Metro Universal proposal under fire

UNIVERSAL CITY L.A. City Councilman Tom LaBonge joined with Universal's neighbors to call on the MTA and the developer Thomas Partners to vastly scale back the Universal City project.

"This proposed project will absolutely overwhelm this community, this region, this corridor," said Tom LaBonge.

The MTA owns the 10-acre site. Its Red Line subway is underground near Universal, along with a bus terminal and 550 parking spaces.

Under the development plan Thomas Partners would lease the 10 acres. They would then build two office towers of 22 and 27 stories for NBC Universal, plus an 11-story studio complex and a parking garage.

Neighbors say the added traffic would be a nightmare. They are concerned that nearby Weddington Park would be altered forever.

"I want the MTA to reconsider the agreement. So they do the right thing and down scale this project," said Tom LaBonge.

Supporters say the park would actually gain ground and the developer would spend $35 million to mitigate traffic.

This would include:

  • Adding new ramps to the 101 Freeway
  • Improving 42 intersections in the area
  • New Ventura Blvd. Meto Rapid Bus
  • 250 new Park and Ride spaces
  • Tunnel of bridge across Lakershim Bivd.

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