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30th Annual Roses and Lemon Awards: AEG wins, ugly government loses

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Every year, the Downtown Breakfast Club awards the best in downtown Los Angeles, and punishes the worst at its Roses and Lemon Awards breakfast. KPCC's John Rabe has been covering it for a few years now and says the 30th annual saw a special rose and a very sour lemon. COME INSIDE for the full list of Roses.

Here's the (lightly edited) club's news release, with all the info:

The Downtown Breakfast Club

Although The Downtown Breakfast Club has just 35 members, its impact on downtown Los Angeles’ environmental and social climate far exceeds its limited membership -- as was reflected by the 450 real estate, business and community leaders who attended the 30th Roses and Lemon Awards at the new J.W. Marriott Hotel.

Maintaining its esoteric stance, the Breakfast Club had sweet things to say about many downtown projects and social trends, but its ascerbic observations were conveyed in its presentation of the Lemon Award to the owners and managers of numerous federal and local buildings for their “visually polluting” temporary security barricades.

“These barricades inspire vandalism and generally create an “underworld” aura of economic and social chaos,“ presenter Tom Gilmore declared.” For tourists and Angelenos unfamiliar with downtown, these barricades convey a dismal and misleading image of downtown.”

Switching to highly laudatory sentiments, the Club saluted AEG with its Special Award of Honor for the development of L.A. Live into a monumental mixed-use community that not only greatly enhances downtown and the emerging South Park area but also makes major contributions to the entire city economically and culturally.

The Club also bestowed a Rose on the Factory Place Arts Complex, as an outstanding example of new market-rate housing, while Carver Apartments was presented a Rose for its "innovative design" in the affordable housing category. Honorable Mentions in the market-rate class were Concerto Lofts and Great Republic Lofts, while Abbey Apartments and Sakura Crossing were runners-up in the affordable housing category.

Turning its attention to restaurants, the Club heaped accolades and a Rose on Bottega Louie for its "distinguished cuisine and pulsating ambience which reflects downtown’s increasingly cosmopolitan climate.” Runner-ups were Chaya Downtown and Rivera.

In the realm of bars and cafes, top honors went to The Must as a “must” place for those who wish to relax after a challenging day at the office or online. “Think of an ambience like TV’s “Cheers,” plus “pop” comfort food which can be washed down by some 50 wines and beers.” Honorable Mentions went to The Crocker Club and Corkbar.

Perhaps the most diverse choice of nominees was in the Civic and Cultural category, which included the new Grammy Museum at LA Live, the new LAPD Headquarters Building, and the completion of the master plan for the Inner City School for the Arts.

“If this were a category for a civic building only,“ said presenters Fritz Kastner and Barbara Bundy, “a different set of criteria would have prevailed...” But since cultural considerations as well as design were involved, the Club awarded the Rose to the Grammy Museum based on its unique position in the music industry and its combination of programming and exhibition space.

In the area of “Good Works” by longstanding non-profit organizations based in Downtown Los Angeles, the following were singled out by Michelle Isenberg and Patrick Spillane: Chrysalis, Skid Row Housing, Beyond Shelter, and LAMP Community.