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Parker Center: Advocates Sue City of L.A. Over Plans & Cost Estimates for Luxury Office Tower vs. Rehabbing Building as Housing

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Press Conference, Wed., August 15th 9:30 a.m.

Advocates to confront City on $193M difference in City's Bureau of
Engineering estimate to rehab and repurpose building as housing versus
cost estimate that AHF housing advocates obtained.

Healthy Housing Foundation by AHF:

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:
https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180814005781/en/

On the left: The city's rendering of a proposed $900 million project to demolish Parker Center and b ...

On the left: The city's rendering of a proposed $900 million project to demolish Parker Center and build a luxury office tower for city employees. The City of LA's Bureau of Engineering estimates a low-income housing conversion would cost a whopping $295 million. On the right: The Healthy Housing Foundation (AHF)'s rendering of a proposed renovation for low-income housing, estimated cost: $102 million. (Graphic: Business Wire)

What:

      HOUSING PRESS CONFERENCE
Parker Center and Actual Cost for Rehab v. the City's Estimate
AHF files lawsuit to halt demolition and replacement of building
 

When:

Wed., August 15th, 9:30am

 

Where:

Parker Center (building entryway)
150 N. Los Angeles Street, LA CA 90012
 

Who:

• Michael Weinstein, President, AIDS Healthcare Foundation

• Liza Brereton, Legal Counsel, AHF

• Miki Jackson, Healthy Housing Foundation Advisor

• Ileana Wachtel, Coalition to Preserve LA

 

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF),
Coalition to Preserve LA (2PreserveLA)
and Healthy Housing Foundation (HHF)
will hold a press conference tomorrow, Wed., Aug. 15 at 9:30am at Parker
Center
 to lay out the cost estimates to save the building as
adaptive reuse for homeless housing and then, appropriately renaming it
the Tom Bradley Center. AHF will also announce the filing of a lawsuit
to prevent the destruction of Parker Center and also prevent the
building of a new luxury office tower for city workers. At over $900
million, it will be one of the most expensive municipal office buildings
in North America. We oppose this waste of public money.

There is a wide discrepancy—a
$193 million difference
—between what the respected outside engineers
estimate it will cost to rehabilitate and repurpose the building
for homeless housing and what the City of Los Angeles' Bureau of
Engineering estimates it would cost to do the same. Here's the timeline
thus far:

  • Well-respected engineers, brought in by the advocates, did a
    walk-through in July 2018 of Parker Center to determine the cost of
    saving and rehabilitating the building into homeless housing.
  • After months of pressure from the advocates, the City finally did its
    own analysis on the cost of saving and rehabilitating the building
    into homeless housing.
  • We believe our estimates are accurate and the City estimates are
    widely exaggerated and overblown. The difference: $193 million to
    house about 700 homeless people.

The City disputes the findings of the outside engineers brought in by
the advocates for rehabilitating the building for the homeless. At
the same time, the technical experts working for the advocates found
numerous instances of lavish, utterly unneeded decorative and other
expenditures that pushed their estimate for rehabilitating Parker Center
for homeless housing into the stratosphere.

The City claims it will cost $295,235,000 to save and rehabilitate
Parker Center. Yet our engineers have pinned the cost at a reasonable
$102,170,999 (Links to: comparison
of AHF estimate and LA BOE estimate
, and Seismic
Assessment
 commissioned by AHF). This $193 million difference raises
red flags about the City's motives. This effort has been driven from the
beginning by the Bureau of Engineering (BOE) and the Department of
Public Works. Both departments have for years urged the demolition of
the building and the construction of a luxury skyscraper for offices for
city workers.

"City officials are padding their estimate to rehab and repurpose Parker
Center as housing because they are bound and determined to tear it down
because they simply don't want it in their backyard," said Michael
Weinstein
, President of AHF. "It is a horrible waste of public funds
and shows a lack of interest in the cost-effective use of existing
resources at a time when the crisis of homelessness in Los Angeles rages
on largely unabated."

We are seeing the very same problem of overspending in the
City's proposal to put a luxury skyscraper on the site. The cost to
build a luxury skyscraper office tower for city workers has jumped
tremendously to over $900 million. And, when operations and maintenance
costs to the public for 30 years and financing are added in, the price
for this proposed city-owned office skyscraper is more like $943
million, according to the LA Times. ("Here's
the new — and much higher — cost of replacing Parker Center with an
office tower"
 6/9/18)

We have been told by City Hall insiders from the start that BOE and the
Dept. of Public Works will be a major beneficiary of their own
recommendations, moving from their drab headquarters in some nondescript
part of downtown to stunning new headquarters in what is possibly going
to be the most expensive municipal building in the United States.

L.A. ranks second-to-last among major metro areas in providing homeless
shelter. For five years, Parker Center has stood empty. Failing to
convert Parker Center into homeless housing is unacceptable amidst our
growing humanitarian crisis.

AHF's Healthy Housing Foundation Files Lawsuit
Against City Over Parker Center

Following is an excerpt from the legal action being filed Wednesday
morning by Healthy Housing Foundation against the City of Los Angeles in
Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles [Case # TBD]:

"Plaintiff AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), doing business as
Healthy Housing Foundation (HHF) seeks to enjoin Defendants from wasting
taxpayer funds to demolish Parker Center and build and finance a new and
unneeded high-rise luxury office tower.
The estimated cost of the
demolition of Parker Center and the building and financing of the City
high-rise have nearly tripled since the City's first proposal to between $915
and $943 million
.
The City has failed to show that this
project is necessary or provident.
Indeed, the project is
unneeded and improvident and should be enjoined pursuant to California
Code of Civil Procedure Section 526a.
The City is facing a
homelessness crisis; it has declared a state of emergency on
homelessness and shelter because the City has approximately 34,000
homeless people, about 25,000 of whom lack shelter.
Given this
crisis, Plaintiff has proposed that the City preserve, rehabilitate and
convert the existing building to housing for homeless people.
Over
700 people could be housed and sheltered at the existing building.
The
cost of saving the building, completing a seismic upgrade, and
converting the use would be approximately $102,171,000, which is between $812,920,000
-- $840,829,000 million less
 than the cost of the City's current
wasteful plan."

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