Category Archives: City of Los Angeles

Assessing the Fault

Over the past year, there has been a great deal of debate about the Hollywood fault.  A lot of heated rhetoric came from opponents to the Millennium Hollywood project, who seized on the fault issue to try and stop the development.  Now, finally, we are beginning to see a little clarity on this issue.  We may not know exactly where the fault is, but we do know where it isn’t.

In a press release issued last week, Millennium Partners and Argent Ventures announced the results of the “most extensive urban fault investigation ever undertaken in California” that “conclusively found no evidence of an earthquake fault on their property.”

The study was conducted by Group Delta, a geological and geotechnical engineering consulting firm that they and three other property owners hired.  The firm found no active fault traces on any of the four properties.

Then, on Thursday, at a public hearing held in Sacramento by the State Mining and Geology Board (SMGB), the executive officer of the board, Steve Testa, reviewed the data, said that he had made direct geologic observations of the fault trench walls and had studied the preliminary data that had been generated.  He concluded with this statement:  “Should the conclusions set forth prove definitive, such results would be cause for modification of the earthquake fault zone map within the subject area.”

The SMGB board voted to adopt his recommendations and forwarded those, along with 200 pages of testimony to State Geologist John Parrish, who has the final say on how the Hollywood Fault Zone map will be drawn.  He has 90 days to make his decision – until November 14th.

The detailed documentation for the conclusions drawn by Group Delta will be completed and submitted by the end of August to Mr. Parrish.  We trust he will wait for that data and study it, as recommended by the SMGB, before issuing his final map.

If the data holds up, as the SMGB executive officer believes it will, then these four properties should be removed from the map, so that they can move forward with their development plans, which will create hundreds of needed jobs here in Hollywood.

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Leron Gubler has been serving as the President and CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce for the past 22 years. His tenure since 1992 continues to oversee the great comeback story of Hollywood.

NeueHouse Brings Jobs to Hollywood

It was very good news for Hollywood on a number of fronts when we heard a week ago that Kilroy Realty had signed NeueHouse to a 93,000-sq.ft., 15-year lease at Columbia Square, now under construction.

It was a demonstration that there is indeed strong interest in the Hollywood office market. This bears out the faith that Kilroy Realty, Hudson Pacific, and J.H. Snyder have shown by making significant investments in Hollywood’s office sector. There hasn’t been a speculative office building erected in Hollywood in 30 years, so with more than 700,000-sq.ft. of spec space under construction, these firms are helping to shape the future of Hollywood.

NeueHouse is a New York operator of avant garde communal office space. They intend to take the incubator-office concept a step further by designing an environment where strangers can work independently or come together serendipitously. They will cater to people in the creative arts such as film, design, publishing, the performing arts and technology. They arrive on the heels of WeWork, another communal office space provider, which successfully launched in Hollywood a couple of years ago. Although WeWork has a slightly different niche than NeueHouse, it has demonstrated the potential that Hollywood has to serve this young, creative market.

I am sure that one of the things that NeueHouse found attractive was the thousands of young Millennials who have moved to Hollywood in the last 10 years. Over the past decade, 2,800 housing units have been built in central Hollywood. With another 1,600 under construction today, we are adding a solid base of young, educated and talented residents who will help to fill the new office buildings in Hollywood. Unlike previous generations, a significant portion of Millennials do not wish to commute from the suburbs and would rather locate in a central, high energy urban environment. Hollywood fits the bill. John Kilroy, Jr., the chairman of the board of Kilroy Realty, told us at our recent annual Economic Development Summit that 77-percent of Millennials plan to live in urban centers, which is why his firm has invested in Hollywood.

This synergy between a talented pool of young workers and quality office space built specifically to meet the needs of the Millennial generation should work well for Hollywood’s future.

NeueHouse is the first of many new firms that we anticipate will set up shop in Hollywood. We look forward to welcoming them to Hollywood, because, when it comes to building a strong community, it is all about jobs.

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Leron Gubler has been serving as the President and CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce for the past 22 years. His tenure since 1992 continues to oversee the great comeback story of Hollywood.

It Is All About Jobs

Welcome to my new blog about jobs in Los Angeles. One of the major missions of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce is to create a strong economy – and for years we have trekked to Sacramento, testified at hundreds of City Hall hearings, worked to attract and retain companies in Hollywood, and organized events to promote this community. If you boiled it all down to one word – it is “jobs” that we are seeking.

I came to the Hollywood Chamber in 1992, shortly after the civil unrest that shocked our region. One of the first events I attended here was the reopening of Hollywood’s Sears Store on Santa Monica Blvd., that had been severely damaged during the rioting. It is interesting to note that Sears had reached out and hired gang members to help make repairs. After I was introduced at the celebration, several of them came up to me with an appeal, which I recall very clearly. They said, “Mr. Chamber of Commerce President, all we want are jobs.”

When you think of it, there is nothing that could help more to resolve civil problems than providing people with a livelihood, where they can hold their heads high, earn a living, and feel that they are making a contribution.

And so it was alarming earlier this year to learn that the City of Los Angeles has one of the worst records in job creation in the nation. Since 1990, Los Angeles has lost 3.1 percent of its employment base. That is worse than Cleveland (-0.2%) and Detroit (-2.8%). It is hard to believe that we have fewer jobs in this city today than we had 25 years ago, but that is exactly the case. By comparison, job growth over the same period exceeded 50 percent in Phoenix, Orlando, Las Vegas, San Antonio, Houston and Dallas.

Now it should be noted that these figures are for the City of Los Angeles. Job growth is occurring in Southern California – just not in our City. You would think that this report, which was issued by the UCLA Anderson School of Management, would have jolted the City into action. But that has not been the case.

It seems that we are hit weekly with decisions that are made at the local or state levels that impact the creation or retention of jobs. I will offer you my assessment on whether these decisions will help us on the job front or if they will lead to a loss of jobs. When our public officials make good decisions, I will certainly recognize and commend them. Likewise, I will point out how potential decisions may have consequences on the jobs front and why our representatives should consider that possibility when they vote.

I also welcome your feedback, suggestions and input about how potential decisions might impact your ability to do business, because when it comes to creating a strong economy in Los Angeles, it is all about jobs!

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Leron Gubler has been serving as the President and CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce for the past 22 years.  His tenure since 1992 continues to oversee the great comeback of Hollywood. Gubler is also the face of the Chamber at the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremonies, promoting both the Chamber and Hollywood to the world.