Chasen’s site to become shopping center

GOOD MORNING: The environmental impact report on the proposed 83,000-sq.-foot conversion of Chasen’s site on Beverly and Doheny is completed and all the impact problems “can be mitigated,” said Ira Smedra. Along with partner Jacob Wintner of the Arba group, Smedra will build a $30 million shopping center including Ralph’s, Sav-on, Crown Books, Starbucks and “a fine restaurant”– but, it won’t be Chasen’s. Tom McKay, Maude Chasen’s son-in-law, says, “We’d be glad to license a restaurant if it’s the right party.” But Smedra says it will be someone else. Meanwhile McKay’s son Scott is proceeding with plans for a Chasen’s Grill in Santa Monica. McKay, pere, however, says “We’re rooting for Ira (Smedra) to complete the deal — I just wrote a (big) property tax check!” Chasen’s will be aglow New Year’s Eve for a “This Little Light” charity fundraiser for Children’s Hospital with friends like Wolfgang Puck donating eats … The Arba Group is also readying a 350,000-sq.-ft., $100 million development in Westwood which will include a new, large theater complex replacing the current, small Plaza theater …”A Lament for the Great Nation” is the title of the work just completed by James (“call me Jim”) Michener. It’s a series of essays on the state of the nation and the world. “The arts are taking a licking, ” he told me. “I also think there’s a lot we should be doing about race relations, the economy in the inner city, support of the family and a more sensible system of taxation”– for starters. Michener, 89, said he writes every day. He also noted, “I am simply delighted” about being involved with Merv Griffin and Ernie Chambers on the feature version of Michener’s short story “Revenge.” “It will be a family affair,” the Pulitzer Prize-winner added; “I will co-produce it”… Bill Haber’s at his CAA desk — for a couple of days before returning to his Save the Children offices in Westport, Conn., where he is readying an important “Children’s” program to be launched in March.

SUPERMAN’S MOM HAS BEEN FORCED to rescind an order for another printing of her book, “The Life of the Party” (Addison Books). K Callan, who plays Clark Kent’s mom, Martha, in “Lois & Clark,” was notified by Crayola’s owner, Binney & Smith, they object to her use of the trademark name (Crayola) in the tome. She has agreed not to mention the trademarked name in future editions. One feature she has to kill is her creation of “National Crayola Day.” Bah, humbug … Beverly Garland signed to play the mom of Lois Lane (Teri Hatcher) in the “Lois & Clark” series; Harve Presnell plays her dad … The first draft of the “Barney” feature script is completed for David Geffen’s banner at WB. A summer start’s planned. Meanwhile, the “live” Barney goes out on a fully staged concert tour in 20 cities in ’96 … Rod Steiger arrived back in L.A. after an oft-delayed, 34-hour flight from Israel, where he was guest of honor at the 3, 000th anni celebration of Jerusalem. In Israel he’s an icon because of “The Chosen” and “The Pawnbroker” and an idol with young fans — because he co-stars with Sly Stallone in “The Specialist.” On his return here, Steiger reported directly to the “Shiloh” set … Marvin Worth’s “Norma Jean and Marilyn” stars Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino, respectively. Worth’s also readying “Easy Women” for Fine Line starring Meg Ryan, and is in post with the Sharon Stone, Isabelle Adjani-starrer “Diabolique” and prepping “The James Dean Story”… Tommy Tune was able to shed the cast on his broken ankle and winged here to tape two segs of “The Bold & the Beautiful,” playing himself in a real life story in which “B&B” star Jeff Trachta is cast by Tune in the “Grease” revival. Sure enough, Trachta B’way-bows in “Grease” on Jan. 2 … Ron Silver, lauded for his Kissinger portrayal on TNT’s “Kissinger & Nixon,” is guesting as Christine Lahti’s ex-husband in a “Chicago Hope” seg, as a favor to Lahti. Mandy Patinkin, who left the show earlier this season, also returns to “Chicago” for this upcoming seg.

ALL IN THE FAMILY: Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas host the “Humane From Hollywood” fundraiser Saturday to benefit Melanie’s mom Tippi Hedren’s Shambala Wild Animal Preserve, plus the ASPCA and Southern Calif. Counseling Center, with a reception at Leeza Gibbons,’ followed by the fundraising event at the Thunder Roadhouse in West Hollywood … Add family: MGM prez Mike Marcus’ mom, Mrs. Jo M., who lives in Pittsburgh, plays a member of the Foxy Ladies bowling team in the studio’s Woody Harrelson-Randy Quaid “Kingpin,” which locationed in Pitts. … Third generation: Larry Gelbart’s grandson Sasha G. and partner Eric Tipton sold their script, “First Strike” to 20th. And Larry’s son, Gary (Markowitz) is partnered with papa on the “John Deere” feature script for Ray Stark … Max Allan Collins, producer, writer, director of “Mommy,” starring Patty McCormack, has been commissioned to novelize his original screenplay in the direct-to-video feature for St. Marks Press. The suspense thriller co-stars “Star Trek’s” Majel Barrett and Jason Miller of “The Exorcist.”