A vandalized and crime-ridden site in Panorama City will finally see new life after nearly two decades of blight.
In a unanimous vote on Wednesday, the City Council approved the massive Icon at Panorama development in the neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley.
The project faced stiff opposition from labor unions, but the Council ultimately rejected an appeal by labor groups on Wednesday, a week after the Planning and Land Use Committee cleared the project, according to the Los Angeles Daily News
The project will see Icon develop 623 units of housing and 60,000 square feet of commercial space at the long-vacant and dilapidated Montgomery Ward department store, which closed in 2001. The $150 million project would include seven buildings and a 17,000-square-foot plaza.
Icon, led by CEO Bill Ruvelson, paid $18 million for the nine-acre site. Since it was closed and abandoned 17 years ago, the site has attracted crime and vandalism. The redevelopment was strongly supported by local authorities, including the Panorama City Chamber of Commerce and the Los Angeles Police Department.
Icon had revised the project twice before, adding more units and diminishing commercial square footage each time. The union appeal claimed that the environmental impact report failed to address mitigation measures to improve air quality at the project, according to the Daily News. The latest appeal claimed the boost in residential units from the 422 to 623 would greatly increased those emissions.
[Los Angeles Daily News] – Dennis Lynch