Sunday, January 21, 2018, was the first of what is suppose to be many public outreach forums concerning the Berggruen Institute project. There were over 600 community members causing standing room only in the Skirball Center’s Ahmanson Auditorium to listen to presentations from the Berggruen Institute team, community organizations and general public.
Nicholas Berggruen has purchased and has plans to develop 450 acres in the hills above Mandeville. This area spans eastward to Sepulveda and is contiguous to Bundy Canyon, Kenter Canyon and the Mountaingate communities. The institute proposes a public-policy think tank of sorts focusing on good governance in California, among other subjects. At the new campus, it plans to make space available for scholars in residence as well as limited public programs.
The design firm of Herzog and de Neuron presented the project. The Berggruen team discussed the proposed benefits of this project to the city and community, as well as the sustainability of the complex. Their Environmental Impact Report (EIR) study is pending.
Grave concerns were raised by residents and local community leaders about increased fire danger due to building on a methane gas field, challenging the legality of construction on protected open space, loss of wildlife and wildlife corridors, increased traffic on Sepulveda, and educating the representative from the design firm that their design plan was actually not as environmentally friendly as they had presented, among other issues.
Links are below for more information on the Berggruen project: