Last week I attended a Public Workshop regarding the large empty space between the Culver Hotel and Trader Joe’s in downtown Culver City commonly known as Parcel B.
There were varying viewpoints on what to do with “Parcel B”.
I am a real estate consultant and have talked to a number of developers about Parcel B. I would like to give some of their feedback and make a recommendation.
However, I ‘d first like to talk about economics versus the ideal of having a mini-central park on Parcel B.
Last week, at the City Council meeting , we were given a sobering outlook about the fiscal stability of Culver City. In 2009-2010 we had an operating deficit of $3.8 million.
Do you know how we managed to balance the budget last year?
We took money out of the Reserve General Fund! Unfortunately, the five year forecast projects operating deficits of over $30 million which will completely deplete the reserve fund and essentially make Culver City bankrupt unless we can get extra revenue.
One way to solve the city’s financial problem is to have a viable sustainable development on Parcel B that will generate sales tax revenue in the millions.
I’m not suggesting we put up an ugly big box monstrosity on Parcel B. Rather, what I am recommending is that we have a beautiful architecturally pleasing and environmentally friendly green retail complex on Parcel B that will not only be the center piece of Culver City but generate continuing sales tax revenues that will help the city in this financial crisis. We need to make this a win-win situation for the citizens, city and the developer.
We already have a plethora of restaurants in down town and a dearth of quality retail establishments. We need to have a developer that can bring new retail businesses that will be sustainable and draw shoppers and people to our downtown district.
We should not put unrealistic restrictions and road blocks that will turn off prospective developers. Rather, we should encourage them to come up with creative and exciting designs that achieve a critical mass that works and makes Parcel B the crown jewel of Culver City.