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Saving NOHO Arts Park in the NOHO (North Hollywood) Arts District.  

There was a time prior to the Northridge earthquake where the City of Los Angeles designated the North Hollywood area an urban renewal zone.  A new large building was built on the corner across the street and Landmark Productions moved in.  The CRA (Community Redevelopment Agency) intervened and declared eminent domain on some of the buildings in the area.  Using LANI (Los Angeles Neighborhood Initiative) funds, the City developed the NOHO Arts Park on the corner lot.  In 1997, along came Pitfire Pizza, the establishment designed a beautiful restaurant that was to open up to the park next door and subsequently negotiated a lease and congenial terms for the build out with the City of Los Angeles and the CRA (which technically held the site).  The NOHO Arts Park remained and the restaurant provided outdoor seating, a fire pit, and an outdoor activity area for locals and patrons alike.  The restaurant paid for the entire build-out, paid monthly rent to the CRA, and managed the maintenance of the site.

All was harmonious, that is until the CRA was dissolved and mandated by the State of California to sell all of their holdings. A number of sites were earmarked by the State and CRA to be sold. Included in that sale was the NOHO Arts Park next door to Pitfire Pizza.  What does this all mean?  The open space next door to the Pitfire Restaurant, the highly used and beautiful island of green park, is scheduled to be sold at blind auction to the highest bidder.  It is likely to be built-over and the lot re-purposed for the development of another structure.   A large portion of the Pitfire Pizza seating occupies the built out portion of the park grounds. Their business has large glass doors that are oriented to the outdoor space.   All of this can be lost.

Neither the CRA, the State of California, nor the City of Los Angeles notified Pitfire Pizza nor the landowners of their restaurant of the pending matter.  This is because the legislation that directed them to sell the properties specifically stated that they were not to notify either the City or the neighboring property owners as had been the custom.  

City Councilman, Paul Krekorian, and his deputy, Karo Torrossian, listened to the possibility of the City taking back this parcel and preserving it as the NOHO Arts Park as it was originally conceived and is presently used. Another option might be for the current landowners and Pitfire to step up and purchase the property in order to preserve the integrity and well-being of the restaurant where it could be maintained as a park. Mary Garcia, the Mid-North Hollywood Neighborhood Council President, wants the park preserved and she and her deputy, Ernesto Hidalgo, are doing all that they can to assist us and the community in retaining it.

If the NOHO Arts Park, that is right smack dab in the middle of the NOHO Arts District, were to come down, what would go up in its place? Another Starbucks? Another retail store? Many times we are sacrificing our quality of life at the altar of more shopping, more tax revenue, and more stuff.   At some point we have to strive to preserve the beautiful places and things in life that give us deeper pleasure. In a City boasting some of the best weather on the planet, why don’t we have more outdoor restaurants and outdoor neighborhood venues where we can relax and relate to a more natural lifestyle? Yes, the City has been transforming itself over the years toward more of these types of important lifestyle venues.  Mayor Garcetti’s Great Streets initiative is a current example.  Let’s get as many people as we can on board and let people know we want to keep the NOHO Arts Park.

Today: Elizabeth is counting on you

Elizabeth Silverston needs your help with “Pitfire Artisan Pizza: PLEASE HELP SAVE NOHO ARTS PARK IN NOHO (North Hollywood) ARTS DISTRICT!!!”. Join Elizabeth and 1,451 supporters today.