will be on the city's April ballot. Among other things, the initiative forbids the council to enter into development agreements retroactive to February, 1987.

However, if the initiative should pass, city officials have said they do not expect the retroactive provision to withstand a legal challenge.

The only council member to vote against the hotel and office building project was Carl Jacobson, who expressed concern about giving the developer so much time to start construction.

Referring to the rows of high-rise office buildings that have cropped up on the city's east side in recent years and are blamed by some officials for draining city services, Jacobson said no one can predict what types of developments may be in the city's best interest in the years ahead.

Alan Pyenson, Homart's development director, said Wednesday that his firm requested the 15-year agreement to allow itself enough time to sign an agreement with a hotel operator. The company is negotiating with hotel operators and hopes to begin the project sooner, he said.

The developer of the second project, Continental Development Corp., originally had sought to develop three adjoining parcels that it owns with 1.2 million square feet of office space. However, voters last year defeated a referendum that would have given the company the zoning change it needed for the project.

The 196,000-square-foot project approved Tuesday calls for the development of only one of the three parcels. Site work will begin immediately, according to Continental spokeswoman Pat Stitzenberger.

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