Community Speaks Out Against Possible New Development

Will Replace Post Office on Jefferson/Sepulveda Triangle

By Dennis J. Freeman

City Editor

The John Buck Company has an impressive portfolio of high-rise buildings and skyscrapers it has erected all over the country. Projects the company has invested in and made come to fruition include The Rookery (Chicago), Sears Tower (Chicago), Standard Hotel (New York), and 2116 Chestnut (Pennsylvania), all massive behemoths of state-of the-art architectural designs.

Judging the tone of a community meeting Friday at Temple Akiba in which representatives from the John Buck Company and 3MR Capital LLC engaged local residents with the idea of putting up a gigantic mixed-use development that would dominate Sepulveda and Jefferson Boulevards as well occupy just about the entire Machado Road, things didn't get off to a very good start.

What the John Buck Company and 3MR Capital are looking to do is move on the land where Coco's Coffee Shop, Valvoline, and the post office sit on and develop a project that would include 55,000 square feet of commercial space, 279 apartment units, 51,000 square feet of office space, and erect a parking structure that would house as many as 836 spaces.

A lot of Culver City residents don't particularly care about the reputation that the John Buck Company has amassed in developing super buildings. They don't want one in their backyard. And they let the representatives from the John Buck Company and 3MR Capital know about it during a standing-room only meeting that lasted for several hours.

Robin Turner, who led a drive to help set Culver City's current limitations on new developments at 56 feet, said the project simply is not good for the community and the city.

"It will be the tallest building in the entire area," Turner said in a phone interview. "If you look around for construction nowadays, anything that goes in high, from then on that's the standard. This is inappropriate for the location around residences. And they are not considering the community."

During the meeting, topics broached by residents included homelessness, traffic congestion, concerns about more rent increases, and the overall way of life that they've been accustomed to in Culver City. That would vastly change should the John Buck Company and 3MR Capital have their way in getting the green light to see the development approved. People are not happy about this project, Turner said.

"Everybody moved to Culver City on purpose to stay away from that kind of stuff, that it's small town atmosphere," Turner said. "If they wanted to live in Hollywood or Chicago as these people said or whatever, they would have done that."

Eventually, the Culver City Council, which had several members in attendance of the meeting, will have to formally weigh in on the matter. One aspect that the developers may have missed considering or forgot to hedge the community about is where would they house all of the equipment and structures that would be part of the development.

Richard Stewart, who says he has lived in Lindberg Park for nearly 30 years, brought this subject up that sort of confounded the individuals putting on the meeting.

"I was trained as an architect, and I don't have to tell you that when I look at this site, my first question is, 'Where are they going to stage the construction materials and stuff?"' Stewart asked. "That's one thing. The other is how are people going to get in and out of here? That's important. We all know about the problems of traffic around here."

Representatives for the John Buck Company an 3MR Capital was asked by one member of the audience on who is really the driving force behind the project who which a vague reply that 19 family members spread across the United States was given. There's one name given as a registered agent for 3MR Capital, LLC, which has a listed address in Redondo Beach.

According to its company website, John A. Buck II founded the John Buck Company in 1981 and serves as chairman and CEO.


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