Welcome
We are concerned long time Venice residents who no longer want to watch what we treasure about our community melt away. Our aim is to lead the conversation clarifying, informing, and uniting us in the preservation of our unique community.

We hope you will find interesting new thoughts here as we ImagineVenice together.

Marian Crostic    Elaine Spierer

Co-founders,
ImagineVenice


Edition 12
May 20, 2014

6″ Louboutin Heels

WARNING! Before reading Edition 12, take one Alka-Seltzer or have a very stiff drink!

Why did Abbot Kinney become LA’s most special and unique shopping and dining destination?

Answer: (pick one, it might be hard!)

A)  It isn’t like the Santa Monica Promenade

B)  It isn’t like the Beverly Center

C)  It isn’t like Melrose

D)  It absolutely, positively is not like The Grove

E)  This land of the un-washed is just too funky for the Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive crowds

F)  The street is a vibrant, mixed up mess of just about everything (mostly wonderful)

So what’s the big deal?

Answer: (pick one, it might be hard!)

A)  Walking on Abbot Kinney is unlike walking anywhere else in LA

B)  The street is a vibrant, mixed up mess of just about everything (mostly wonderful.)

C)  No Gap (yet)

D)  No Banana Republic (yet)

E)  It still has its original historic buildings (this one just moved on to the endangered list.)

Hard to pick just one, right? Okay, go ahead and light a candle to the Blessed Mother that ALL OF THE ABOVE are true — sometimes we just can’t believe we are so lucky that we are still who we are, despite a few bruises along the way.

THREAT LEVEL — THREAT LEVEL — COLOR RED! COLOR RED!

New owner, Mr. Shabani, of the “Hal’s Block” has almost emptied out the building of   tenants on Abbot Kinney and on California. Now this Beverly Hills developer can raise rents and bring Rodeo Drive to Abbot Kinney – he’s already begun destroying the historic brick and wood facade and all the aesthetics essential to this amazing block. Evidently all he knows is that GQ anointed this the ‘cool’ street and it is where the money is — and he’s here for the taking. Not only does he not have a scintilla of understanding of Venice culture or our essence, he actually has no clue why he actually paid $20 million for his rag-tag oh-so-old buildings.  We invite you to take a look at what he has in store for us. (Play the game of figuring out what is missing from this promo piece.)

1349-1355 Abbot Kinney
529-533 California

Newmark Grubb Knight Frank proposed rendering
Newmark Grubb Knight Frank proposed rendering
Newmark Grubb Knight Frank proposed renderingDoes it have to be this way? Not according to Blatteis & Schnur who recently spent $17 million on the street with their buy of multiple historic brick facade buildings. They sure ‘get’ it and understand the real value of what they bought. Their upgrades leave untouched the historic brick facades and old custom woodwork. Unlike Shabani, they value the specialness and the essentialness of what gives the street and our community its unique irreplaceable essence. Remaining completely intact their buildings history and architecture, they are attracting quality tenants of like mind. Not much of a difficulty when you know what you bought and love what you own. Proving they got it right with the upgrading and recent opening of the unique Junk Food and the prepping for openings of Rag & Bone and Blue Bottle.

1103 Abbot Kinney

IMG_6547_smBlatteis & Schnur ‘gets’ us.

Envision this dear readers… 6″ Louboutin wearing Beverly Hills glitterati elite stumbling down our lousy sidewalks after circling madly for a half hour to find that elusive parking space on their way to Casa Linda for a bit of our local flavor and a taste of their magnificent tortilla soup (okay, they’re really on their way to hip Gjelina!) — ooops, sorry, guess that can’t happen… Shabani’s real estate leasing advertising piece has expunged Casa Linda — so much for leases! Is our beloved wonderful Hal’s still there?

Can we view Shabani as anyone other than Public Enemy #1? What else do you call a guy who buys into the heart of the street and spits in the face of Venice and its history? He disrespects us and is actually blind to our unique culture which defines what and who we are — he has no clue.

1349-1355 Abbot Kinney
529-533 California

IMG_6534_sm

A Venice Classic

We are not historic building preservationists nor do we claim any particular expertise in building preservation. We just know what is outright wrong for Abbot Kinney and this  so-called ‘remodel’ is an absolute travesty.

This is the first time that one of Venice’s historic, classic commercial buildings has been assaulted. It feels like a funeral.

ImagineVenice