We assume the only real reason MySpace isn’t moving to a bigger office any time soon is that News Corp (NWS) is about to cut its headcount by as much as half.
But gossiping sources say another reason it was easy for News Corp digital boss Jon Miller to cancel Fox Interactive’s long-planned move to new offices in LA’s Playa Del Rey was that the new buildings were built over an ancient Indian burial ground.
Pali Research says cancelling the move could cost News Corp $350 million over 12 years.
The land, sandwiched between the posh high-rise buildings of Playa Vista and a newly formed waterway to channel runoff from nearby neighborhoods, was once home to the Gabrielino-Tongva tribe. From 3500 BC through the 1820s, the tribe fished, hunted and lived throughout much of the area that today is called the Ballona wetlands and Westchester bluffs. It is here that the village of Guashna was located, as well as a burial site for nearly 400 American Indians.
When Playa Vista developers in the early 1990s proposed their two-phase project of nearly 6,000 luxury housing units, more than 3.2 million square feet of office space and 180,000 square feet of retail space, they knew that Native American remains could be a concern. Artifacts and bones had been found periodically throughout the area.
In 2003, when workers began digging out soil to create a waterway for drainage from neighbourhood homes and storm water treatment, they discovered a burial site dating back at least 200 years and hundreds of Native American remains.
The Native American Heritage Commission sent strongly worded letters to Playa Vista officials saying their sacred lands had been violated, and environmentalists filed lawsuits over the waterway that were appealed up to the U.S. Supreme Court.