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L.A.'s Least Favorite Developer Wants Another Controversial Pedestrian Bridge

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It wasn't that long ago that Geoff Palmer was planning on building a pedestrian bridge at the Da Vinci, that fortress-like series of apartment buildings next to the freeway in downtown Los Angeles that someone intentionally set on fire. But Palmer wants to build another pedestrian bridge downtown now, this one over Olympic Blvd. to connect two buildings known as Broadway Palace. Broadway Palace at 928 S. Broadway, unlike Palmer's other buildings, isn't shoved up against the freeway. This two-building, 686-unit construction is near the Ace Hotel, Building Los Angeles reports. And, it isn't a faux-Italian design, but rather fits in more with the surrounding neighborhood, according toCurbed LA.

Its location is what actually makes the pedestrian bridge business confusing. The Da Vinci didn't have the sort of bustling foot traffic one would expect from a downtown neighborhood, so the skybridge would have been a way to connect the buildings without forcing residents to leave. Palmer claimed this bridge would allow tenants to move around the construction with ease, and would protect them from a nearby homeless encampment. Of course, saying that you want the tenants of your luxury apartment complex to not have to deal with the homeless in their neighborhood is pretty tone deaf, and the plan was met with controversy. The bridge was initially shut down by the Central Area Planning Commission, but Palmer filed an appeal and Councilman Jose Huizar helped persuade the rest of the council, emphasizing tenant mobility. Now, of course, two-thirds of the Da Vinci is in ruins following the massive arson last month that investigators are still working to solve.

Broadway Palace, however, is in a much more trafficked, pedestrian-friendly area with plenty to see and do, and it's growing all the time. Downtown activists think that skybridges could actually hurt the developing neighborhood, by separating residents from ground-level retail, their community and people who don't live in the same building as them.

We're sure there will be opposition to this skybridge as the project, which broke ground in September, nears completion, but hopefully no one torches this one.