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Expo Line Developments Cause Concern for City Council Candidates

Image is of an apartment complex under construction.As new mixed-use and commercial developments are completed and come online in the next few years, two candidates for Culver City Council seats are concerned with the added traffic that will come with them. Martin Feinberg, Realtor, understands that traffic congestion around the Expo line in Culver City will impact everyone within the light rail corridor. Both Marcus Tiggs and Daniel Lee want to face that issue head on.

The Wesley, a dual-use project planned for Washington Blvd near the Expo Line station, would bring in 234 new apartments and 45,000 square feet of business space to the area. This will join another new nearby office complex slated to house cable network HBO and cooking supplies Surfas Culinary District, as well as Access Culver City Apartments at 3434 Wesley St, which is already impacting traffic congestion.

The biggest project in the mix though is the $300 million Ivy Station Complex—a transient-oriented development that will also have apartments, retail stores, a restaurant, a hotel, an office building and underground parking—which will greatly increase interest in that part of the Culver City Real Estate area.

Candidate Marcus Tiggs, a former Culver City Planning Commissioner, stated, “I’m concerned about what’s going to happen to the (nearby) Arts District (a few east of the Helms Bakery District). How is traffic going to impact that thriving area? Everything seems to be happening at the same time.”

Daniel Lee also acknowledged that future Culver City projects near the Expo Line would increase vehicular traffic in the Washington Blvd/Wesley Street corridor.

Lee stated, “There will be a period of congestion due to all of these developments. In the future, there needs to be better planning so that we can get people out of their cars.”

Both Tiggs and Lee believe that a rewrite of the City’s general plan will be necessary so that future developments can go in with better understanding of their impacts by citizens and neighborhoods.

“The key is to get people energized about the general plan and how it will affect not just the city but their neighborhoods as well,” Tiggs stated. “People need to feel like they have a reason to come out.”

Lee and Tiggs both support new developments in certain areas, including transit-oriented projects.

Martin Feinberg, Culver City Realtor, notes that city leaders have repeatedly stressed that new developments are needed to generate sale and business tax to offset the loss of revenue during the 2007 recession and the loss of Redevelopment Agency dollars years ago.

Image is of Los Angeles traffic as viewed from inside a car.“There’s a lot of enthusiasm for development in that area. It makes sense to have some type of development near the light rail station,” Lee said.

Tiggs especially wants the public to be more involved, stating, “We need to listen to the public when they come out to hear. I think that’s what people sometimes feel is missing.”

According to Culver City News, Alex Fisch, who is also running for a seat on the Culver City City Council, could not be reached for comment.