If you hate to sit in traffic at the intersection of Wilshire and Santa Monica boulevards, prepare to discover your inner reserves of patience, the Los Angeles Times reports.
To the dismay of residents wary of overdevelopment, the Beverly Hills City Council has approved a high-rise condo and retail project for the eight-acre site of the defunct Robinsons-May department store.
What's more, the council is expected Tuesday to approve an ambitious $500-million proposal by the Beverly Hilton to add condos and the West Coast's first Waldorf-Astoria Hotel to the mid-century Hilton's fabled site. The two projects would be next-door neighbors at Wilshire and Santa Monica, one of the busiest intersections in the region.
Many Beverly Hills residents for years have been battling what they perceive to be uncharacteristically tall and dense development in the historically low-rise community. Construction of the Montage Beverly Hills, a large luxury resort hotel with condos, is well along in the city's Golden Triangle commercial district, and several other mixed-use projects are in the pipeline.
Mayor Barry Brucker said the 9900 Wilshire project, approved by a 4-1 vote Wednesday evening, would secure about $60 million in upfront fees for Beverly Hills -- "more than any other project in the history of the city" -- to help fund street improvements and other work. He added that the project would result in less traffic than Robinsons-May in its fading days.
The Hilton project, on the other hand, would create a great deal more traffic than the current hotel generates. Moreover, residents face the prospect of sharing the road with construction workers and their equipment for many months.
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