A $300-million Academy Museum of Motion Pictures got rave reviews from the City Council June 24. A 13-0 vote paved the way for construction to begin as early as this summer.
The Renzo Piano design includes a glass-domed 1,000-seat cinema to rise behind the Art Deco May Co. The building will be restored to its 1939 glory and will include an Oscar silhouette on its gold perfume bottle-shape at the corner of Wilshire Blvd. and Fairfax Ave.
A lawsuit threatens the project, as nearby residents fear added traffic, inadequate parking and digital signs will disturb the neighborhood.
“We will go to court if there’s still a sign district, and, they have to verify there’s not an intrusion of cars, and, there’s enough parking,” said Jim O’Sullivan, president of the Miracle Mile Residential Association.
Nighttime parking is not an issue, as the Academy has secured long-term leases from neighboring tenants. Daytime parking might be arranged with limited viewing, such as museums do with major exhibit.
“If they did something like that, that could be interesting… we’ll see if it’s enough to make a deal,” O’Sullivan said.
Signage of any kind, however, is prohibited under a 1999 development agreement, O’Sullivan added. Museum officials said signage overall was reduced by 95 percent from the original proposal.
The city Planning Commission okayed the Environmental Impact Report that outlined the ambitious 290,000 square-foot project’s impact on traffic and noise on the neighborhood.
The museum is expected to open in late 2017.