Op-Ed by Scott Schmidt, Lauren Meister for West Hollywood City Council 2015 campaign manager, West Hollywood, California
Who is behind Councilmember John Duran’s “Friends of West Hollywood” Super PAC, which is spending tens of thousands of dollars to defeat Lauren Meister?
According to Campaign Finance reports from the West Hollywood City Clerk, it’s big developers who have their eyes set on the Manhattan-ization of West Hollywood.
So far, more than $125,000 has been raised from Real Estate Interests, including Townscape Partners, Mani Brothers, Reseda Plaza Holdings, Excel Property Management and more to fund John Duran’s Super PAC.
But what are their plans for West Hollywood?
By connecting the dots, West Hollywood voters can see that Townscape Partners, who put in $19,950 to Duran’s Super PAC want to double the size of the ICM building at 8899 Beverly, and build a 16-story mixed use project at 8150 Sunset.
Reseda Plaza Holdings, through affiliated firm Venice Investments, is currently building a 3-story restaurant, retail and office building on Sunset at Sweetzer and wants to build a 6-story, 245,000 sq. ft. project a block east, between Cabo Cantina and Pink Taco.
Across West Hollywood, real estate developers are pouring money into John Duran’s Super PAC against Lauren Meister.
See the map at the article’s base to see who they are, how much they’re spending, and what they have planned.
Meanwhile, John Duran’s Super PAC attempts to confuse voters, by conflating REALTORS — people who assist others to buy or sell a home or condominium — with the Real Estate Developers who are funding his attacks.
Lauren Meister spoke out in response to the attacks:
“I have confidence in the intelligence of West Hollywood voters to see through John Duran’s mendacity and hypocrisy. John Duran insults the intelligence of the people of West Hollywood. But we are smart enough to know the difference between a REALTOR and a Real Estate Developer.
“I will work to protect our existing affordable housing stock and am the only candidate who has a plan to increase the number of rent controlled units in West Hollywood, and raise the bar on what we expect from new developments in our City, so I can understand why the real estate interests are attacking me.”