June 23, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

Berggruen Institute Considers New Ideas

By JEFF HALL| According to Dawn Nakagawa, executive vice president with the Berggruen Institute, Berggruen Institute is exploring new ideas for its proposed think tank that would be built in the hills above Brentwood.

Berggruen Institute (BI) has asked its architects to come up with some news ideas that will then be considered, she said.

This doesn’t mean BI is committing to any changes – BI might decide it still likes its original proposal best – but BI is open to exploring new options, according to Nakagawa.

In January, a public meeting was held at The Skirball Center. At this meeting, attended by several hundred, Berggruen presented its plans – and environmentalists expressed their concerns about those plans.

Berggruen supporters described BI as a modern-day “monastery”; spokespersons for the environmentalists said they were concerned planned hiking trails might be eliminated by the arrival of the Berggruen Institute.

Fears of potential fire dangers created by BI were also raised – as were concerns about potential traffic and possible dangers related to building over a retired dump that is known to produce methane gas.

Nakagawa said Berggruen is completely committed to maintaining hiking trails in the area and that any statements to the contrary are simply false.

Some minor re-routing of the trails might be required, she said, but the hiking trails will remain in perpetuity. This has always been BI’s plan, she added.

Nakagawa said she thinks Berggruen’s original proposal is actually more environmentally responsible than sticking with the footprint that was approved for a proposed housing development years ago – and since abandoned.

That plan, she said, envisions pushing huge amounts of earth into a canyon, burying hundreds of old trees in the process.

Nevertheless, continued Nakagawa, since concerns have been raised, BI wants to be a “good neighbor” and is willing to consider other options.

Theoretically, whoever owns the property – including Berggruen – could always go back to the original plan and develop 28 mansions on the site. That plan has already been approved by the city.

Since no plans have yet been finalized, said Nakagawa, Berggruen hasn’t filed any papers to proceed with a project.

There is no particular timetable for completing this next phase of idea exploration, according to Nakagawa.

“We’re not in any rush,” said Nakagawa. “We want to get it right.”

In order to get things right, according to John Binder, an opponent of the project, Berggruen should donate the property to the Santa Monica Conservancy and keep it as open space in perpetuity.

That would preserve the native habitat and the wild animal corridor, said Binder.

“If Mr. Berggruen really is an enlightened man and a philanthropist, as he promotes himself and his Institute, he will do that,” said Binder. “If he does not do that, he is just a pretender.”

Continued Binder: “It would also be respectful of the public if Mr. Berggruen spoke to the community directly. Or is he too important to talk to the peasants?”

Related Posts

Bob Rosenbloom, Esteemed Owner of Bob’s Market and Community Pillar, Passes at 92

April 9, 2024

April 9, 2024

Bob Rosenbloom, the cherished proprietor of Bob’s Market on Ocean Park Blvd. in Santa Monica, passed away at his residence...

Don’t Miss Your Last Chance to Experience CORTEO by Cirque du Soleil!

April 25, 2023

April 25, 2023

The Show’s Run At The Microsoft Theater Ends On April 30  Time is running out for fans of CORTEO by...

Regulation of Short-Term Rentals in LA Failing as Enforcement Drops Significantly

April 4, 2023

April 4, 2023

Better Neighbors LA report highlights the inadequacies of enforcement measures for short-term rentals in Los Angeles, calling for increased regulation...

Non-Profit Helping Relieve Financial Burden For Cancer Patients

November 16, 2022

November 16, 2022

Cancer Cartel is helping cancer patients focus on their treatment, not the financial stress of living with a diagnosis. Learn...

100 Miles of Bus-Only Lanes Coming to L.A in Five Years?

October 17, 2022

October 17, 2022

L.A’s public transportation network is known for being slow due to traffic congestion. A new motion by L.A. City Council...

How to Wisely Manage Your Finances After a Job Layoff

October 3, 2022

October 3, 2022

Being laid off can be difficult, both emotionally and financially. It is important to manage your finances wisely during this...

Union Members Protest UC Policies in Westwood

May 3, 2022

May 3, 2022

Westwood and Wilshire protest takes place April 26 By Dolores Quintana The intersection of Wilshire and Westwood was the site...

Kale of All Kinds

March 16, 2022

March 16, 2022

Today at the Santa Monica Farmers Market we explore three different kinds of Kale from Cole Family Farms..Video sponsored by...

Name Revealed for Alice Waters’s Westwood Restaurant

October 20, 2021

October 20, 2021

Westside Dining Scene October 21, 2021 By Dolores Quintana Esteemed chef Alice Waters’s upcoming Westwood restaurant’s and the name has...

Community Volunteer Patrol Program Brings Civilians New Insight Into Law Enforcement

October 19, 2021

October 19, 2021

The West LA Police Department has a community patrol program bridging the gap between civilians and law enforcement. Video brought...

Police Seek Man Wanted for Sexually Assaulting Sleeping UCLA Student

September 2, 2021

September 2, 2021

Police are searching for a man wanted for sexually assaulting a female UCLA student while she slept. According to the...

Final Weekend of Marina Drive-In Movie Summer Series With New Movies Added

August 28, 2021

August 28, 2021

WHERE: Marina del Rey Boat Launch Ramp, 13477 Fiji Way at Parking Lot #2 COST: $20 per vehicle, per movie...

UCLA Admits Most Accomplished Class in Its History

July 20, 2021

July 20, 2021

New freshman and transfer cohorts are also among university’s most ethnically diverse By Ricardo Vazquez | UCLA Newsroom UCLA has...

Heritage Museum Reopens with Unique Exhibition

June 24, 2021

June 24, 2021

The California Heritage Museum welcomes back visitors with a unique and stunning quilt exhibition, learn more in this video brought to...