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WEST HOLLYWOOD REAL ESTATE & DEVELOPMENT

OPINION: When It Comes to Hotels, It’s All About Location, and WeHo Has Many

OPINION: When It Comes to Hotels, It’s All About Location, and WeHo Has Many

Wed, Oct 18, 2017

In hotels as in real estate, one simple axiom applies: location, location, location! And if the booming hotel construction in West Hollywood is any indication, the market in our little city is hot, hot, hot!

Along Sunset Boulevard, we just opened the Jeremy Hotel, the 8500 Sunset project is slated for conversion into hotel rooms, The Edition and Sunset Time are under construction, and two or three more projects are in the development pipeline, including one just announced earlier this month.

But concerns about a room glut in our local hotel market may be limited to the area where most of the hotel construction is happening—the Sunset Strip.

The truth is, West Hollywood is a collection of distinct neighborhoods and business districts. It is also a collection of micro-markets for the hospitality industry.

Would you put a gay…

WeHo Ranks 18th Among 88 Los Angeles  Cities in Property Value Increase

WeHo Ranks 18th Among 88 Los Angeles Cities in Property Value Increase

Mon, Oct 16, 2017 1 Comment

Property values in West Hollywood have increased 8.3% since last year, the fourth highest rate of increase in all of Los Angeles County.

The increase is noted in the L.A. County Assessor’s 2017 annual report, which was released on Friday and can be viewed online. The report lists West Hollywood as ranking 18th among Los Angeles County’s 88 cities in the assessed valuation of its property. That valuation is $11.4 billion.

Every city in Los Angeles County recorded an increase in assessed valuation compared to 2016, according to the report.

“I am pleased to report that the 6.04% increase in assessed property values in Los Angeles County represents the seventh consecutive year of growth,” said L.A. County Assessor Jeffrey Prang. The net assessed value, (excluding non-profit, homeowners’, and disabled veterans exemptions,…

Faring Plans to Integrate French Market into Its Project on Santa Monica Boulevard at Laurel

Faring Plans to Integrate French Market into Its Project on Santa Monica Boulevard at Laurel

Mon, Oct 16, 2017 10 Comments

Renovating and incorporating the French Market building into the office project addresses the desires of some to preserve the LGBT community institution.

L.A. Conservancy’s Appeal of 9080 Santa Monica Blvd. Ruling Goes to Court on Oct. 24

L.A. Conservancy’s Appeal of 9080 Santa Monica Blvd. Ruling Goes to Court on Oct. 24

Fri, Oct 13, 2017 2 Comments

The Los Angeles Conservancy’s appeal of a judge’s decision to reject its challenge to the City of West Hollywood’s approval of the Melrose Triangle project will go before another judge on Oct. 24.

In 2016, the Conservancy’s took West Hollywood to court, arguing that the city hadn’t properly considered alternatives that would have allowed the preservation of the Streamline Moderne building at 9080 Santa Monica Blvd. That building sits on part of a site where the Charles Company plans to erect three large buildings that will house shops, offices, restaurants and apartments, all part of what is is being called the Melrose Triangle project.

Advocates for preserving the building argue that its design is architecturally significant. The building was built in 1928 and then renovated in 1938 in the Streamline Moderne style by…

OPINION: Cast a Giant Shadow?

OPINION: Cast a Giant Shadow?

Fri, Oct 13, 2017 7 Comments

The “Sunset Tower” at 9034 Sunset Blvd. Not Jeff Klein’s Sunset Tower Hotel, a truly historic landmark, but the latest proposal for a hotel on the Sunset Strip.

No one is mentioning this is 19 stories – almost 2,000 feet tall. Per the city’s Sunset Specific Plan, the maximum height allowed for this site is 60 feet, or roughly six stories. The 9000 Sunset Blvd. building is 16 stories. The Sunset Doheny hotel is 13 stories. This will tower over both, no pun intended.

The hotel on the empty lot at Hilldale and Hammond will be six stories. The Hustler/Arts Club project will be seven or eight stories. The London is 10 stories. The Aahs! gift store site next to it has recently been sold and anything built there can go to 10 stories but the developer will undoubtedly ask for more.

Soon Sunset will be a solid wall of towers….

U.S. Supreme Court Decision on Monday Could Have Impact on WeHo’s Affordable Housing

U.S. Supreme Court Decision on Monday Could Have Impact on WeHo’s Affordable Housing

Fri, Oct 06, 2017 9 Comments

UPDATE: The U.S. Supreme Court has decided to carry over its decision on this matter to its Friday meeting.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday will decide whether to consider a lawsuit filed against the City of West Hollywood that could have a major impact on how WeHo funds housing for low- and moderate-income people.

616 Croft Ave. LLC vs. the City of West Hollywood is a challenge to a city law that requires developers to set aside 20% of the housing units in a building of 10 units or more as affordable housing or to make a payment into a fund the city has established to fund affordable housing.

In the early 2000s, Shelah and Jonathan Lehrer-Graiwer, the couple behind 616 Croft Ave. LLC, bought two houses on adjacent lots at 612-616 Croft, which is between Rangely Street and Clinton Avenue, with the idea of replacing them with a…

The Sunset Tower? Another One Is Planned for Sunset Boulevard

The Sunset Tower? Another One Is Planned for Sunset Boulevard

Fri, Oct 06, 2017 16 Comments

The Charles Company is proposing to build a 19-story hotel topped with a helicopter landing pad on Sunset Boulevard next to the Marriott Edition, a hotel whose developer announced yesterday that it has reached a major step toward completion.

A design plan for the 9034 Sunset project that was submitted to the city identifies it as the Sunset Tower, a name likely to be contested by Jeff Klein, owner of the iconic Sunset Tower Hotel at 8358 Sunset Blvd., 1.4 miles to the east.

According to the documents filed with the City of West Hollywood, the 9034 Sunset hotel would have 185 rooms and include 17,000 square feet of banquet and event space, 5,700 square feet of hotel-related retail space, a 7,500 square feet of restaurant space, a 915-square-foot art gallery and 14 apartments. It would have 550 parking spaces on four underground…

Construction Is ‘Topped Out’ on Sunset Boulevard’s Edition Hotel

Construction Is ‘Topped Out’ on Sunset Boulevard’s Edition Hotel

Thu, Oct 05, 2017 3 Comments

Construction has been completed on The Edition, the 190-room hotel on Sunset Boulevard at Doheny whose developer once said West Hollywood is “maybe the toughest barrier to entry market in the country. It’s very difficult to get approvals and entitlements there. I think it’s even tougher than San Francisco.”

In the announcement that the construction is over, developer Steve Witkoff bragged that The Edition “is the best located hotel within West Hollywood, a high barrier to entry market and one of the highest RevPAR submarkets in the country.” RevPAR is hotel industry speak for revenue per available room.

“The housing market in Los Angeles is robust and the quality of our product is stronger than that of any building in the market today,” said Witkoff, who is CEO of his eponymous New York City company. In addition to…

Design Review Group Gives 8713 Beverly Project Mediocre Reviews

Design Review Group Gives 8713 Beverly Project Mediocre Reviews

Fri, Sep 29, 2017 9 Comments

A slightly redesigned project that was previously rejected by West Hollywood’s Planning Commission received mediocre reviews on Thursday from the Commission’s Design Review Subcommittee.

In April, the Planning Commission unanimously gave thumbs down to a five-story retail-office-residential project on Beverly Boulevard and Sherbourne Drive, adjacent to the old Jerry’s Famous Deli building (now home to the Granville Café), saying it was incompatible with the surrounding residential neighborhood.

The project would replace a one-story nightclub building, currently housing the Peppermint Club, at 8713 Beverly Blvd. and a parking lot at 321-327 Sherbourne Drive. It would include two buildings connected by catwalks between each of the upper floors, and have 9,700 square feet of retail and office space, plus 30 residential units,…

WeHo Renters Alliance, Advocate for Renters’ Rights, Holds First Meeting Tonight

WeHo Renters Alliance, Advocate for Renters’ Rights, Holds First Meeting Tonight

Wed, Sep 27, 2017 7 Comments

The West Hollywood Renter’s Alliance, a new organization founded to represent renters, is holding its first meeting tonight.

The group will meet at 7 p.m. at the Phyllis Morris Furniture Showroom at 655 N. Robertson Blvd, south of Santa Monica. The meeting is open to the public.

“Founded by local activists and business owner Amanda Hyde, the West Hollywood Renters Alliance plans to unify and activate the renter community in West Hollywood, which accounts for nearly 80% of the city,” the WHRA said in an announcement of the meeting. It said the group’s mission is to “Protect and empower current and future renters in creating a more inclusive community.”

West Hollywood became incorporated as a city in 1984 after Larry Gross and the Coalition for Economic Survival organized a coalition of renters, senior citizens and gay…

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California Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Address New Lane Splitting Law

California Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Address New Lane Splitting Law

Fri, Nov 18, 2016 5 Comments

While it’s been practiced and accepted by law enforcement agencies in California for decades, lane splitting has never officially been declared legal or illegal. The controversial and highly debated practice was officially legalized on August 19, 2016, when Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill No. 51 into law. Many motorcyclists insist lane splitting is safe, […]

WeHo Design Review Subcommittee Takes Up 8713 Beverly Project

WeHo Design Review Subcommittee Takes Up 8713 Beverly Project

Tue, Sep 26, 2017

EDITOR’S NOTE: An earlier version of this story erred in calling out previous projects reviewed by the Design Review Subcommittee. That follows are the projects on Thursday’s agenda.

WeHo’s Design Review Subcommittee will take another look on Thursday at a proposed project at 8713 Beverly Blvd. at Sherbourne that was rejected in April by the Planning Commission.

In its unanimous decision in April, the commission said the proposed five-story residential-retail project was not compatible with the neighborhood. Nearby residents spoke against the project, saying they were concerned about traffic, noise from the rooftop decks and the proposed 55-foot high wall on the north side near their backyards might block sunlight from reaching them.

The developer, Arash Danialifar, has proposed demolishing the one-story building at 8713…

WeHo Is Losing Red Light Management

WeHo Is Losing Red Light Management

Thu, Sep 21, 2017

West Hollywood is losing Red Light — not one of the ones at a traffic intersection but the one that is the world’s largest independent music management company.

The Real Deal, the real estate industry newsletter, https://therealdeal.com/la/2017/09/21/red-light-management-to-relocate-from-weho-to-culver-city/ announced Red Light Management’s decision to leave the Piazza del Sol building at 8439 W. Sunset Blvd. and move to Culver City.

Red Light got its start in 1991 in Charlottesville, Va., by managing Dave Matthews Band and its fame grew as it went on to represent musicians such as Lionel Richie, Phish and the Alabama Shakes. It now has six locations in the United States and two in England.

It is moving into a 26,000-square-foot office at C3 at Culver Point, a seven-story office campus at 5800 Bristol Parkway owned by IDS…

The Domain Announces Its Official Opening on WeHo’s Eastside

The Domain Announces Its Official Opening on WeHo’s Eastside

Wed, Sep 13, 2017 22 Comments

The 166-unit apartment building is the latest of five major apartment projects on the city’s Eastside with rents considerably higher than the city’s median.

Planning Commission Kicks Orange Grove Project Back to the Drawing Board

Planning Commission Kicks Orange Grove Project Back to the Drawing Board

Fri, Sep 08, 2017 8 Comments

On a 6-1 vote on Thursday, West Hollywood’s Planning Commission sent a proposed apartment building back to the drawing board over concerns about unenclosed stairways that violate the city’s building code.

A proposed four-story, seven-unit apartment building at 1150 N. Orange Grove Ave. (north of Santa Monica Boulevard) would replace two single-family homes currently on the lot. One of the units in the project would be set aside for low-income residents. The property is owned by Fred Houriani. 

The Commission demanded the revisions because the front and rear staircases are not enclosed as the building code requires. Fire can easily spread from one floor to the next via open staircases, thus the code requires staircases to be enclosed.

City planning staff said that the city’s Building and Safety Department typically…

Orange Grove Apartments, Extended Business Hours, Temporary Signs on the Planning Commission’s Thursday Agenda

Orange Grove Apartments, Extended Business Hours, Temporary Signs on the Planning Commission’s Thursday Agenda

Mon, Sep 04, 2017 2 Comments

The West Hollywood Planning Commission on Thursday will review plans to build a four-story building with seven apartment units at 1150 N. Orange Grove Ave.

The site, which is between Santa Monica Boulevard and Fountain, currently is the location of two empty single-family houses.

The building would include a total of 8,876 square feet and have an underground parking garage with 13 space. One of the apartments, with two bedrooms and two and a half baths, would be reserved for a low-income tenant.

The property is owned by Fred Houriani and the project has been designed by Amit Apel Design. The two empty houses on the lot were previously occupied by their owners and were not rental properties.

Zoning for the area restricts buildings to three stories. However, because the project contains an affordable unit, it qualifies for a…

WeHo’s Kimpton La Peer Hotel Is Taking Reservations for Stays Beginning Nov. 30

WeHo’s Kimpton La Peer Hotel Is Taking Reservations for Stays Beginning Nov. 30

Fri, Aug 25, 2017 3 Comments

The 105-room hotel is at 627 North La Peer Drive, just north of Melrose Avenue. With the opening of the Kimpton La Peer, the City of West Hollywood will be home to 20 hotels with others being planned.

The four-story building hotel will have a rooftop deck, a pool and fitness center, and more than 8,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor dining at the Viale dei Romani restaurant along with lounge spaces

In an announcement of the opening, Nick Rimedio, the hotel’s general manager, described it as having the amenities of a five-star hotel but with an atmosphere that involved “dropping our ties, lightening up on the starch and focusing on natural and unscripted guest engagement.”

Barely a block away is the site of the Robertson Lane project by Faring, for which a 242-room hotel is planned. That project is likely to go before…

Worth a Look:  The Condo Building Next to Gelson’s at 1030 N. Kings Rd.

Worth a Look: The Condo Building Next to Gelson’s at 1030 N. Kings Rd.

Fri, Aug 25, 2017 10 Comments

If you’re wondering what that condominium building going up next to Gelsons on North Kings Road is going to look like, you can find out here. Lorcan O’Herlihy, the architect has released new illustrations of the building, which drew strong opposition from neighborhood residents and antidevelopment activists went in went before the West Hollywood Planning Commission in July of last year.

The four-story condominium building is right behind the Gelson’s grocery store on Santa Monica Boulevard. It will have 30 condo units, including two for low-income people and three for moderate-income people, and 58 parking spaces in an underground garage. It is replacing two single-family homes on adjacent lots.

The Planning Commission endorsed the project in a five-to-two vote, with then-commissioners Sheila Lightfoot and Heidi Shink voting…

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