By MATTHEW MEYER | Reporter
Palisadians living off Porto Marina Way on PCH have finally reached a solution in their months-long push to resolve traffic hazards at the former site of Thelma Todd’s Sidewalk Café.
Castellammare residents said that vehicles working for the building’s new owners—a group called Hayman Properties, who purchased the structure for $6 million in 2015—made turning onto their street a dangerous proposition.
The narrow Porto Marina Way is the neighbors’ major outlet from PCH, and with work trucks parked to the very edge of the area’s sidewalk, there was often perilously little room to turn off a busy highway.
It’s already a trouble-prone area, with motorists often making illegal U-turns at the base of Porto Marina.
Double-parking, with work vehicles protruding two-to-a-space, further exacerbated the issue.
A red curb at the far end of the building’s sidewalk once prevented vehicles from parking too close to the street’s entrance.
This week, members of LA’s Department of Transportation fulfilled an ardent request from residents to paint that curb red once again, blocking the parking hazard for good.
A few days prior, neighbors also received their first direct response to the issue from Hayman Properties CEO Robert Hayman.
He promised residents to keep a portion of the sidewalk taped off from parking while they waited for DOT to officially paint the curb.
Hayman told the Palisadian-Post that he also “made it very, very clear” to his contractors that “we’ll take very severe measures” if any illegal parking continues in the area.
While the progress is appreciated, preceding incidents left some neighbors soured on the project.
Palisadian Ava Shevitt told the Post that over the course of months, she and her neighbors had contacted LA’s departments of Engineering and Transportation, representatives from Councilmember Mike Bonin’s office, parking enforcement and LAPD about the problem in search of a solution.
On some occasions, Shevitt said, LAPD Officer Rusty Redican or parking enforcement officers would order trucks to move, only for the problem to return days later.
(Hayman said that his office was unaware of these incidents, only learning of the parking trouble late last week.)
Neighbor Skip Schoolnick shared Shevitt’s frustrations.
“They show blatant disregard for the community or the law,” he told the Post.
The new red curb should resolve the project’s major safety issue if workers comply, but Castellammare neighbors have lingering concerns.
Multiple residents—who organized their efforts in a neighborhood email chain—complain that workers are present at the property even on weekends.
Representatives for Hayman Properties said they are legally permitted to work on Saturdays, though they do not order work on Sundays, as some neighbors say.
Residents also wonder when the renovations, which are transitioning the former café and production studio into a set of creative office spaces, are complete, where the building’s occupants will park.
Hayman told the Post that management was exploring options for parking, but he could say nothing more.
A contractor at the site on Monday did say that the project’s expected completion is set for some time near December.
Hayman and residents alike hope for a smoother ride from here on out.
“We really just want to be good neighbors,” Hayman told the Post.
The project’s manager has set up an address where residents can pose questions or concerns: email@example.com.