In the ongoing Lincoln Place saga, there may finally be light at the end of the tunnel for all involved parties. Peter Robinson, co-director of the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine Law School, has offered to serve as the official “convener” of the mediation, helping resolve the thorny issues that will allow the resumption of talks between Lincoln Place tenants, owners and other interests. Robinson will not serve as the actual mediator, but will help the parties choose a mediator and frame the issues to be discussed during mediation.”I am very happy that Mr. Robinson has agreed to help resolve this situation,” Councilman Bill Rosendahl said. “His extensive experience and outsider’s perspective is exactly what we need. With his help, I hope we can begin another round of negotiations quickly and find a way to protect the tenants while bringing more certainty to everyone involved.”Robinson said he would donate 15 hours of his time to officially convene the mediations, help the various parties choose a mediator and determine who should take part in the mediations. Robinson’s involvement was hailed by both tenants and by AIMCO. “The participation of the Straus Institute gives us confidence that we will be engaging in a fair and open process,” said Sheila Bernard, President of the Lincoln Place Tenants Association. AIMCO executives expressed similar confidence. “We are pleased that Peter Robinson and the Straus Institute have agreed to convene a variety of stakeholders that have interest in the future development of Lincoln Place,” said Patti Shwayder, AIMCO’s Senior Vice President. “We are looking forward to continuing AIMCO’s efforts to work with all parties to reach an outcome that addresses both the housing opportunities and needs of the community.”This will be the second round of negotiations between AIMCO, tenants and preservationists. Last fall, Rosendahl and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa brokered a series of talks that fell apart just short of a resolution. At issue in that round of negotiations, and in the talks to come, were: the fate of current and former tenants of Lincoln Place; historical and cultural designation or protection for the property; and the scope and pace of the process to consider AIMCO’s future redevelopment plans.
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