The following is a condensation of an interview with Mr. A.F.Makemerich, developer and property owner in our fair city:
Let me introduce myself: my name is Makemerich, A.F. Make-me-rich. The A.F. stands for Avid Filanthropist (my mother had plans for me). My close friends say the A.F. stands for Already Filthy (which I find charming). I am a recent arrival in your quaint little village which has, in just the last twenty years, become the type of backward community which is calling out for the financial gentrification which I am prepared to provide, as I have done successfully for some 76 similar locations throughout our great nation (“76” – freedom! – get it?).
My proposal is as follows: I own a large piece of underdeveloped land within your boundaries, currently known as SMP (Small-Medium Palace) which I wish to convert to MMM (Magnifico Makemerich’s Mall). The project is ready to go and it can be completed in just eighteen months – or less if the City approves our revolutionary expedited construction process. Our process will assure that disruption of the immediate area will be contained within less than one block from the site lines in each direction! We can do this by completing each story before moving up to the next!
And there is an added benefit: We are aware that your city is well known for strict regulation of the appearance of major new structures. Our team of world-renowned, award-winning architects has developed a new method of construction which will allow community input from the ground up! As soon as we have completed the underground parking (on your land – thanks so much!!) we will begin a new round of outreach meetings where we will ask your citizens to help us design and build the first floor, then the second, and so on. We are nothing if not flexible!! There will be a new surprise every week! This will avoid any need to decide what the residents want before construction begins. It is therefore no longer necessary to show Santa Monicans what the whole project will look like. This will prevent polarization on design issues, since there will be nothing to oppose or be polarized about!
We have been impressed, during our search for the optimum community to receive this amazing project, by Santa Monica’s commitment to keep up with new developments in technology which become available. Your outstanding and groundbreaking Sustainable City Plan provides guidelines to the best of the best ways to protect the environment. The Makemerich Company is absolutely committed to sustaining our objectives, and will provide support for turning this advisory document into law as soon as possible. Of course we will not support delay in bringing the benefits of our project to your citizens, which might occur if a legislative procedure were initiated at this time.
We are confident that the City will assist us in getting past any disagreements which may arise. They have, after all, provided us with a number of ways to adjust our proposed plans if deviations from existing development standards are found to be onerous. These include Text Amendments, Conditional Use Permits, Mitigations, Overriding Considerations, and of course the ever-popular Development Agreements. These provisions have proven very popular and have earned Santa Monica a well-deserved reputation as a City where one or another of these measures has been applied in almost every approved project.
We have gone to great lengths to prepare a document called an EIR (Environmental Impact Report) to assure your neighbors that what they may see as problems are actually benefits in disguise (BIDs). For example, some people think our glorious project will attract so many visitors that it may be difficult to access adjacent properties already in the area. To avoid the truly impressive congestion with which your city is blessed (due to its vibrant economy), we will be happy to provide (for a small fee) hovercraft limousine service for potential customers. (Unfortunately, State regulations prevent our making a written commitment for this amenity until some minor technicalities are resolved.)
We are also considering vertical parking which will permit owners and guests of our luxurious condos to park at their front doors and immediately enjoy the fantastic view from twenty-five stories up (or is it only twelve stories this week – I forget.)
Air pollution is already a nuisance in your community; we plan to install an efficient “Pipe Drain” system underground, which will aspirate all airborne pollutants and transfer them to an off-shore island where our skilled scientists will convert them into medical wonder drugs, which will bring peace and joy to all. The island is currently on the drawing boards, with the working title “MPD (Makemerich Pipe Dream)”.
Please be assured that plans are drawn, approvals promised, and our assistants in the planning department (who would surely be elected in a landslide if they should ever run for office) have been appropriately compensated for their cooperation by pre-release premier exposure to our dog-and-pony show. We are also ready to begin lease renegotiations with present landowners and shopkeepers as soon as approval is finalized.There are still a few minor problems which need to be addressed. I look to you and your excellent paper to assist me in resolving them — for the extraordinary benefit of your readers. That is what our entire project is about – the benefit of your readers. Remember what A.F. stands for – Avid Filanthropist – or is it Already Filthy? There may be a friendly choice about my first names, but never about my last.