Century City neighborhood groups fight over Westfield’s “hush money” payout

Mall developer agreed to pay group $3.1M to quiet its protests over parking: report

Apr.April 05, 2017 05:30 PM
Westfield Century City mall (Westfield Corp.)

Two Century City neighborhood groups are fighting over who should have received a secret $3.1 million payout from Century City mall owner Westfield, which critics are calling “hush money.”

Westfield struck a deal to pay $3.1 million to a local nonprofit organization on behalf of  the Westside homeowners association Century Glen, L.A. Weekly reported. The group had been fighting the developer’s plan to eliminate free parking at its Century City mall, arguing that shoppers, instead of paying fees, would park on nearby residential streets. 

In accordance with the agreement, the group would cease its protests if Westfield payed out a nonprofit of its choice, L.A. Weekly reported. But Century Glen, formerly called Tract 7260, claims an organization called Fix the City wrongly received the funds.

It filed a lawsuit against the rival nonprofit in 2015 — litigation which is still pending. In the suit, Century Glen alleges that its former president Mike Eveloff arranged for the funds to go to Fix the City, a neighborhood watchdog group with Eveloff on its board.

Fix the City has responded with its own lawsuit accusing Century Glen’s board members of mismanaging funds and attempting to invalidate two properly conducted board votes.

The fight between Century Glen and Fix the City shines a light on the backdoor deals often made between NIMBY groups and developers, according to L.A. Weekly, which notes the issue was a part of city council candidate Jesse Creed’s unsuccessful campaign to unseat District 5 incumbent Paul Koretz.

“Some of the developer hush money does go to worthy causes, including police, firefighters, parks and local schools,” a statement from Creed read. “Who decides what is given and to whom? No public elections or official appointments occur. No public meetings are held. The gifts may be good. They may be bad. Nobody knows — except them.” [L.A. Weekly]Subrina Hudson

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