Skyscrapers Planned Over Fault Line in Hollywood Draw Ire

Thursday, 25 Jul 2013 07:51 PM

By David Ogul

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Los Angeles leaders are coming under criticism after the City Council there approved construction of two skyscrapers on what scientists say may be a major earthquake fault line.

The Hollywood Millennium towers would rise 35 and 39 floors high and contain more than 1 million square feet of office, hotel, and retail space just off the Hollywood Walk of Fame and next to the iconic Capitol Records building, the Los Angeles Times reported. City officials are hoping the $664 million project will rejuvenate an area that, despite its glittery image, has been plagued by crime and homelessness.

The City Council was not swayed by concerns from seismologists when it approved the latest urban renewal project for the area.

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The Times reported that the California Geological Survey’s head John Parrish sent a letter to the City Council president noting the dangers, and he said Wednesday that the Hollywood fault “goes right through the Millennium site.”

Parrish criticized a seismic report produced by the developer as being flawed and not including pertinent information.

U.S. Geological Survey maps show faults throughout Southern California, including the notorious San Andreas Fault, which is about 60 miles east of Hollywood.

Millennium co-founder Philip Aarons was quoted in the Times as saying his firm would work with the city to address any concerns and “is committed to safe, sound, responsible development.”

“It is not our interest to develop a project without addressing any and all seismic concerns,” he said.

Some Twitter users were critical of the plans

“Kind of really dumb,” tweeted Tom Wellborn, who uses the Twitter handle @TLW3.

“Hey, let’s build some 35 story buildings right here on this fault line!,” tweeted @SunBunny254. “Great, nothing could possibly go wrong with that. #Hollywood #Idiots.

The project sits on the eastern edge of Hollywood.

The New York Times this week called Hollywood Boulevard “the West Coast equivalent of Times Square, an urban reclamation project that transformed a strip once notorious for crime, drug-dealing and prostitution into a tourist destination, a thriving night-life district and the home of movie premieres and the Academy Awards.”

But problems persist. And a recent robbery spree by a gang of teenage thugs and the stabbing death of a woman by a three transients has not added to the area’s luster.

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Related stories:

Geologist Predicts Major Earthquake for North America

Washington Earthquake Registers 4.3; No Injuries, Damages Reported

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