Mr. Epstein,

I have no way of knowing who actually drafted that “letter” on the back cover of Friday’s SMDP. Whether it was you or your public relations firm, it really doesn’t matter. You’re basically recycling the same real estate development B.S. we’ve all heard before.

Addressing a note to “Dear Friends and Neighbors” immediately sounds like the very essence of sucking up. I don’t speak for others but I’m certainly not your friend and, thankfully, I’m not an immediate neighbor. So I won’t have to deal with the possible chaos of your monstrous condo/hotel project and all the noise it may create.

As soon as I saw the Miramar Hotel logo at the top of the ad, I was waiting to see how many times the Moreton Bay fig tree would be mentioned. You managed to work that in twice in a brief ad; somewhat of a relief considering how many times it was mentioned in that ridiculous brochure distributed awhile back.

Once again, you claim that “The Miramar Hotel has served as the western gateway to Downtown Santa Monica … .” What a ludicrous and pathetic claim. There are numerous “gateways” into Santa Monica. Please spare us any more of that nonsense.

The only “continuing dialogue” you’re having with the community is with the four pro-development circus clowns on the City Council. They’re either going to be recalled or replaced in the next election.

As far as the so-called “benefits of the Miramar Plan,” my comments are these:

• Tripling on-site parking with an underground garage. Wow, really? So what you’re actually saying is you’ll be tripling (at the very least) the number of car trips to the property. How many spaces out of that total will be reserved for those condo residents who, in all likelihood, will have at least one vehicle and possibly two. How many total employees and how many parking spaces do they get? And how many rooms will the hotel have and how many of those “tripled” parking spaces will be set aside for them?

• Creating new, well-paid union jobs in Santa Monica. That brings up the question of how many similar jobs are there now, how many more will there be and what is the salary range of those union jobs?

• Generating over $5.1 million a year in new revenue for city programs and services. Where do these figures come from? You or an independent assessment of the situation? And how much revenue does the hotel generate now?

• Building new affordable housing. I hear this claim a lot from the developers who are “raping” this city with oversized projects more suitable to other areas. How many units fall into this nebulous category of “affordable housing” and what exactly will the rents be?

• Preserving the historic Palisades Building. Given the other p.r. nonsense, I shudder to think what your idea of “preservation” actually is.

• Creating new open space and gardens that visually tie to Palisades Park. Geez, really? A whole visual tie-in? That would sound impressive if it actually meant something.

• Protecting the historic Moreton Bay fig tree for future generations. I’m glad the tree is being saved. How generous of you and Mr. Dell.

And please spare us the use of the term “traffic neutral.” There is no such thing unless you can magically prevent the use of a single car or truck being used by residents, guests or employees of your proposed project.

As for your claim of “restoring the Miramar as one of the premier luxury destinations in Southern California,” wait while I find an air sickness bag. That’s another absurd and outrageous claim that has zero to do with anything.


Gary Gurner

Santa Monica

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