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1990 in Review : Culver City : Lawsuits Fail to Halt Construction of Mall

December 30, 1990

Eight-foot-tall construction barricades are going up, and the former helicopter factory is being demolished at the site of Marina Place, a regional shopping mall planned on Washington Boulevard, just east of Lincoln Boulevard.

The demolition is proceeding despite lawsuits aimed at blocking the project at the western tip of Culver City. The city of Los Angeles and the Venice Town Council last week appealed a judge's ruling in October that Culver City had complied with the California Environmental Quality Act in approving the $160-million mall.

Los Angeles and the Venice community group say Culver City did not adequately consider the mall's impact on traffic and air quality, particularly in the Los Angeles neighborhoods that are on three sides of the development.

A second lawsuit, by the Coastal Area Support Team, says the 1-million-square-foot mall will restrict access to the coast. The COAST board and the developers plan to meet in January.

Debra Bowen, attorney for the Coastal Area Support Team and the Venice Town Council, said that a key objection is the traffic that would be generated by the mall. According to an environmental impact report, Marina Place will generate 31,000 vehicle trips on weekdays, 40,030 trips on Saturdays and up to 56,000 on Saturdays during the Christmas shopping season.

Most of the demolition of the vacant buildings will occur after the New Year and will take about 3 1/2 months, according to the developers, Prudential Insurance Co. and Melvin Simon & Associates. The 2 1/2-year construction process could begin in the fall if legal challenges are resolved, Marina Place spokesman Carl Haglund said.

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