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Say Goodbye to Jons WeHo; New Apartments Rising on Kings Road

Way back in October of last year, I reported that the Jons Market at La Brea and Fountain was to be demolished to make way for a new development of apartments by developer Monarch Group. In August 2010, the West Hollywood Planning Commission gave the ‘all clear’ for a six-story, 187-unit apartment building with 19,559 square feet of retail space at street level (according to Monarch’s website).

Well, D-day has arrived, and as of Saturday, Aug. 13, Jons WeHo is no more. The store has run its clearance sales, emptied its shelves and closed its doors for the last time. Jeff Seymour, the project’s representative, has said work on the new structure is scheduled to begin this month.

Architecture firm Newman Garrison + Partners’ website says of the project, “the public pedestrian level is inviting and unrestricted with its open air plaza, inclusive of retail and restaurant space and a contemporary art gallery, which displays and highlights the works of some of today’s most sought-after artists. For the residents, there are three private courtyards for recreation or leisure activities, a private pool with cabana areas [and] a state-of-the-art clubhouse and fitness center.

“An expansive rooftop terrace overlooking La Brea, with views of the iconic Hollywood sign and spectacular city lights also offers a meditation/contemplation garden, outdoor entertainment facilities, BBQ and dining areas and a provocative ‘under the stars’ theater. This project was designed with every convenience and amenity for working, playing, entertaining or just opulent leisure.” The apartments will range from 680-1,254 square feet.

I have to say, I’m kinda wrecked. I went into Jons the other day to buy a bunch of fresh produce and saw the store at least half empty. Long strips of pink packing paper hung over empty shelves, remaining items being pushed out at heavily discounted prices. Kind of a bummer. They had the best prices on produce of anywhere around. I could walk out with a couple bags full of stuff for less than $10.

In other WeHo development news, the West Hollywood Planning Commission has approved plans for a four-story, 25-unit apartment complex on Kings Road, which has upset some neighbors, who feel the project is too “big box” and not in keeping with the area’s current aesthetic. WeHo Patch reports that residents have complained about the potential disruption to their lives the construction would surely cause, and expressed concern over the added street traffic and the impact on street parking.

Currently, there are two 1920s-era single-family homes at 1232 and 1236 N. Kings Road (between Fountain Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard) that will be demolished to make way for the project. The building reportedly will be designed with the intention of blending it into the buildings on either side of it, with the north side being four stories to match its next-door neighbor, and the south side only rising two stories, matching its neighbor.

On the plus side, the building will have four (four!) units set aside for low-income housing and will be a green project, complete with solar panels. “This is going above and beyond the green building design,” said Commissioner David Aghaei.

WeHo Patch reported a strong turn out from neighbors living on the block who vigorously opposed the project during the public comments portion of the meeting, claiming it would disrupt their lives, add to traffic and impact street parking. Commissioner Marc Yeber accused the opponents of “classic NIMBYism” (also known as “Not In My Back Yard”), and said that despite opposition, he hadn’t heard any solid reason why the project should not move forward.

Following the conclusion of the meeting, architect Edward Levin told WeHo Patch he was happy with the decision. “I worked with the city on their affordable housing guideline and I worked on the green building guidelines. So to work on this project is very gratifying.”

Jefferson Hendrick is an L.A.-based Realtor with Keller Williams. Contact him with questions, concerns and real estate inquiries
at [email protected] or facebook.com/jeffersonhendrickrealtor.

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