Development Projects in West LA: A Project Status Compilation
Board member Naomi Kageyama writes an email for her personal neighborhood constituents. In the latest email, she compiles a list of select projects in West LA which have come through the Council during her tenure. Kageyama generously allowed us to reprint this for the website. Any opinions expressed are her own.
Sept. 2016: WLASNC voted 'NO' to the huge Martin Cadillac project on Bundy/Olympic. A Community Impact Statement was submitted citing safety, traffic and excess office space as key problem areas. Status: the project was approved by LA City Council anyway with a vote of 12-0. There was some pushback including legality of the environmental impact report. This is projected to be the largest development project west of La Cienaga in history.
Oct. 2016: The old Pavilions site (on Wilshire near Barrington). Note: The WLASNC PLUM Committee had been working on this prior to time I was on the NC. A residential tower was proposed instead of a grocery/market. WLASNC approved the project as proposed. Status: as far as I know this project is active and in development.
(Sept/Oct. 2016): I don't remember exact date. But there was a motion to approve a liquor license for SQIRL restaurant that will be at Barrington/Exposition. There is another SQIRL restaurant in LA - with reputation as family friendly and hipster-ish.
Jan/Feb. 2017: The Gateway Project where Big O Tires is located. Some controversy about this. There was a reconsideration vote in February. The WLASNC voted 'No' to the project as proposed. Status: LA City Planning Dept. has approved this project but it has not yet gone forward to the LA City Council. There was an appeal to the project with input being accepted until 11/29/17. Here is the link: https://cityclerk.lacity.org/lacityclerkconnect/index.cfm?fa=ccfi.viewrecord&cfnumber=17-0932
Also in case you missed it here is the article in the LA Times about this project: http://www.latimes.com/local/abcarian/la-me-abcarian-american-dream-20170702-story.html
July 2017: 1405 Wellesley. Was a rundown senior retirement home. Residents had been moved to other locations prior. Owner re-adaption proposal for a budget-friendly hotel (in between a motel and high-end SM hotels). I think they said similar to a Comfort Inn. WLASNC pushed for more trees, no billboards and more bike racks. WLASNC approved this project. Status: not sure. Assuming this is going forward as planned.
Sept. 2017: Old Animal Shelter on Bundy. There was much confusion about a "homeless" project to be developed at this site. However the Brentwood based developer (Tom Safran & Assoc.) engaged the community in multiple ways - did tours of other similar projects (e.g. Playa) and had a plan that included a residential facility with 50% affordable housing units and the other 50% as permanent supportive housing for special needs (e.g. families). WLASNC held a town hall and invited community participation. There was a big turnaround from the community and many are now ardent supporters. WLASNC approved the project as proposed by TSA. Status: Assuming this is going forward as planned.
September 2017: 11419 Santa Monica Blvd. (old Ethan Allen furniture site). Another controversial one. LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl (5th District) attempted to set up a 'sobering center' (more of a drunk tank/possible dump site for individuals from outside WLA) without any sort of community input or communication. There was immediate outcry and residents, business owners and developers mostly opposed this project. Councimember Bonin initially supported the Sobering Center but later supported the community. WLASNC approved a motion to try to stop the project and sent a strongly worded letter to Kuehl (with cc's to local media). And it worked! The lease (which had been done in secret back in June) was broken with a message from Supervisor Kuehl that she would make sure to engage the community as they continue to search for an appropriate site. Status: Community scored!
October 2017: Old Vons Site (Barrington/Santa Monica). There have been several community meetings etc about this. Yes another big project. There will still be a market - Whole Foods - but also a large multi-use complex as well. At the last WLASNC board meeting almost 100% of residents and local neighbors who attended fully supported the project. WLASNC approved this project (I abstained because I thought the project was too big). Status: the developers will begin the LA City process for permits, City Council approval etc. etc.
Naomi Kageyama can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Projects like these get discussed at our PLUM Meetings. Please attend them if you have questions or concerns.