Koretz Withdraws Support for Caruso Project Near Beverly Center

333 La Cienega, a 20-story residential tower planned by real estate developer Rick Caruso
333 La Cienega, a 20-story residential tower planned by real estate developer Rick Caruso

Responding to concerns from residents of the Beverly Wilshire Homes Association,  CD5 Councilmember Paul Koretz has dropped his support of 333 La Cienega, a 20 story resident tower proposed by developer Rick Caruso, according to new reports.  Koretz, who is running for re-election in March, held a press conference on Thursday following one held earlier in the day by his opponent, attorney Jesse Max Creed, denouncing the project and the practice of taking campaign contributions from developers.

The Los Angeles Times reported today:

Koretz, standing on La Cienega Boulevard near the project site, said he now thinks the planned apartment building is “too tall” — and wants real estate developer Rick Caruso to enter into additional talks with a homeowners group.

“I’m calling on Mr. Caruso to continue meeting with neighborhood representatives and to shrink the project until it is appropriate for the area,” said Koretz, who represents neighborhoods from the Westside north to Encino.

The announcement came a day after The Times reported that Caruso, his family members, his companies, his charity and his employees provided more than $476,000 over the past five years to L.A. city politicians and their pet causes.

City News Service reported today on MyNewsLA.com:

“Until recently, there were few objections to the project proposed at 333 South La Cienega Boulevard,” Koretz said.

“However, I met with members of the Beverly Wilshire Homes Association a couple of weeks ago. They represent the remaining neighborhood in opposition. They handed me a petition with more than 1,000 signatures and letters from residents against the project, which I have been reviewing. After careful thought and consideration, I saw no other path than to oppose the project as it is currently designed.”

“Paul Koretz keeps claiming that the community supports this project. We have never supported this project,” said Diana Plotkin of the Beverly- Wilshire Homes Association at a news conference held on the sidewalk near the proposed development. “The only people who support this project is the condominium behind me, who is receiving $500,000 to improve its condominium, and the neighborhood council, who represent the businesses, the developers, and the unions, but not the residents who live in this area.”

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About Patricia Lombard

Patricia Lombard is the co-editor and publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.

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