Miracle Mile Residential Association Newsletter • April 2016

Miracle Mile
Residential Association

Newsletter • April 2016 • Los Angeles, California                                                                                                    

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Miracle Mile
Restaurant Guide Updated

The Miracle Mile has an array of cuisines and dining experiences from 4-star squid ink pasta at Ray’s on the LACMA campus to genuine Philly cheesesteak sandwiches served from a Wilshire Boulevard food truck. Ethiopian, Mexican, Japanese, Vegan– you name it, we’ve got it. Everyone has their favorite neighborhood joint: Yuko Kitchen, Rascal, Tom Bergin’s, and Candela attract a large number of “regulars.” And everyone has their favorite food truck, too: Banh in the USA, Mainely Lobster, and El Chato Taco Truck are among those celebrated by mobile food fans.
The restaurant guide is one of the most popular features on the MMRA website. The updated guide includes all the restaurants in the Miracle Mile, as well as nearby restaurants that are popular with residents. If we missed your favorite, drop us a note and we’ll add it to the list.


Miracle Mile Small Business Stroll Launched

Miracle Mile Small Business Stroll Launched

The Miracle Mile Small Business Stroll kicked-off on Saturday, April 2, 2016. The commencement of the ongoing event – scheduled for the first Saturday of every month  – included Councilmember David Ryu, who toured a dozen shops and restaurants [see video].

Click on image to view video.
Created by Fatima Dodson, owner of Runaway Boutique, the event is designed to promote independently owned and operated businesses and restaurants in the Miracle Mile and strengthen their ties to the community.
Dodson collaborated with Maria Lopez (Candela) and Christine Johnson (Miracle Mile Toys & Games) [photo right] in organizing the the event. Their efforts were supported by Metro's "Eat Play Shop" campaign, which helps  to publicize businesses during subway construction. Steve Kramer, President of the Miracle Mile Chamber of Commerce, was on hand, too, to endorse the event.
Councilmember Ryu presented several business owner with certificates of appreciation. He also offered his assistance to those applying for Metro’s Business Interruption Fund, which provides low-interest loans to business suffering financial losses due to the disruptions created by the Purple Line Extension.
“Local shops and restaurants are an important part of the fabric of the Miracle Mile,” said James O’Sullivan, MMRA President. “They provide important services and jobs for our community. Subway construction is going to exact a toll – the MMRA and all of our residents need to make a special effort to support these businesses.”
The next Miracle Mile Small Business Stroll is scheduled for Saturday, May 7th, 10 AM ~ 10 PM. Special activities, sales, and discounts will be offered at many businesses. For more information visit the Miracle Mile Small Business Stroll Facebook page.
For additional information:
Metro – Purple Line Extension – Eat Shop Play (list of businesses)
Metro – Business Interruption Fund Factsheet
Park La Brea/Beverly Press: Miracle Mile Celebrates First Small Business Stroll


Sound Wall Construction Begins at Ogden Staging Yard


Sound Wall Construction Begins
at Odgen Staging Yard


Click on map to enlarge.

Work to erect the sound walls surrounding the Odgen staging yard began this month. The site will be the key support facility for the excavation and construction of the Wilshire/Fairfax subway station. The walls facing residential areas, on the east and south sides, will be 24 feet high; the walls facing Orange Grove Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard, on the west and north sides, will be 20 feet high.
The MMRA conferred with representatives from Metro and the contractor, STS (Skanska, Traylor and Shea), on the noise mitigations for the staging yard. The MMRA expressed concern about the placement of the two gates to the yard, both of which are located on Odgen Drive. The southern gate is opposite a 50-unit apartment building for low-income senior citizens – and directly adjacent to a four-story condominium building. The northern gate opens directly onto the intersection of Odgen and the dog-leg section of Genesee Avenue, which could allow noise from the yard to channel into nearby multifamily buildings.
Placement of the gates on Odgen was dictated by several factors. The Wilshire side of the staging yard is where the excavation will take place for the underground subway station. And the haul route mandated by the city requires that dump trucks travel to-and-from the yard via Wilshire to La Brea (to the 10 Freeway). The existing traffic signal at Wilshire and Ogden facilitates access to the construction site.
After discussions with the MMRA, Metro and its contractor agreed to implement a protocol requiring that both gates be kept closed at all times of day and that they only be opened to allow immediate entry and/or exit. The gates will be constructed to operate as quietly as possible. The MMRA reserved the right to demand additional mitigations should this protocol prove to be ineffective in controlling noise disturbances to nearby residents. 



Neighborhood Integrity Initiative OK'd
to Collect Signatures for March 2017 Ballot

Neighborhood Integrity Initiative OK’d
to Collect Signatures for March 2017 Ballot

by Patricia Lombard, Larchmont Buzz

Jill Stewart, Campaign Director, Coalition to Preserve LA,
with supporters at City Hall.
April 8, 2016 – The Coalition to Preserve LA announced this week that its put-the-brakes-on-development ballot measure, known as the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative, was approved for signature gathering for the March, 2017 ballot. The measure, introduced last fall and originally intended for the fall, 2016 election ballot, has been both rescheduled and revised (from 23 pages to 8 pages) to simplify the language and modify some provisions.
One change in the revised measure will allow planners more flexibility in proposing changes to neighborhoods to avoid grandfathering density if it no longer suits a neighborhood, explained Jack Humphreville, a Windsor Square resident active in the Coalition. According to Humphreville, the change was in response to concerns raised about the measure.
Mott Smith [photo left], an opponent of the initiative, raised the grandfathering issue in a recent video interview with Miracle Mile Residential Association Vice President Ken Hixon. Smith, the co-founder and Principal of Civic Enterprise, told Hixon that, “the fatal flaw of the initiative is how it hamstrings revising community plans by mandating that they be consistent to existing development – even if it is the consensus of the community to change the density or uses in a particular area,” wrote Hixon in a recent article on
According to the Coalition, other changes include:
  • Exempting 100-percent affordable housing projects from the two-year moratorium, allowing those projects to proceed even if they need height district or zone changes;
  • Requiring City Hall to go to the people, holding its public reviews and updates of the General Plan and the 35 Community Plans, and the Harbor District Plan and Airport District Plan, solely at night and on weekends and within the affected communities; 
  • Removing several pages explaining L.A.’s existing parking rules and leaving in place only the paragraph that would be changed. That paragraph stops favored developers of small lot subdivisions, condo conversions and outsized projects from being able to vastly cut back their required parking.
 The move to the spring ballot puts the measure on a slate filled with city-wide races and issues. Contests for Mayor, City Attorney and City Controller as well as eight City Council members will be in play at the same time. As a result, said Humphreville, some opponents have criticized the Coalition for ballot “shopping,”  because the March 2017 voters are also more likely to white, own homes and be more conservative in their views about development.
“The November ballot will be so crowded,” he said, “the measure would have been way down the ballot and voters may not go all the way to find it.”
The revised measure can be found here.

This article first appeared in the Larchmont Buzz. We are grateful for permission to republish it here.


Three Decades Before Porter Ranch, a Methane Explosion Derailed L.A.'s Subway Plans


Three Decades Before Porter Ranch,
a Methane Explosion Derailed L.A.'s Subway Plans

Los Angeles historian and writer Nathan Masters recently wrote an account of the Ross Dress for Less methane explosion in March 1985 that many longtime Miracle Mile residents will recall. Masters is host, producer, and managing editor of Lost LA, an original public television series from KCET and the USC Libraries.
Master’s timing is spot on given the massive gas leak at Porter Ranch. The article details the 1985 explosion and how it stymied subway construction along Wilshire for two decades.

Methane is very much a part of the history of the Miracle Mile – as evidenced by the methane bubbles in the La Brea Tar Pits. There are hundreds of abandoned oil wells throughout the Wilshire and Fairfax District. These wells were capped in the 1920s as the value of the land they stood on exceeded the value of the crude oil they produced.
Safety procedures were improved in the aftermath of the Ross Dress for Less explosion. The Miracle Mile is dotted with vent pipes and methane monitors have been installed in businesses, apartment buildings and subterranean parking lots. New construction techniques make it possible to safely tunnel through the Miracle Mile for subway construction.
But, as the Porter Ranch gas leak demonstrates (and other minor methane “events” in the Miracle Mile since 1985), there is always the risk of history repeating itself.
You can read the article here.

Photos courtesy of the Herald Examiner Collection, Los Angele Public Library.


Renter's Syllabus: Recent articles on rising rents, Ellis Act evictions, and affordable housing...

Renter’s Syllabus:

Recent articles on rising rents, Ellis Act evictions,
and affordable housing…



Since 2000, approximately 1700 new market-rate apartment units have been built in the Miracle Mile. Approximately 100 older, rent-stabilized apartment units were demolished to allow this new development. And only two low-income units were created in the process.
The “trickle down theory” of housing – the holy grail of urban planners – has it that creating more luxury-rate units will stabilize and/or lower the rents of existing older apartments. This is certainly not the case in the Miracle Mile, where rents for both new and old units are going through the roof.

Shades of the impact the newly opened Expo Line has had on rents along that transporation corridor, the advent of the Purple Line Extension is already effecting rents in the Miracle Mile. According to Radpad, rents in the vicinity of the Wilshire/ Fairfax subway station, currently under construction, rose over 42% from last year.
Sixty-plus percent of the residents of the Miracle Mile are renters. Rent-stabilized units in older multifamily buildings are the only vestige of affordable housing in our community. The loss of these units for new development – achieved through Ellis Act evictions – is a major issue in the Miracle Mile and the city at large.
The articles linked below demonstrate how mega-developments are impacting middle and working class housing in Los Angeles.

KPCC, Southern California Public Radio: Why Rents in SoCal Will Keep Rising in the Coming Years

Curbed Los Angeles: Koreatown Pushing Back Against Dense and Pricey Developments

Los Angeles Times: More Rent-Controlled Buildings are Being Demolished to Make Way for Pricier Housing

Los Angeles Daily News: Evictions Gain New Attention at L.A. City Hall as Tenants get 'Priced Out'

Curber Los Angeles: Mapped: Where Mass Rent-Control Evictions Are Ramping Up in L.A.

Radpad: Rent on L.A.'S Expo Line is Up 40+% Before the First Train Leaves Station

Miracle Mile Real Estate • February 2016 Sales


Miracle Mile Real Estate
• March 2016 Sales •


1012 S. Stanley Ave.
duplex: 2 - 2 bdrm; 1 bath units
2,780 sq. ft
lot: 5,500 sq. ft.
listed price: $1,200,000
sale price: $
sale date:3/11/2016

1033 S. Stanley Ave.
duplex: 2 - 3 bdrm; 2 bath units
2,977 sq. ft.
lot: 5,236 sq. ft.
listed price: $1,380,000
sale price: $1,295,000
sale date: 3/14/2016 

1021 S. Ridgeley Dr.
3 bdrm; 2 bath
1,801 sq. ft.
lot: 6,002 sq. ft.
listed price: $965,000
sale price: $965,000
sale date: 3/1/2016

916 Masselin Ave.

3 bdrm; 3 bath
2,252 sq. ft.
lot: 7,000 sq. ft.
sale price: $1,400,000
list price: $1,395,000
sale date: 3/29/16

906 S. Sierra Bonita Ave.

3 bdrm; 3 bath
2,040 sq. ft.
lot: 7,000 sq. ft.
sale price: $1,480,000
list price: $1,489,000
sale date: 3/18/16

829 S. Ogden Dr.

3 bdrm; 1 bath
1,599 sq. ft.
lot: 6,000 sq. ft.
sale price: $1,050,000
list price: $1,200,000
sale date: 3/18/16



(...below the fold...)


MMRA Board Meeting
May 3, 2016
@ 7 PM

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[Click on image to enlarge]

Miracle Mile

History Quiz

What are the men in the lower left of this circa 1911 photo digging for? Hint: It's not oil.

Miracle Mile Farmers' Market
Every Wednesday 11 AM ~ 3 PM

Wilshire Courtyard

Miracle Mile
Residential Association

James O’Sullivan, President

Alice S. Cassidy, Vice President

Joseph Steins, Treasurer

Ken Hixon, Vice President
Director of Communications

Mark Zecca, Chairperson
Miracle Mile HPOZ Committe

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Copyright © 2016 Miracle Mile Residential Association.  All rights reserved.

Miracle Mile Residential Association
P.O. Box 361295
Los Angles, CA 90036-9495


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