What's Goin' On?


Way, way back in October 2010, I did an article about development and revitalization in some well-known spots in and around the West Hollywood area. Sixteen months later, some are under way, some have stalled and some new projects have been approved. This issue I thought we’d take a look at the status of these projects and where they’re headed.


Movietown Plaza
    Originally the Trader Joes that’s there now was set to be razed to make room for a project set to consist of 32,300 square feet of street-front retail space (including a new Trader Joes), 294 market-rate condos and 76 units of affordable senior housing. The project hit a major roadblock late last year after a major falling out between developer Allen Casden and private equity funder Cerberus Capital Management, and was scheduled to go to auction on Dec. 21 of last year. CIM Group, Inc. (the company responsible for Hancock Lofts, Sunset Vine Tower and Hollywood and Highland) was one of several interested bidders. You can tell things have sort of fallen apart by the fact that the website for the project still says “construction is anticipated to begin in 2010.” As it stands now, Trader Joes still stands, and the other merchants that used to be there are long gone.

Ross Dress For Less at 3rd and Ogden
    Another casualty of the Casden/Cerberus fallout, there was already a black cloud over this one when I first wrote about it, and now the project is nothing but a memory. There once were plans to demolish the discount store to make way for a 13-story structure with 75 senior rentals and 225 market-rate condos, as well as a parking structure with 662 spaces. Most recently, though, Ross Stores actually purchased the property for $45 million and 86’d those plans, instead opting to keep their well-performing retail outlet right where it is.


    Sited where the old Acapulco restaurant used to be at La Cienega and Westmount is a five-story, 125-unit luxury apartment building that broke ground in spring of 2011 and is expected to be completed sometime in 2013. Kind of vague, I know, but hey, that’s what their website says!

Santa Monica Boulevard & Crescent Heights
    Developer Pacific Development Partners first applied for a three-story, modernist mixed-use building to replace the forlorn stripmall at Santa Monica Boulevard and Crescent Heights in 2007. Say goodbye to Tasty Donuts. It’s being demolished, along with the former Marco’s Pizza. Despite some online petitions protesting (I was able to find two with about 500 signatures between them), there’s a new Walgreens going up there. It’s being designed by noted architect Lorcan O’Herlihy. Approved in January by a 6-1 vote among WeHo’s Planning Commission, the project will include 20 residential units (four of which will be low-income houseing) atop the pharmacy as well as various other retail. Curbed LA reports that development has been in the works since 2006 and, after complaints, went from 48 units to 28 to 20. The Walgreens will take up 13,276 square feet, with another 2,138 square feet set aside for other groundfloor retail. The project will also have a rooftop “Sky Park.” Because one of the major concerns about the project was increased traffic, once the project is done, you won’t be able to turn left onto Crescent Heights or Havenhurst between 3 and 7 p.m.

3rd Street & La Brea Avenue
    In what used to be the used car division of La Brea Chrysler Jeep, a new single-level, 10,370 square foot CVS is going up. They broke ground back in December.
Wilshire Boulevard & La Brea Avenue
    Another big mixed-use project coming in early 2014, the structure will consist of 478 luxury apartment homes, 230 parking spaces and approximately 40,000 square feet of street-front retail and restaurant space. The community is set to encompass an entire city block at the southeast corner of the intersection, and will include over 500 feet of frontage on La Brea and 270 feet on Wilshire, giving retailers exceptional exposure to strong pedestrian and auto traffic.

So there you have it. That’s what’s happening at all these construction sites that are slowing up your morning commute every day! There are several other projects happening around town that I don’t have room to go into, but if you’re curious about something you see going up, feel free to shoot me an e.mail and I’ll see what I can find out for you! As always, if you know anyone looking to buy or sell a home, please put me in touch with them.

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