Hollywood Millennium Project Receives Approval Despite Safety Concerns

The new Hollywood Millennium project has received council approval despite serious concerns about the safety of the structure after it was revealed to lie directly on an earthquake fault line. The $664 million project, developed by a New York property developer, will consist of two skyscrapers and a large office and retail area in downtown Los Angeles.

While the project would bring an influx of income and jobs to the area, officials from the California Geological Society are concerned about the location.

Mayor Eric Garcetti, who championed new development in Hollywood for 12 years on the City Council, said he planned to sign the deal. Newly elected Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, who replaced Garcetti after he termed out this year, called the $664-million project a “game changer” that would create jobs and new tax revenue while bringing more life to Hollywood’s eastern edge.

The council approved the project despite requests from opponents that the vote be delayed. Community members have complained that the skyscrapers are out of scale with the surrounding architecture and will add to already gridlocked traffic on neighboring streets and the busy 101 Freeway.

In recent days, they have also raised concerns about seismic safety, citing the project’s proximity to the Hollywood fault.

On Saturday, the head of the California Geological Survey, John Parrish, sent a letter to Council President Herb Wesson alerting him that the skyscrapers “may fall within an earthquake fault zone.”

Parrish said Wednesday that a map drawn by his agency in 2010 showed that the Hollywood fault “goes right through the Millennium site.”

He criticized a seismic report produced by the developer that said extensive testing showed that the building site was safe and did not lie on the fault line. Parrish said the report did not refer to his agency’s map and left out other important information. Los Angeles Times, 24 July 2013.

Opponents of the new project have 30 days to file suit against the development. If no suit is filed, and the mayor signs approval, the project could go ahead as soon as next year.