Two community organizations voice their approval of center’s “live, work, play” concept

To the Editor:

As president and CEO of the LAX Coastal Area Chamber of Commerce and a longtime resident of the community, I have monitored the progress of the Howard Hughes Center project over the years. Our organization, which represents almost 600 businesses and over 30,000 jobs within the region, understands the importance of mixed-use developments, like the Howard Hughes Center, in supporting the growth of our local economy.

When Equity Office Properties first presented the live, work, play at Howard Hughes Center project to our Planning and Land Use Committee, we saw that there were a few concerns. However, like a responsible developer, they listened to our input as well as input from other community organizations. The developer then came back to our leadership to present modifications to their plans that addressed our concerns, which specifically related to the height of the condominium building. The new plan included a reduction in height from the originally proposed 326 feet to 268 feet.

The developer’s commitment to tailoring its plans according to community feedback is one of many reasons why the LAX Coastal Area Chamber of Commerce’s Planning and Land Use Committee and Board of Directors unanimously voted to support the project. It will be nice to see this first-class, mixed-use development at Howard Hughes Center finally come to fruition.

Christina Davis, President/CEO, LAX Coastal Area Chamber of Commerce

To the Editor:

The Neighborhood Council of Westchester/Playa represents the communities of Westchester, Playa del Rey and Playa Vista.

When Equity Office Properties came to our Planning and Land Use Committee to discuss the proposed vision for live, work, play at Howard Hughes Center, we conveyed the concerns that we heard from the community to Equity Office — most of which revolved around the height of the proposed condominium building.

Through numerous outreach efforts to our committee and other community groups by the developer, Equity Office Properties conceded to a reduction in height in response to those concerns. As a result of our extensive review of the project and the developer’s determined effort to work with the community, the Neighborhood Council of Westchester/Playa, along with other Westchester community groups, voted to support the project, conditioned upon the reduction in height.

As traffic and congestion on the Westside get worse, projects like this one can help to alleviate the problem. With housing close to businesses and the entertainment center, the Howard Hughes Center will be an example of a “live, work, play” community. My hope is that the proposed residential plan will also serve to revitalize the entertainment and shopping experience at the center, which would be a tremendous benefit to the community.

Cyndi Hench, president, Neighborhood Council of Westchester/Playa