Neighborhood council OKs Hackman’s TV City Project

Caruso letter asked council’s planning committee to delay reviewing the development

Hackman Capital Partners' Michael Hackman and Rick Caruso and CBS Television City (Hackman Capital Partners, Caruso Can)
Hackman Capital Partners' Michael Hackman and Rick Caruso and CBS Television City (Hackman Capital Partners, Caruso Can)

Hackman Capital Partners scored a small victory on Tuesday, securing the endorsement of an L.A. neighborhood council for its proposed billion-dollar Television City project.

The Mid City West Neighborhood Council voted 20-5 to support the proposed 25-acre redevelopment of CBS Television City Studios in Fairfax on Tuesday night. Hackman still needs approval from the Los Angeles City Council and the L.A. City Planning Department to move forward with the proposal.

The decision was a blow for an alliance backed by Caruso and the owners of The Original Farmers Market, which had spent an undisclosed sum on flyers and text messages to get residents to oppose the project and speak out at the council meeting.

The Television City site sits next to Caruso’s The Grove shopping center and the Original Farmers Market. Access to a small street between the properties is central to the dispute between Caruso and Hackman.

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Caruso, the real estate firm owned by mayoral candidate Rick Caruso, reached out to the neighborhood council’s planning committee, asking the committee to “defer any action” on the project, according to a July 18 letter obtained by TRD through a public records request.

In the letter, Caruso requested more time to “assess” the impacts the project would have on the community.

Sources familiar with conversations between Caruso and Hackman say Caruso was concerned about the use of Grove Drive — a key access point into The Grove — to perhaps keep the door open for any future development. A spokesperson for the Beverly Fairfax Community Alliance disputed this, saying “The Grove has no expansion plans.”

The Beverly Fairfax Community Alliance, which is being financially supported by Caruso and counts The Grove as a member, expressed “profound concern” about the Television City project, calling it a “massively scaled, speculative development which, if approved, would overwhelm, disrupt and forever transform the community,” according to a letter sent out to locals last month.

Under the Television City plan, Hackman is planning to build up to 1.87 million square feet of new soundstages, office and support space, and about 20,000 square feet of retail. At most, the office buildings will stand at 15 stories, though specific details are yet to be disclosed.

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