Council Approves Gale Drive Property Purchase for $8.4 Million

At its Nov. 21 regular meeting, the Beverly Hills City Council voted unanimously to acquire the property located at 111 N. Gale Drive in Beverly Hills for $8.4 million. The land is adjacent to three other parcels already owned by the city and contains part of what’s known as the “Gale Yard.” An additional $20,000 was approved by the city for escrow fees and “due diligence” activities such as surveys and environmental site assessments.

According to Los Angeles County Assessor records, the size of the Gale Drive property is about 6,500 square feet. The land is currently being used by Metro for construction purposes under an active “temporary construction easement (TCE)” which expires on Jan. 1, 2026.

The purchase of the Gale property now gives the city a block of four contiguous parcels. Two of the parcels, located at 8401 and 8421 Wilshire Blvd., are also under an active Metro TCE. The third parcel, at 8423 Wilshire, includes the Clock Market historic building. The sum total of the four parcels is about 50,570 square feet (1.16 acres).

The acquisition of this block of four parcels, according to a staff report, is part of the city’s effort to “continue to take steps to acquire properties in key areas for future affordable housing, parking, and/or economic development purposes.” While there aren’t any specific development plans yet, once the TCEs expire, the properties “could one day be utilized in conjunction with streetscape improvements to provide public amenities, destination retail, and/or residential uses in a mixed-use project that meets city objectives to enhance the pedestrian experience and activate southeast area businesses,” the staff wrote.

The city conducted two Gale Yard Public Forums on future long-term uses of the 8421 Wilshire property in 2022, and the general consensus was that the city should maintain the historic integrity of the Clock Market, and acquire additional land around it.

In other business, the City Council unanimously approved an agreement with Nastec International, Inc. for “security specialists” to support unhoused individuals in Beverly Hills for a total not-to-exceed amount of $1,298,836 for fiscal year 2023-24.

The request was made jointly by Mark Stainbrook, Chief of Police, and Stephanie Harris, Director of Community Services.

In November of 2022, the city hired consultant Abby Arnold to prepare a homelessness plan after meeting with stakeholders, city officials and other community organizations. Her draft plan will be presented to City Council before the end of 2023.

Also last November, an agreement with Nastec, the Calabasas-based private security firm that has contracted with Beverly Hills since 2020, was approved to assist with unhoused outreach. The coverage consists of two unarmed individuals who receive and respond to nonemergency hotline calls and provide 24-hour coverage on the weekends. In June of this year, the City Council voted to continue paying Nastec through the end of 2023 while the unhoused plan was being

drafted. The City Council is expected to vote on paying Nastec through the end of the Fiscal Year (June 30, 2024) sometime in December.

In a separate agenda item, both Nastec and the private security company Covered 6 were awarded contracts for private patrol security services in Beverly Hills, due to “unprecedented protest activity since May 2020.”

For Fiscal Year 2023-24, Covered 6 will receive an amount not to exceed $2,137,867 and Nastec an amount not to exceed $1,381,941.

In yet another big-ticket item, City Council awarded a contract to low-bidder R2Build for the construction of three reser- voir management systems in the amount of $3,960,000, for reservoir sites at Coldwater, Sunset and Greystone