This year's Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Summit went virtual and brought news of new projects and controversial topics to the main stage. Over 120 projects have been developed or are in the pipeline compared with 80 in 2019.
Among the keynote speakers, John Kilroy, President & CEO of Kilroy Realty. He spoke candidly about the harsh realities facing the development and business community in Los Angeles, His call to action was powerful and sobering. Kilroy has invested hundreds of millions of dollars developing projects in Hollywood such as Columbia Square, the Sunset Media Center and the new On Vine, a 600,000 square-foot mixed-use campus on Vine Street just south of Sunset Blvd. The project has a fully leased workplace to Netflix and 193-unit luxury residential tower.
In his remarks, Kilroy singled out Mayor Eric Garcetti and Los Angeles City Councilman Mitch O'Farrell, 13th District, directly stating that they "need to be more active" in finding solutions and cleaning up the streets so the business community and residents can thrive. "Leadership is everything, and I have got to tell you, I'm not seeing it. I'm seeing poor leadership," Kilroy said.
Kilroy, an Angeleno who has lived here his entire life, added that he will "spend my last dollar fighting for California" and mount campaigns against government officials who are unable to make progress on "homelessness and lawlessness," which he said "could be with us forever if we don't act quickly."
There's no doubt that his frustration is echoed by many who see the great promise for the region and yet are concerned about the inability of the government to adequately address the situation on our streets.