LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Market Forces

I’ll preface this by saying I’m pro-Caruso and pro-prevailing market forces. And, while I very much like the eateries in Palisades Village, the clothing stores generally missed the point of our casual, not-too-showy community … the grocery store was nonsensical (Erewhon will have far more utility) … the eight apartments are overpriced … and the eateries generally nailed it, although we could use a few more everyday hangouts in the style of Vida or Garden Cafe in that build out.

We needed a multigenerational, multipurpose town center, and I still predict that will happen over time—you simply can’t stop prevailing market forces.

With that said, I had a conversation with a patron in the large commercial building between Swarthmore, Via, Sunset and Antioch. Allegedly, that entire building is going to be under major construction soon with rents doubling (or more).

The exterior of the building (again allegedly) will stay much the same with the interior undergoing massive renovation targeting higher rent merchants and eateries—essentially, an extension of the Palisades Village philosophy.

Down the street, the old Norris Hardware, where they were apparently paying an extremely modest rent, the newly instituted “market rent” will force more of the same.

Herein is my concern: The Palisades is a wealthy community but not a destination. Commercial real estate is simply never going to live up to residential—which will continue to crush it.

The super rich folks here aren’t asking for Rodeo Drive in their backyard; the everyday “working class millionaires” don’t want that either; and our coveted but endangered species middle-class residents don’t seem to be screaming for $250 T-shirts either.

We aren’t a destination. The rich folks here spend their money on housing, vacations, electronics, food, education and experiences, and if they blow cash otherwise, it tends to be in destination settings.

Movie theater $27 per ticket—not an issue to me. Great utility to have a theater. Yes it’s expensive, but whatever … so is life here.

High-end restaurants. Cool. Great. Bring it on. Trust me, it won’t be at the sacrifice of affordable restaurants. Palisades can handle both.

Experiences, electronics, kid-oriented opportunities, family opportunities … all good. Give us a small Apple store. Will crush.

BIG commercial rent across the entire city will fail badly. We’re just not that type. Brentwood, Beverly Hills, Westwood, Santa Monica are more destination; Pacific Palisades just isn’t.

… and here’s the irony … even when (not if) the residential per square footage becomes higher than any other part of the city, Pacific Palisades still won’t be a destination.

We have our Caruso. It’s cool and it’s evolving. We need more family experiences. Please hear this Norris building owner, Sunset between Via and Swarthmore building owner and other large land owners in our wonderful city.

If the prevailing market forces were for high-end establishments, I’d be for it. It’s just not this place.

Jeremy Padawer | Wicked Cool Toys