News
05.28.2008
Eavesdrop: Alissa Walker

GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS
In these trying times for real estate, we’ve heard of all sorts of sneaky tricks developers are using to woo tenants—free Mini Coopers, gift certificates for modern furniture, those guys spinning the big arrows. But the latest ploy is not only getting attention, it’s stopping traffic. Drivers heading northbound on the 110 through downtown LA last month were treated to what looked like strippers gyrating in day-glo windows of the Canvas LA apartment buildings. Curbed LA editor Josh Williams was drawn to the “big 80s poofy-style Whitesnake-video hair” of the mysterious dancing lady of the night: “It was like the iPod ads but without the iPod, or like something out of Amsterdam’s Red Light District.” Leave it to the local FOX affiliate to crack the case. Turns out, these sexy thangs aren’t available for rent; they’re simply projections: The DVD series known as Shadow Dancers also “appear nightly” at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas and the Crown Plaza, Dubai. The DVDs are available at shadowdancers.tv for all managers of low-occupancy properties looking to step up their marketing, or curious potential renters wanting to, ahem, experience this technology in the comfort of their own homes.

SAY GOODBYE
Santa Monica bid farewell to its iconic Ferris wheel spinning over the Pacific Ocean, as a winning bid on eBay rolled it from its former home on the end of the pier to halfway across the country. The auction, which closed at $132,400, was won by real estate developer Grant Humphreys, who said it will be installed somewhere in his hometown of Oklahoma City. Not one to wallow in nostalgia, Pacific Park installed a shiny new deluxe model on May 22. And in other Goodbye news, although not officially confirmed by anyone at the firm, it’s been widely reported that Frank Gehry laid off more than 20 people in late April, just ahead of announcements of even more funding delays for Brooklyn’s Atlantic Yards and The Project Formerly Known As Grand Avenue. So, about that April groundbreaking…

FIELD OF DREAMS
When sports and real estate magnate Ed Roski, Jr. rolled out his plan for a new Los Angeles football stadium on April 17 it was hard not to compare his wide-eyed optimism to a certain Ray “If you build it, they will come” Kinsella. Sure, the proposed stadium is being designed by Dan Meis (who also stood by Roski’s side for Staples Center), and it has a snazzy promise of sustainability and acres of retail space for shop-happy Inland Empresses.

But it was hard not to notice everything that’s working against Roski’s plan to bring football back to LA: hundreds of millions needed in non-taxpayer funding, a seedy location that’s practically in Nevada, and, uh, how about the fact that LA doesn’t have a football team? But no one ever said Roski was a realist. Last year, Roski paid $200,000 to be among the first to fly Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic into space. He’s also embarked on other theatrical adventures, chartering a submarine to the Titanic site and climbing to Mt. Everest’s base camp. Which makes you wonder what other voices he might be hearing in his head.

Send tips, gossip, and grand prizes to slubell@archpaper.com.

Alissa Walker