Hilary Duff’s Los Angeles home is a perfect blend of feminine and modern

If you’ve ever spent hours on Pinterest creating the perfect design for your home, turns out you have a lot in common with Hilary Duff. The “Younger” actress recently revealed to Better Homes & Gardensthat she lives on the inspiration website and used it to dream up her vibrant Los Angeles home.

The result is a beautifully feminine, yet modern decor scheme complete with gorgeous pops of color and stunning statement pieces.

Better Homes & Gardens/ Justin Coit

When you first enter the property, you’re greeted by a door painted in a soft dusty rose. “I’ve never seen myself as girlie, and I don’t own much pink, even though I love it,” Duff told the magazine of the color.

Interior designers Shannon Wollack and Brittany Zwickl of Studio Life.Style worked with Duff to make sure the pieces she picked out — such as the colorful artwork Damien Hirst’s “Butterfly Kaleidoscope” which hangs in her living room — were paired with dialed back furniture so as to create a balance in the space.

Better Homes & Gardens/ Justin Coit

“Hilary wanted her home to feel feminine and modern but definitely lived-in and cozy,” Wollack said. While each room has its own quirky decor, there’s also a nice mix of contemporary pieces in alluring silhouettes and antique furnishings for aged appeal.

Better Homes & Gardens/ Justin Coit

One of the bedrooms is enveloped in a cheerful floral wallpaper that reminds Duff of her childhood. “I grew up with wallpaper,” she said. “My mom was fanatical about it, so it makes me feel nostalgic.”

Better Homes & Gardens/ Justin Coit

Duff is also making design memories of her own for her son Luca, 5. “I see the things I’m acquiring along the way — the rugs, the art and anything that Luca makes — as new collectibles,” she said. “As a result, the house feels full of memories and also of opportunities — new, old and yet-to-come.”

Better Homes & Gardens/ Justin Coit

But clutter isn’t a problem thanks to her careful purchasing habits. “Whenever I’m on the verge of buying something — whether a chair or a pair of earrings — I ask myself, ‘Will I still love it when I get to be 60 or 70?'” she said.

That’s a good tip we can all use!

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Posted on January 13, 2018 at 4:22 am
Tara Rose | Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , ,

Calabasas-Based 10 Speed Coffee Races to Santa Monica

The owners are aiming for April to open up a bike-themed coffeehouse

The owners behind Calabasas’ Pedaler’s Fork just lined up a new space in Santa Monica called 10 Speed Coffee. According to spokesperson Gideon Kleinman, the new cafe will open in early April on the corner of 20th and Santa Monica Boulevard.

ToddRickallen caught first sight of the forthcoming coffeehouse. 10 Speed Coffee is partnering with Heirloom LA for food provisions, and works with a local coffee trader. Just over the hill, Pedaler’s Fork has a 10 Speed Coffee, a separate full bar, a bicycle-themed restaurant, and a bike shop all under one roof. 10 Speed Coffee was first founded in Oregon, but bought by the Pedaler’s Fork crew in 2012.

The busy corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and 20th is full of medical buildings, and is a largely corporate coffee zone. The only independent coffee slinger is blocks away at Cafe 8 12.

Coffeehouses are a perfect meeting spot for cyclists, who like to start or end their rides with caffeine. In somewhat-related and across town news: Ten Speed Coffee’s announcement comes on the same day as the Wheelhouse, a caffeinated bike shop in the Arts District, announced it was closed.

10 Speed Coffee
1919 Santa Monica Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA

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Posted on January 11, 2018 at 4:03 am
Tara Rose | Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , ,

Which museums are taking part in the upcoming free-admission day? Here’s the complete list

The Urban Light (2000-07) installation created by renowned artist Chris Burden at Los Angeles County Museum of Art. (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times) 

The Museums Free-for-All is back: This year the special day for free admission to dozens of Southern California institutions is set for Jan. 28.

The goal is to get the public into museums and galleries so people can see the kinds of fine offerings on display all year round. The event is organized by a group called SoCal Museums, composed of representatives from museums across the Los Angeles region.

Whether you’re interested in 20th century masters of painting, arts and crafts, natural history, automotive wonders, botany or music, there is a museum that fits the bill. If you start early and stay late, you might even find time to visit more than one.

Participating museums (with regular adult admission prices noted):

Autry Museum of the American West, Griffith Park ($10-$14)

Columbia Memorial Space Center, Downey ($3-$5)

Craft and Folk Art Museum, Mid-Wilshire ($5-$7)

Descanso Gardens, La Cañada Flintridge ($6-$9)

Grammy Museum, downtown L.A. ($10.95-$12.95)

Japanese American National Museum, downtown L.A., via janm.org/freeforall($6-$12)

Kidspace Children’s Museum, Pasadena ($3-$14)

La Brea Tar Pits and Museum, Mid-Wilshire, general admission only via tarpits.org/freeforall ($12-$15)

Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Mid-Wilshire ($16-$25)

Museum of Contemporary Art, downtown L.A. ($8-$15)

Museum of Tolerance, Pico-Robertson ($12.50-$15.50)

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Exposition park, via nhm.org/freeforall ($12-$15)

Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach ($7.50-$10)

Pasadena Museum of California Art ($5-$7)

Petersen Automotive Museum ($13-$16)

Riverside Art Museum ($3-$5)

Santa Barbara Museum of Art ($6-$10)

Skirball Cultural Center (Noah’s Ark timed-entry, one-hour tickets are first-come, first-served) ($9-$12)

Zimmer Children’s Museum ($7.50)

Usually free (and participating in the Free-for-All)

Annenberg Space for Photography, Century City

The Broad, downtown L.A.

California African American Museum, Exposition Park

California Science Center (excludes Imax films and the “Body Worlds: Pulse” exhibition; timed reservation with fee is required for Space Shuttle Endeavour)

Forest Lawn Museum, Glendale

Fowler Museum at UCLA, Westwood

Getty Center, Brentwood

Getty Villa, Pacific Palisades (timed tickets required; getty.edu)

Hammer Museum, Westwood

Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, downtown

La Plaza de Cultura y Artes, downtown L.A.

Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach (always free on Sundays)

The Paley Center for Media (free, with a suggested donation of $10)

Palm Springs Art Museum

Pomona College Museum of Art

Sunnylands Center & Gardens (excludes tours of the historic house and grounds), Rancho Mirage

University Art Museum, Cal State Long Beach

USC Fisher Museum (open Jan. 27 instead of Jan. 28)

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Posted on January 4, 2018 at 7:45 am
Tara Rose | Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , ,

10 home design trends to watch out for in 2018

Believe it or not, New Year’s is just around the corner, and while you’re deciding on your annual resolutions, the design world is setting its sights on what styles will be big in 2018.

The home remodeling and design platform Houzz is ahead of the game, recently having released its top 10 home-design-trend predictions for the new year. The site’s forecast, derived from conversations with industry experts as well as trends noticed among its 40 million monthly users, gives a glimpse of what we might soon see in our homes — and on our social media feeds.

We chatted with Houzz editor and writer Mitchell Parker about Houzz’s conclusions, and why these particular trends are gaining traction.

So whether you’re a first-time homeowner looking to revamp your current home or just want some new design inspiration, here are some home design trends to take note of in 2018.

(Rikki Snyder/Houzz)
1. More color in kitchens

Although white will always be a classic color for kitchen design, homeowners are shying away from bland hues and injecting rich colors, such as warm wood tones (example: mahogany) and neutrals (example: grays and blues), into the space to give it a warm, fresh and unique feel.

Social sites such as Instagram, Pinterest and Houzz have exposed homeowners to “what’s possible, what looks fun and what they can personalize themselves,” Parker said, and have encouraged them to be bigger risk-takers when it comes to color.

(Sea Pointe Construction/Houzz)
2. Rich colors throughout the home

Warm grays paired with “camel, rust, tobacco [and] brown-blacks,” as well as earthy reds and yellows, are expected to edge out cooler neutrals in the coming year.

“These rich colors are not like the avocado green and mustard colors from the 1970s. They won’t date quickly,” Parker said. “They are rich, moody and work well in home environments where you want a soothing and diverse mix of colors and textures.”

(Sheila Mayden Interiors/Houzz)
3. No more white or stainless steel sinks

The modern Farmhouse style will continue to flourish in 2018 and spread to the bathroom. Parker predicts that there will be “more concrete, stone, copper and granite composite sinks in darker hues of gray, bronze or black.”

“As people set out to personalize their spaces, they are kind of bored with seeing a white sink all of the time,” Parker said. The rustic home decor trend is “waking people up to trying something new and different.”

It “harkens back to simpler times,” he said, “and that feeling of simplicity can be very calming in a home environment.”

(Angela Flournoy/Houzz)
4. Florals

The tropical palm print may have flooded your Instagram feeds this year, but people aren’t yet tired of eye-catching, oversized graphic florals. Houzz expects that we’ll see even more interpretations of over-scaled floral patterns, in high-contrast colors, in the new year.

(Kimberley Bryan/Houzz)
5. Vintage lighting

Vintage light fixtures, including sconces, lanterns, pendants and chandeliers, are making a comeback as crafty home do-it-yourselfers outfit retro fixtures with new technology.

“I find that vintage fixtures are often better-made than new fixtures, I prefer their patina, and I appreciate the distinctive, one-of-a-kind quality they add to rooms,” designer and “Today” show style expert Elizabeth Mayhew wrote in The Washington Post. “Online shopping platforms such as 1stDibs, Etsy and One Kings Lane have made it easy to find everything from an early-20th-century French crystal chandelier to a ’60s Sputnik.”

(Designstorms /Houzz)
6. Trough or bucket sinks

Another sign the modern Farmhouse trend isn’t dying in 2018: Houzz predicts that deep, wide and durable trough and bucket sinks will continue to be popular in the new year. Used commonly in busy laundry rooms and kids’ bathrooms, these long, narrow and low-maintenance sinks can help create a rustic aesthetic and maximize minimal space.

(Alexandra Crafton/Houzz)
7. Concrete accents

Step aside, white marble — it’s concrete’s time to steal the spotlight.

“It’s a really affordable, high-impact design element,” Parker said.

Already used for floors and countertops, the versatile, accessible material is now being used in more interesting and unexpected ways, including in home accessories, such as pendant lighting and furniture.

“We’re seeing new uses [of it] on all kinds of hardscaping surfaces,” Parker added. “On anything you can think of, people are casting it.”

(Michaela Dodd/Houzz)
8. Millwork feature walls and detailing

The ease and availability of millwork has helped increase its demand and popularity in the design world. “Before, if you wanted to find millwork or reclaimed wood, you really had to know where to go and find somebody who was good at working with it,” Parker said. “Now, you can DIY it, and put it right against the drywall behind your bed to create a feature wall.”

(Rachel Loewen Photography/Houzz)
9. Wallpaper-like backsplash

Looking to refresh your kitchen or bathroom? Stay away from subway or hexagon tiles and instead consider contemporary tiles that look like wood, concrete, resin, fabric or even wallpaper.

(Nanette Wong/Houzz)
10. Casual and calm modern bedrooms

Homeowners are running with the “less is more” notion in the master bedroom and opting for more modern and minimalist furnishings. Instead of bold and busy colors, soothing, neutral color palettes are expected to reign supreme, along with soft fabrics and simple furniture pieces.

Posted on December 29, 2017 at 5:07 am
Tara Rose | Posted in Uncategorized |

Get Your Glittery Golden Triangle Fun On at BOLD Holidays

BOLD Beverly Hills
Eye holiday lights, shop, enjoy the shimmer around Rodeo Drive and beyond.If you had a measurement device called the Extreme Sparkle Reader, the sort of device that you’d hold high above your head, in order that it could pick up any nearby waves containing sparkle or glitter or shimmer or shine, you’d have readings off the charts, pretty much any day of the year, while standing in Beverly Hills.

For the Golden Triangle? That swath of the 90210 that contains some of the planet’s most tony-tastic, luxe-famous shops? Its windows and lights and displays keep the radiance at full blast throughout the calendar.

But come late November and December, that Golden Triangle-style twinkle is fully pumped up, courtesy of BOLD Holidays.

The nightly happening, which includes both the profusion of lights as well as live tunes, Santa sightings, and more, is free to see, though note that most evenings the illumination is the star, while Friday, Dec. 22 and Saturday, Dec. 23 will see some special doings around Rodeo Drive and its environs.

On Dec. 22? Look for a performance by M-Pact, as well as spirit-raising songs sung by the Tinseltones. “Coffee & Curated Food Carts” will be about, if you’re peckish, so do bring some cash for that.

And, of course, you’ll want to have funds on you if you plan to do any shopping; many stores will be open later, which is part of the BOLD Holidays schedule.

As for Saturday, Dec. 23? Santa will put in a jolly cameo that night, and DJ Jenny Albright will be bringing the blissful grooves. Coffee and eats’ll be available to buy, here and there, and, yep, the shops’ll keep the doors wide a little later than usual.

If you simply want to admire the light sculptures and bulb-pretty displays and the chandeliers over Rodeo, those’ll be aglitter well beyond Christmas, and even a bit past New Year’s Day, too. Check the schedule, then go Golden Triangle to find your over-the-top twinkle.

You don’t even need an Extreme Sparkle Reader in your pocket to sense the mega sparkle; the illumination of Beverly Hills is bright enough to light the Golden Triangle, all season long.

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Posted on December 22, 2017 at 7:48 am
Tara Rose | Posted in Uncategorized |


At $882 a seat, Dodger Stadium is L.A.’s most expensive real estate as World Series begins
sent me a message.“It’s game day, Dodgers fans,” said the header on the email. “Be there live!”

I opened the message and got this:

World Series tickets are just taps away!”

So I tapped. And up popped a seating chart for Dodger Stadium, along with a list of tickets for sale.

The cheapest ticket was $882, and it was at the top of the stadium. I clicked, and I was too late.

“Someone else just bought this ticket,” said a pop-up.

Two hours later, I saw three tickets listed for $735 apiece. Please notice that I said “tickets” and not “seats.” They were listed on StubHub as “Top Deck Standing Room Only.”

Is this insane?

Yes, but baseball is business, especially in October. So who can be surprised that average working stiffs are priced out of the first World Series games in Los Angeles in 29 years?

Prices are so high, three people were raising money for tickets on GoFundMe, according to a spokesperson for the fundraising site.

By midday, $2,740 had been raised for a preschool teacher and “HUGE Dodger fan” named Mrs. Brown.

Another listing said that a woman named Donna Marie lost her Dodger-loving father this year and had raised $2,310 to buy tickets for herself, her husband and “the spirit of her father.”

Why didn’t I think of this for myself?

Mark Rios, a 25-year-old barber from Lancaster, promised his grandfather a while back that if the Dodgers made it to the series, they’d be in the seats. His grandfather, 78-year-old Miguel Chaidez Sr., learned to speak English by listening to Vin Scully on Dodger broadcasts, but hadn’t been to a game in decades.

So Rios put up his plea on GoFundMe, calling his grandfather “one of the nicest and most genuine people you will ever have the pleasure of knowing.” He noted that his grandfather is fighting lung cancer. In fact, the elder Chaidez is undergoing chemotherapy.

In five days, 99 people had donated $3,296. Rios bought two tickets for Wednesday night’s game on StubHub for $1,400.

“I’m grateful to everyone,” Chaidez Sr. told me by phone.

“We know a few of the people who donated,” said his son, Miguel Jr. “But most of them are strangers.”

Like the majority of people in Southern California, the Chaidez family has not had the pleasure of watching the Dodgers on TV during the regular season. That’s because of continuing disputes over an $8-billion deal the team signed with Time Warner Cable, and the refusal of some carriers to pony up Time Warner’s asking price for broadcast privileges.

Looked at one way, the $8 billion helped put winning talent on the field.

Looked at another way, the rich got richer, and lots of loyal fans were left in the dark.

“The Dodgers should hang a sign out front that says, ‘For rich people only,’ ” said Ed Wolfman, a retired Manhattan Beach businessman who was headed to Tuesday’s game as one of the lucky fans who got tickets at face value prices.

Someone with a Dodger front office connection owed him a favor, he said. So Wolfman paid the friend $173 apiece, or $346 for two tickets.

That’s expensive, said Wolfman, but compared to the scalping that’s going on, it was a bargain. He said “a very wealthy man” he knows has a beachfront home in Manhattan Beach, a house in Beverly Hills and “a third one somewhere else.” As a Dodger season ticket holder, his friend got World Series tickets at $350 apiece, face value, but intended to go to only one game and sell the rest.

Wolfman offered to buy one, and his friend said:

“I can get $1,000 for them on StubHub. Would you pay that?”

Wolfman declined. He’s a serious Dodger fan, but the TV blackout was a turnoff, and “the greed of people who are profiting from the excitement of the average fan is downright disgusting to me.”

Hey, it’s the American way, and the internet has made it much easier for anyone with a ticket to become a savvy scalper. Strike at the right time, such as during the World Series, and you can make enough money to pay your DWP bill or cover half the cost of your season ticket plan.

“The market has become far more optimized than it was … when some guy in a trench coat would stand on a corner asking if you needed a pair for tonight’s game,” said David Carter of USC’s Sports Business Institute.

StubHub pays big bucks to Major League Baseball for the right to be the official secondary market ticket seller, and Carter said StubHub then provides valuable information to the Dodgers and other teams on the buying habits of its customers.

Tony Knopp, who used to work for StubHub, said the online agency gets paid twice with each ticket transaction. If I listed a $200 ticket and sold it for $2,000, StubHub would take $300 from me and $200 from the buyer, said Knopp. And a cut of that goes to Major League Baseball Advanced Media, a partnership of team owners that generates hundreds of millions of dollars each year in internet-driven profits.

“It’s free money,” said Knopp, CEO of Spotlight TMS, which helps corporations manage the tens of thousands of tickets they buy for entertaining clients at sporting and entertainment events.

Knopp estimated that of the roughly 55,000 people at Game 1 of the World Series, about 12,500 would be there on corporate and business tickets.

“I’m betting that eventually the government is going to come in and say this is becoming a slush fund,” said Knopp. If a bank, for instance, puts clients in $2,500 seats at a Laker game, that’s a gift, and it needs to be reported but probably isn’t.

Knopp said ticket agencies buy thousands of season tickets each year, banking on being able to resell them at a profit, and hitting the jackpot when a team makes the World Series. The agencies cover their bets by buying season tickets for several teams, figuring their losses will be more than covered if one team makes a championship run and ticket prices skyrocket.

Fans paid a reported $37,804 ($10,000 more than the average annual per capita income in Los Angeles) for two front row seats to Game 1 at Dodger Stadium, and $72,008 for four seats in the second row behind the Dodger dugout.

Ticket prices were plummeting, however, as game time approached late Tuesday afternoon. Standing room only was down to an even $700.

And there’s always TV, with no blackout during the series.

Posted on October 27, 2017 at 8:00 am
Tara Rose | Posted in Uncategorized |


Game 1 in Los Angeles will be the hottest World Series face-off on record
Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) wipes away sweat during a game against the Washington Nationals in 2016. (Photo by Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post)

mega-ridge of high pressure is baking the Southwest in record heat. The climax of this unbearable weather will arrive Tuesday — just in time for Game 1 of the World Series in downtown Los Angeles, which will boast triple-digit temperatures.

The high temperature forecast for downtown Los Angeles 101 degrees on Tuesday, and an excessive heat warning is in effect. Peak temperatures will occur around 3 or 4 p.m., with little time to cool off before the game begins. The forecast for first pitch at Dodger Stadium —  5:09 p.m., Pacific Daylight Time — is 97 degrees, under crystal-clear skies and a baking Southern California sun. Humidity will be all but nonexistent, which means players (and fans) will be at higher risk for dehydration.

At 97 degrees, Game 1 of this World Series will be the hottest on record, surpassing the old record by three degrees.

In 2001, the Diamondbacks hosted the Yankees in Phoenix for Game 1 in what is currently the hottest Fall Classic game on the books. The first pitch temperature for that game was 94 degrees. That’s the hottest game on record, according to meteorologist Alex Lamers, who has a special interest in baseball weather.

Alas, you may be thinking — Chase Field has a roof. But, while it may have been a good decision for players and fans alike to close the roof and turn on the air conditioning, MLB historian John Thorne found a video of that pre-game show that confirms they left the roof open.

Perhaps because they were acclimated to the weather, the Diamondbacks won that game easily, 9-1.

A high temperature above 99 degrees this afternoon would be an Oct.-27 record for Los Angeles. The standing record for the date is 99 degrees set in 1909.

Dozens of records were set on Monday as temperatures climbed 20 to 30 degrees above normal for this time of year:

Final record highs for today across SW CA. Another round of record heat is in store for Tuesday.   

The World Series has fallen victim to extreme weather in the past, but the most severe temperatures have come in the past two decades, according to Lamers’ baseballs stats. On the other end of the spectrum, the coldest World Series game on record was in 2001, when the Cleveland Indians hosted the Florida Marlins at the Jake on Oct. 22. The temperature at first pitch was 35 degrees. And it was snowing.


  • 35 degrees — Oct. 22, 1997; World Series Game 4, Marlins at Indians (Jacobs Field)
  • 35 degrees — Oct. 11, 2009; NLDS Game 3, Phillies at Rockies (Coors Field)
  • 41 degrees — Oct. 13, 2006; ALCS Game 3, Athletics at Tigers (Comerica Park)
  • 43 degrees — Oct. 14, 2007; NLCS Game 3, Diamondbacks at Rockies (Coors Field)
  • 43 degrees — Oct. 24, 2006; World Series Game 3, Tigers at Cardinals (Busch Stadium)


  • 94 degrees — Oct. 27, 2001; World Series Game 1, Yankees at Diamondbacks (Bank One Ballpark)
  • 93 degrees — Oct. 5, 1999; NLDS Game 1, Mets at Diamondbacks (Bank One Ballpark)
  • 93 degrees — Oct. 11, 2007; NLCS Game 1, Rockies at Diamondbacks (Chase Field)
  • 93 degrees — Oct. 16, 2009; NLCS Game 2, Phillies at Dodgers (Dodger Stadium)
  • 91 degrees — Nov. 3, 2001; World Series Game 6, Yankees at Diamondbacks (Bank One Ballpark)
  • 91 degrees — Oct. 3, 2007; NLDS Game 1, Cubs at Diamondbacks (Chase Field)

All stats above were compiled by Alex Lamers

California had a brief reprieve from the hot, dry weather that stoked this month’s deadly wildfires in Wine Country, but the heat returned late last week. High pressure has been building since Friday, and the ridge now stretches north into Canada, placing the Southwest, including Southern California, in an area of abnormally hot, dry weather with a chance of Santa Ana winds to boot.

This week’s temperatures are 20-30 degrees above normal in Southern California, with peak heat arriving Tuesday.


Full Article <<<>>> https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2017/10/23/game-1-in-los-angeles-will-probably-be-the-hottest-world-series-face-off-on-record/?utm_term=.30b1ebec8ac0

Posted on October 24, 2017 at 8:00 am
Tara Rose | Posted in Uncategorized |


Gov. Brown just signed 15 housing bills. Here’s how they’re supposed to help the affordability crisis

Gov. Jerry Brown has finalized lawmakers’ most robust response to California’s housing affordability problems in recent memory.

The “15 good bills” Brown signed into law here Friday morning include a new fee on real estate transactions and a $4-billion bond on the 2018 ballot that together could raise close to $1 billion a year in the near term to help subsidize new homes for low-income residents.

“It is a big challenge. We have risen to it this year,” Brown said.

The governor signed the legislation surrounded by lawmakers and advocates at Hunters View, a $450-million project in San Francisco that is redeveloping what was once crumbling public housing into new homes for 700 low- and middle-income families. Speakers at the ceremony hailed the package of bills as a sea change in how the state handles housing issues.

“Today California begins a pivot from a housing-last policy to a housing-first policy,” said Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), who wrote one of the key measures.

Still, the array of new laws Brown signed Friday will hardly put a dent in the state’s housing problems. Developers need to build about 100,000 new homes each year beyond what’s already planned, simply to keep pace with California’s population growth.

Money from the bond — assuming it’s approved by voters in November 2018 — and the new real estate fee are estimated to finance about 14,000 additional houses a year, still leaving the state tens of thousands of units short annually, according to the state and third parties. Moreover, all the bond money could be spent in as little as five years.

. .
Legislators and others in attendance emphasized that this year’s package of bills was only the start of what they planned to do on housing.

“We know we have much more work to do,” said Assemblyman Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), who authored multiple bills in the package. “And we will keep working this issue for as long as we need to.”

Here’s a rundown of how the bills aim to address different factors that add to the state’s housing problems:

Spending more money to build housing, primarily for low-income residents

Most of the money raised by Senate Bill 2, the $75 real estate transaction fee, and Senate Bill 3, the $4-billion housing bond, would go toward helping pay for the development of new homes for low-income residents, defined as people earning 60% or less of the median income in a given community. So in Los Angeles that means a family of four having a combined income of less than $54,060 a year.

The measures also will go toward new construction to benefit the homeless and farmworkers with a small percentage of money reserved to help pay for middle-class housing construction. For those homes, residents will be able to earn up to 150% of median income in the highest cost areas — that’s $135,000 annually for a family of four in Los Angeles, for example.

Both measures include dollars for other efforts besides helping subsidize homebuilding. Half of the money raised in the first year under SB 2 will go to cities and counties to update neighborhood development blueprints and other planning documents. And $1 billion of the housing bond will go toward home loans for veterans.

SB 2 is expected to raise $250 million a year by charging people a $75 starting fee to refinance a mortgage or make other real estate transactions, except for home or commercial property sales. The most anyone can be charged is $225 per transaction. SB 3 will authorize a bond that will be paid back with interest by tax dollars earmarked in the state budget, though the veterans will repay their loans themselves.

Making it easier for developers to build

Housing advocates and academics cite burdensome regulations, including some local governments’ lengthy approval processes, as a problem limiting the state’s housing growth.

A trio of measures aims to whittle down some of those rules. Senate Bill 35 forces cities to approve projects that comply with existing zoning if not enough housing has been built to keep pace with their state home-building targets. Such projects must also reserve a certain percentage of homes for low-income residents and pay construction workers union-level wages and abide by union-standard hiring rules.

Assembly Bill 73 and Senate Bill 540 give cities an incentive to plan neighborhoods for new development. Under AB 73, a city receives money when it designates a particular community for more housing and then additional dollars once it starts issuing permits for new homes. In these neighborhoods, at least 20% of the housing must be reserved for low- or middle-income residents, and projects will have to be granted permits without delay if they meet zoning standards.

SB 540 authorizes a state grant or loan for a local government to do the planning and environmental reviews to cover a particular neighborhood. Developers in the designated community also will have to reserve a certain percentage of homes for low- and middle-income residents and the city’s approvals there would be approved without delay.

Money to implement both laws could come from the new real estate transaction fee and the bond.

Pushing developers to build and preserve more low-income housing

Because of a 2009 court decision involving a Los Angeles developer, cities are not allowed to force builders of apartment complexes to reserve a portion of their projects for low-income residents. Those policies were called an illegal expansion of rent control.

Now, Assembly Bill 1505 changes the rules so that cities can once again implement low-income requirements. San Jose already is considering a policy that would force developers to set aside 15% of their projects.

Typically when developers agree to build low-income apartments, that agreement lasts a certain time, often between 30 and 50 years. Afterward, owners of the property can charge market-rate rents. The California Housing Partnership Corp., a nonprofit low-income housing advocate, recently estimated that 14,000 low-income units in Los Angeles County are at risk of losing their income restrictions in the next five years.

Assembly Bill 1521 requires owners to accept a qualified offer to purchase the apartment complex from someone who pledges to continue renting the homes to low-income residents.

The state now runs a tax credit program giving large banks and other investors incentives to help finance housing for farmworkers. Assembly Bill 571 expands that effort with an eye toward making it easier for developers to bundle it with other sources to build farmworker housing.

Forcing cities to plan for more housing

Every eight years, cities and counties have to plan for enough new homes to meet state projections of population growth. This process, however, has not led to sufficient housing production to meet demand.

Three new laws expand requirements for cities to plan for housing. Assembly Bill 1397 forces local governments to zone land for housing where it could actually go, instead of putting sites they don’t intend to approve in their housing plan. In one example, La Cañada Flintridge rezoned a big box commercial property for apartments or condominiums, but city officials later told residents any new homes on the site would be almost impossible to build.

Senate Bill 166 makes cities add additional sites to their housing plans if they approve projects at densities lower than what local elected officials had anticipated in their proposals. The goal is to make up for the housing units that weren’t built.

Assembly Bill 879 instructs cities to analyze how long it takes developers to actually build their projects once they’ve been approved, and then take steps to shorten that time.

Penalizing cities that say no to housing

The Housing Accountability Act passed in 1982 prohibits cities from saying no to housing projects that meet zoning requirements simply because they don’t like them. But such cases are hard to prove. Three measures, Senate Bill 167, Assembly Bill 678 and Assembly Bill 1515, will beef up the existing law by making it easier for developers to prove a city acted in bad faith when denying a project, and by upping a city’s penalty to $10,000 per unit they rejected.

Assembly Bill 72 gives the state housing department more authority to investigate cities that don’t follow through with their housing plans and refer cases to California’s attorney general for possible legal action.

Full Article Here <<<>>> http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-housing-legislation-signed-20170929-htmlstory.html

Posted on October 21, 2017 at 8:00 am
Tara Rose | Posted in Uncategorized |


Why Los Angeles Luxury Homes Are So Jaw-Droppingly Expensive

How much does a luxury home cost? The answer depends on where you’re asking the question. According to Christie’s International Real Estate, the average starting price of a luxury home worldwide is $2.1 million, ranging from less than $1 million in Costa Rica to more than $10 million in Monaco. Nationally, the median price for a luxury U.S. home was significantly less, with an average of $1.6 million at the end of July. In Los Angeles, however, that number skyrockets to over $4 million, according to the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing.

Within the Los Angeles market, luxury inventory is calculated as the top 10 percent of listings, and it’s a segment of the market that continues to grow in Southern California, despite softening in other parts of the world. Although the city’s luxury inventory has decreased substantially since last year, demand remains high: Ninety-seven luxury homes were sold in the Greater Los Angeles Area between March and June, a 26 percent increase from homes sold during the same period last year. The median price of those homes was a jaw-dropping $9.5 million, according to a Douglas Elliman report prepared by appraisal firm Miller Samuel.

While those statistics may be impressive enough, what they don’t capture is the inordinate number of ultra-luxury estates in the area, including some of the country’s most expensive listings: At $250 million, a 38,000-square-foot Bel Air estate comes with 12 bedrooms, 21 bathrooms, a $30 million car collection, and a full-time staff of seven. And Chartwell, a 10.3-acre Bel Air property with a 25,000-square-foot mansion, listed in August for $350 million.

A surplus of prospective buyers and a shortage of inventory, coupled with the reality that land is becoming increasingly scarce and building regulations incredibly strict, continues to drive up prices across the board. One could be forgiven for wondering just how long the Los Angeles luxury real estate market can last—especially at the highest end of the spectrum where homes are being listed for a quarter of a billion dollars. But according to experts, the ultra-luxury market is showing no signs of slowing. Multimillionaires driven by the desire to safeguard their wealth often choose to invest it in U.S. real estate, and sunny Southern California is one of the most prominent places for them to buy.

“L.A. has tech, entertainment, and the best weather,” says Tami Pardee, owner and principal broker of Halton Pardee + Partners, when discussing why the City of Angels continues to be such a hot spot for luxury real estate. “Adding to it is the fact that with places like downtown L.A. and the Arts District, there’s so much more here culturally than there was 10 years ago.”

“There are a lot of newly minted millionaires and billionaires out there, and that newly created wealth is often accompanied by a higher propensity to spend it,” says Paul Habibi, Lecturer of Finance and Real Estate at UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Management. “With both tech and finance wealth in Los Angeles, luxury home prices will continue to rise.”

And as prices rise, luxury buyers will get more and more bang for their buck. “Super luxury homes will increasingly be more like their own city,” Pardee says. “The buyers don’t want to have to leave, so they’ll bring restaurant-like kitchens and hair salons into their own homes. We’re seeing things like car vaults, bars, discos, and bowling alleys. As traffic becomes more challenging, the luxury at the high end is to have everything and everyone come to their house.”

It seems that, at least for now, the sky’s the limit when it comes to luxury real estate in Los Angeles.


Article Source <<<>>> http://robbreport.com/shelter/spaces/why-los-angeles-luxury-homes-are-so-jaw-droppingly-expensive-2747692/

Posted on October 21, 2017 at 8:00 am
Tara Rose | Posted in Uncategorized |


Developer scraps plans to tear down West Hollywood’s French Market Place

West Hollywood’s now-shutteredFrench Market Place—once a basecamp for LGBT activists—will not be demolished as once feared.

Instead, the former grocery store and restaurant at Santa Monica Boulevard and Laurel Avenue will be resurrected as a sleek new eatery and incorporated into a new office building under new plans filed this month with the city of West Hollywood, developer Faringannounced today.

Those plans call for keeping the market place building intact with new offices built above and around it. (The square footage for the offices has yet to be determined, a Faring spokesperson says.) The entire project will be called The French Market.

The restaurant’s facade will be remodeled to “commemorate the LGBT civil rights struggle in America.” It will be wrapped in a bronze relief-sculpture, featuring the faces of local and national LGBT activists, “merging the Market building’s Streamline Moderne and French Revival architectural features with creative office space and ground-level restaurants,” the announcement says.

“Bringing the French Market back to West Hollywood gives this project real soul,” Faring CEO Jason Illoulian said in a statement. “We recognize the connections our community has to this building and this plan will ensure the French Market remains a unique part of WeHo’s future as well.”

The West Hollywood Preservation Alliance has described the French Market Place as a “piece of history,” and the Antebellum blog lovingly dubbed it“the gayest place on earth.”

It opened in 1974 with its “kitschy New Orleans styled interior setting.” But it was more than a restaurant. The building also housed small shops, “including Dorothy’s Surrender, an oh-so-gay Wizard of Oz themed gift boutique.”

According to WeHoville:

Veteran LGBTQ journalist Karen Ocamb notes that the French Quarter “was also the jumping off or come-back point for lots of LGBT political events and a refuge for those needing a break from AIDS protests.” She further reports that the restaurant was crucial in community support for Rob Roberts’ hunger strike on the grassy triangle nearby to urge Gov. Pete Wilson to sign the gay civil rights bill, AB 101.

Faring had originally planned to tear down the French Market Place. It wanted to build a four-story structure with 50,000 square feet of space for offices, 8,600 square feet for a restaurant or restaurants, 4,400 square feet of retail, and 3,200 square feet that could become either a bar or nightclub.

It has changed course to now include strictly ground-floor restaurants with outdoor seating and creative offices. Faring’s new plans will need to be approved by the city before it can move forward.

Source <<<>>>

Posted on October 17, 2017 at 8:00 am
Tara Rose | Posted in Uncategorized |