Rumors and statements abound in Venice regarding the Thatcher Yard and the Venice Median parking lot between Dell and Pacific, properties that Councilman Mike Bonin identified for affordable housing and homeless housing, respectively.
The latest is that builders are being pre-qualified for these properties and there have been no public hearings. The council office was queried of such action. Debbie Dyner-Harris, district director for Councilman Mike Bonin, issued the following statement clarifying the procedure.
The City Administrative Officer (CAO) has identified eight potential development sites throughout the City (including Thatcher Yard and the Dell/Pacific parking lots). Rather than issue eight separate Request for Proposals (RFP) for those lots, the idea is to pre-qualify developers who would be qualified to do work in the City. Once we get them and see their visions for any of the sites, we’ll try to do a match up, kind of like setting up blind dates. If someone has a vision for a property that matches what we may want to do in Venice, then they would be assigned to Venice.
We’d then start the community meeting and input process, trying to match everyone’s vision for what makes sense at each site. If we can’t make a match, then we can find another blind date.
I can imagine this may not be a simple process for some, but it actually greatly simplifies it for the City. The thought of eight RFP with who knows how many bidders for each site, I think, was just too much for the CAO office.
I hope this clears it a bit.