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WEST HOLLYWOOD REAL ESTATE & DEVELOPMENT

L.A. Superior Court Rules in Favor of L.A. Conservancy in Lytton Savings Preservation

L.A. Superior Court Rules in Favor of L.A. Conservancy in Lytton Savings Preservation

Wed, Apr 26, 2017 6 Comments

The ruling is likely to force Townscape Partners to find a way to incorporate the bank building into the Frank Gehry-designed project.

WeHo Landlord Sentenced to Jail for Ellis Act Violation

WeHo Landlord Sentenced to Jail for Ellis Act Violation

Tue, Apr 25, 2017 8 Comments

The City of West Hollywood has prevailed in court against West Hollywood landlord Anne Kihagi, who has been ordered to serve five days in Los Angeles County Jail and to pay the city’s attorney fees and costs.

Kihagi was held in contempt of court on Feb. 21 for violating a preliminary injunction that prohibited her from re-renting certain units at her property, an eight-unit building located at 1263 N. Crescent Heights Blvd.

The preliminary injunction was obtained after the City of West Hollywood intervened in a case against Kihagi, filed by a former tenant, who contends he was wrongly evicted when Kihagi used the Ellis Act as a pretext to terminate all of the leases in the building. Kihagi violated the injunction by re-renting the former tenant’s unit.

The city filed a lawsuit against Kihagi in 2008, alleging that after…

WeHo’s Hotel Market Gets Hotter

WeHo’s Hotel Market Gets Hotter

Sat, Apr 22, 2017

A leading real estate trade publication cites a record price paid for a stake in the Sunset Tower and the possible sale of the not-yet-opened James Hotel.

WeHo Residents Want More Affordable Housing (Just Don’t Build It Please)

WeHo Residents Want More Affordable Housing (Just Don’t Build It Please)

Mon, Apr 17, 2017 19 Comments

In a survey commissioned by the city, 73% of respondents said WeHo doesn’t have enough affordable housing. But a majority opposes new apartment, condo buildings.

New Policy Would Allow More Billboards on Sunset Strip

New Policy Would Allow More Billboards on Sunset Strip

Thu, Apr 13, 2017 13 Comments

The City of West Hollywood will present next its proposal to revise regulations governing signs on Sunset Boulevard to permit as many as as 18 additional billboards over the next 15 years, of which 17 could be digital billboards. In addition, three existing billboards would be allowed to convert to digital. There currently are 89 billboards along the 1.6 miles of Sunset between Doheny and Havenhurst known as the Sunset Strip.  There also are four digital art signs.

The proposal will be presented for discussion at a community meeting from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Horn Plaza Community Room at 1230 Horn Plaza, a condominium building that sits at the end of Horn Avenue above Sunset Bo

Planning  Commission Rejects Project Proposed for Beverly at Sherbourne

Planning Commission Rejects Project Proposed for Beverly at Sherbourne

Fri, Apr 07, 2017 14 Comments

Saying it was not compatible with the neighborhood, West Hollywood’s Planning Commission on Thursday night unanimously rejected a proposed five-story retail-residential project on Beverly Boulevard and Sherbourne Drive, adjacent to the old Jerry’s Famous Deli building, which now houses the Granville Café casual dining restaurant.

The developer was seeking to demolish a one-story nightclub building, currently housing the Peppermint Club, at 8713 Beverly Boulevard and combine it with a parking lot at 321-327 Sherbourne Drive. He then would use that property to construct a 41,000-square-foot project consisting of two five-story buildings, one facing Beverly and the other facing Sherbourne. As proposed, the two buildings would be connected by catwalks between each of the upper floors. They would include 9,700 square feet of retail…

Melrose Real Estate Prices Hit a New High with Purchase by Ben Soleimani

Melrose Real Estate Prices Hit a New High with Purchase by Ben Soleimani

Thu, Apr 06, 2017 12 Comments

The ‘Mayor of Melrose’ paid a reported $4,507 per square foot, 60% more than the then-amazing $2,815 per square foot that Jerry Illoulian paid for the former Tommy Hilfiger store in 2015.

WeHo Will Require Owners of ‘Soft-Story’ Buildings to Prep Them for an Earthquake

WeHo Will Require Owners of ‘Soft-Story’ Buildings to Prep Them for an Earthquake

Wed, Apr 05, 2017 16 Comments

The seismic retrofit program is likely to be costly, and the city will consider requiring tenants to contribute part of the cost.

Developer Plans 96-Unit Apartment Building on La Cienega

Developer Plans 96-Unit Apartment Building on La Cienega

Tue, Apr 04, 2017 7 Comments

Developer Stark Enterprises has revealed its plans for the lot housing Mikey’s Car Wash at 431 N. La Cienega Boulevard.

The quarter-acre lot, which lies just south of West Hollywood, will contain a building with 96 apartment units, 5,500 square feet of retail space and up to 8,500 square feet of restaurant space. The details were first reported by Curbed LA.

The Ohio-based developer has agreed to set aside nine apartment units for very-low income people in exchange for a density bonus of 40% over what the City of Los Angeles’ planning regulations now allow.

Stark Enterprises bought the property $21.25 million, one of the most expensive property deals, on a square foot basis, in the area.

The L.A. City Council already has approved a proposal by Rick Caruso to erect a 16-story tower at 333 La Cienega Blvd., near the Stark…

City Council Rejects Mayor Meister’s Proposed Moratorium on New Hotels

City Council Rejects Mayor Meister’s Proposed Moratorium on New Hotels

Tue, Apr 04, 2017 11 Comments

In a unanimous vote, the West Hollywood City Council decided Monday night to forgo a moratorium on new hotels, but did opt to require future hotel projects to do a financial report about their impact on the existing hotel market and also to explore alternatives other than a hotel on the building site.

Mayor Lauren Meister proposed instituting the moratorium on new hotels based on an analysis saying that the city may might face a decline in hotel occupancy and room rates if all the proposed hotels are built. That decline in occupancy and room rates would consequently lower the amount of transit occupancy tax (TOT), or hotel room tax, the city collects. That tax accounts for 26% of the city’s annual general fund budget.

An image of the revised plan for Robertson Lane, including a restoration of The Factory. (Hodgetts + Fung)
The…

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Thu, Mar 02, 2017

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Mayor Meister Calls for a Moratorium on New WeHo Hotel Construction

Mayor Meister Calls for a Moratorium on New WeHo Hotel Construction

Wed, Mar 29, 2017 26 Comments

Mayor Lauren Meister will ask the West Hollywood City Council on Monday to declare a moratorium on the development of new hotels in WeHo until the city can conduct a new study on their impact on the existing hotel market.

In her proposal, Meister notes that last September the Council was given an analysis of the WeHo hotel market that projected a major decline in hotel occupancy and in the rate per hotel room if the city grants permits to hotel projects currently under review on top of those that already under construction or that already have been approved for construction. Yet, she said in an interview with WEHOville, the Council simply “received and filed” the analysis without acting on it.

The analysis, by PFK Consulting and CBRE Hotels, noted that WeHo hotel projects under review, under consideration and already approved…

Opinion: Smart Growth For The Future — Development In West Hollywood

Opinion: Smart Growth For The Future — Development In West Hollywood

Mon, Mar 27, 2017 16 Comments

I think all of us who live in West Hollywood would agree that we are lucky to live in such an amazing city. Clean streets, strong fiscal management, a progressive political and cultural environment among many other positive things. Like any city, however, we have a few areas that could be improved upon, and one issue of concern to many of our residents is the increased cost of housing. Housing affordability is an issue that affects millions of people across our country, and it certainly is a challenge here as well.

Some have tried to blame an increase in development as being the cause of this problem. And I would agree with that to the extent that it certainly doesn’t help when we build more condos and more luxury apartments that only a certain income level of people can afford. But I would argue that development in general…

Developers Seek U.S. Supreme Court Hearing on Suit Against WeHo

Developers Seek U.S. Supreme Court Hearing on Suit Against WeHo

Wed, Mar 22, 2017 8 Comments

Lawyers representing a couple who allege they were charged a $540,000 fee as the price for pursuing a modest condominium project in West Hollywood are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear their clients’ case.

The attorneys, members of the Pacific Legal Foundation, seek reimbursement for developers Shelah and Jonathan Lehrer-Graiwer and are taking aim at the law under which the city acted, known as the inclusionary housing ordinance. The law requires developers to build and set aside a certain number of units, or pay a fee set by a formula as a condition for receiving a permit.

The law’s stated purpose is to address the region’s affordable housing shortage, but the size of the fee is not linked to any measurement of affordable housing needs that the proposed development might create, the developers’ attorneys state. City officials…

WeHo Puts Craftsman District Project on Hold

WeHo Puts Craftsman District Project on Hold

Tue, Mar 21, 2017 29 Comments

The West Hollywood City Council last night put the brakes on a survey of homes on the Eastside intended to create a “thematic district” of Craftsman-style houses.

The survey, which was proposed by Councilmember John Duran last year, already has identified 30 of 164 houses as eligible for that “thematic grouping” designation. A building in the area ultimately designed as being in the Craftsman style would be considered a cultural resource and could not be demolished unless its owner could prove that keeping it would cause him or her financial hardship. Any proposed alterations to such buildings would have to be reviewed by the city’s Historic Preservation Commission.

A standing-room-only crowd turned out at a March 15 hearing before the Historic Preservation Commission to oppose the designations.

Residents Object to Craftsman Designation of Eastside Homes

Residents Object to Craftsman Designation of Eastside Homes

Thu, Mar 16, 2017 11 Comments

There was anger and outrage at Wednesday night’s Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) meeting as West Hollywood’s Eastside residents protested the city’s plans to create a “thematic grouping” district of Craftsman-style homes in the area east of Fairfax Avenue and west of Plummer Park.

In early 2016, the West Hollywood City Councilmember John Duran proposed that the city conduct a survey of homes in the area bounded by Genesee Avenue on the west, Norton Avenue on the south, Gardner Street on the east and Hampton Avenue on the north. That survey found that 30 homes out of 164 were eligible for inclusion in the historic survey. These 30 homes are not clustered close enough together to create a historic district. However, the homes do quality for a “thematic grouping” designation since they all have common…

Jeff Klein to Keep His Stake in the Sunset Tower Hotel

Jeff Klein to Keep His Stake in the Sunset Tower Hotel

Thu, Mar 09, 2017 1 Comment

West Hollywood’s most prominent hotelier is going to keep his stake in West Hollywood’s most prominent hotel.

The New York Post reported today that Jeff Klein has made a deal with a new partner to buy the Sunset Tower Hotel.

Klein has a 20% share in the famous hotel and is its manager. The owner of the other 80% is ER Hollywood, which is controlled by Thosapong (“Mr. T”) Jaruthavee, the Thai investor.

It was revealed last month that JLL, a Chicago-based real estate broker, had secured three offers for the hotel in and around $100 million. The Post reported then that ER Hollywood “has the right to offer Klein’s 20% share as well. But he could stay in if he and the buyer agreed.”

According to The Post, the unidentified buyer has made a deal to buy the 80%

Online Map Charts Ellis Act Evictions in LA

Online Map Charts Ellis Act Evictions in LA

Thu, Mar 09, 2017 5 Comments

The Coalition for Economic Survival (CES) today released an online map, viewable here, that chronicles the number of evictions of tenants in Los Angeles under the Ellis Act from Jan. 1, 2001 through Dec. 31, 2016.

The map was created by the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project, which was formed to document evictions of San Francisco residents during the tech boom. While the map focuses on Los Angeles, it also shows the locations of buildings near West Hollywood where tenants have been evicted under the Ellis Act since 2001. The map uses data provided by the Los Angeles Housing and Community Investment Department (HCIDLA).

The release is timely, given that a discussion of the impact of the Ellis Act will take place tonight at 7 p.m. in the WeHo City Council Chambers at 625 N. San Vicente Blvd. south of Santa Monica. State Sen. Ben Allen…

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