Skip to main content

MB News

Leaked Emails: State Would Seize Manhattan Beach Properties for Housing Development

Apr 01, 2022 10:03AM ● By Mb News Staff
APRIL FOOL! Thanks for joining us for our annual tradition of "walking the line" with a little topical humor. The full, original story is posted below!


A tranche of emails secretly provided to MB News and published on April 1 shows that California housing officials have been making aggressive plans behind the scenes to counter South Bay cities if they refuse to fulfill commitments to build much more, and denser, housing.

The previously secret plans, developed by staff of the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), include bold land seizures in Manhattan Beach, Hermosa and Redondo Beach.

The former site of the Fry’s electronics store at Sepulveda and Rosecrans would be seized and rezoned for a 9-story apartment building, given a codename of “Fry’s Tower” in the emails.

Vast corporate headquarters now under development on Sepulveda/PCH in Hermosa Beach would be taken over and reworked as a 4-story building with “low- and moderate-income” units, dubbed “Newsom Mews” in the leaked emails.

And a former federal building at the corner of Marine Ave. and Aviation Blvd. in North Redondo Beach would be transformed into luxury condos with a pool, playground, community garden and rooftop bar. The project is referred to as “Yimby Plaza” in the emails, an apparent homage to the renowned housing advocate Oliver Yimby.

“Yimby Plaza is going to blow minds all over the South Bay,” says one email between agency staff. “We are going to show these communities that literally everywhere is good for housing.”

Treehouse Plan on the Horizon

The tone of many of the messages obtained by MB News is strikingly aggressive, showing staff and agency officials confident that their plans are both necessary and certain to be upheld against local objections and legal challenges.

“NIMBYs gonna NIMBY, ya know. That’s what they do,” says one email from a planning official with HCD. “But wait till they feel the boot. They’ll come around.”

One Manhattan Beach city official who reviewed the leaked emails said to MB News, “The HCD is drunk on power. All the proof you need is right here. They’re in some ivory tower in Sacramento or wherever, thinking they can dictate to local governments at will.”

The threat of land seizures by the state, and the construction of such large new developments as Fry’s Tower, Newsom Mews and Yimby Plaza, appears to have motivated Manhattan Beach to adopt an alternative plan for building new housing up among the city’s trees.

The city’s new treehouse plan, known as “Rise Above MB,” is outlined today by MB Confidential.

Subscribe to MB News Emails * Don't Miss a Thing, Sign Up Today!

* indicates required
Email Format

Subscribe to MB News Emails * Don't Miss a Thing, Sign Up Today!

* indicates required
Email Format