Caruso Work Goes Late into the Night
By SUE PASCOE
Construction was underway (illegally) at 10:10 p.m. on Wednesday (August 22) at Palisades Village. A resident asked workers to shut it down and told Circling the News that a complaint had been filed with the City.
The City of Los Angeles specifies that construction Monday through Friday be within the hours of 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. On Saturdays and holidays, the hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The resident said project manager Michael Gazzano, Caruso vice president of development, was on site supervising the after-hours construction. “It was not DWP related,” the person said. (Earlier, Caruso had told residents that the after-hours construction was because of a DWP project. Look for a follow up story on Circling the News about the project.)
A different resident, who lives in the condominiums adjacent to the project, wrote in an email to Circling the News that “I cannot believe those subcontractors were working at 10 p.m. at night. When they came into the alley, it was blocked completely, and they were talking and laughing so loud that it echoed up to our floor. I went to the roof and recorded them.”
This is not the first time that Caruso construction workers have ignored City law. After a neighbor called the police on Sunday (August 19), construction was halted, and workers sent home.
The Los Angeles Police Department was contacted on August 20 and again on August 21 with a report that construction started just after 6 a.m. Workers observed the start time on August 22, but not the end time.
After Circling the News ran an August 21 story about the early start time, we received an email from Gazzano, “Our construction team let me know you visited the site this morning. In the future, if you get any questions or concerns from residents, you should have them contact me directly. It’s the most efficient way for us to address their issue, as we’re responding to any questions in real time.”
Gazzano enclosed the following letter, which was sent to residents:
“The long-awaited opening of Palisades Village is September 22. We understand that our construction activities have increased as that date approaches, and as a result the community has been inconvenienced — especially those who live and work near the project. We want to assure you that we have responded to every concern we’ve received, and we will continue to address all concerns until our construction is complete.
“As anticipated, this final phase of work includes construction within public areas, including new sidewalks, street lights, street tree plantings and street improvements on the perimeter, as well as through the site. Much of this work can only be done during non-peak hours when public use and traffic are low and therefore working conditions are safer. We remain committed to working with our neighbors to mitigate as much of our construction activity as possible.
“We extend our sincerest apology and gratitude to the entire Palisades community for their patience as we work toward our grand opening. If you have any concerns, please don’t hesitate to call Michael Gazzano at 310-744-2301 or email Michael at MGazzano@caruso.com.”
Circling the News sent Gazzano a return email “I’ve been told by neighbors that they have expressed concerns, but that they were basically turned away.”
City inspectors have said that if construction is taking place during unapproved hours, residents should call 311 or 310-ASK-LAPD and report the violation.
One resident on Nextdoor reported on August 23, “The traffic on Sunset around the project is a nightmare! The poor residents who live in the Alphabet Streets are suffering with traffic that is trying to circumvent Sunset.
“The Caruso workers have taken all the parking spaces in the village. There is no street parking whatsoever! I saw random cars and work trucks with Caruso workers milling about them. How can the businesses survive when no one has a place to park?”
So, in other words, what Mr. Gazzano is saying is screw you residents, we are going to do what we need to do to open on September 22nd. And where does that come from? Hmmm, let me think now…could it be from the ship’s Captain, Rick Caruso? Of course it is. I know that Caruso is investing in the Palisades and I truly appreciate that fact. However, what I am upset about is that it appears all we are going to have are high-end stores that appeal to only the wealthy in the community. I don’t see any Mayberys or Baskin Robbins. What I see are high end eateries including McConnell’s (even though we already have a very nice ice cream shop on Monument). And yes, I understand that the rents in the new Village will be sky high. But the middle class seniors like myself and other seniors who have had their homes in the Palisades for many years probably will not be able to afford to shop and eat there. I myself (and my beautiful wife) live in the Tahitian Terrace Mobile Home park and have so for 21+ years. We love the Palisades with it’s small town feel and attitude. Our favorite restaurant is Cafe Vida (it used to be Terrie’s/Maybery or even Mort’s on occasion). Anyway, I know I am off the subject and for this I apologize. I guess I just needed to get this off my chest even though I have made mention on Neighborhood.
Thank you Sue for taking the time to hear a rambling (older) man say his peace.