I found a superb blog about local developers called DEVELOPERALERT.ORG. Here are some quotes from the blog:
Development that works
Paul Solomon quit his job as a real estate attorney to pursue a dream of redeveloping obsolete factory buildings in downtown Los Angeles (an area that is now being called the Arts District)... As I spent the day with him in February touring his new development of the "National Biscuit Company" Building, every turn seemed to tender a brand new treasure. Copper doors and windows, maple floors, exposed wood formwork, concrete columns, staircases ascending effortlessly to mezzanines open to below characterized these engaging spaces. It was obvious that the architect Aleks Istanbullu had carefully considered every facet of the design... It was obvious that this building was more than just a source of revenue for him, it was a source of pride... and that is rare.
Here's more from DeveloperAlert.org:
Development that doesn't work
"Developers' money is like heroin to politicians." - Roy P. Disney, March 2, 2008, Los Angeles Times
“We need open, honest government that is working for people, not developers.” - Stephen Whitburn, March 15, 2008, San Diego Union Tribune