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RENTING & BUYING

Giving It All Up to Live in WeHo

Giving It All Up to Live in WeHo

Mon, Nov 20, 2017 5 Comments

WeHouse Hunting is an occasional series which tells the tales of recent home buyers and renters in the West Hollywood area. Joel Wingelman was facing a classic Los Angeles real estate challenge: How to move to a better neighborhood without giving up some of the features he had grown to cherish in his current apartment. […]

WeHouse Hunting: Bidding Wars, Disappointment … Then the Ideal Space

WeHouse Hunting: Bidding Wars, Disappointment … Then the Ideal Space

Fri, Nov 03, 2017 19 Comments

Dr. Jonathan Leary was tired of renting, but he found the houses on the market went fast, often to bidders with all cash offers.

WEST HOLLYWOOD REAL ESTATE & DEVELOPMENT

Planning Commission Approves 1201-1207 Detroit Street Project

Planning Commission Approves 1201-1207 Detroit Street Project

Fri, Dec 08, 2017 2 Comments

On a 6-1 vote Thursday night, West Hollywood’s Planning Commission approved a four-story, ten-unit townhouse condominium building with ground-level parking on the northwest corner of Detroit Street and Lexington Avenue.

Replacing a community garden at 1201 N. Detroit St. and a now vacant lot at 1207 N. Detroit, the project is by Los Angeles-based architect Andrea Keller and owned by SHP Capital LLC.

With a boxy, contemporary design, the project is made up of three separate buildings that appear to be one single building because of the uniformity of design. Access to each unit is through individual stairs accessible only through the parking garage; there is no central lobby or shared walkway area leading to the units.

Commissioners Lynn Hoopingarner, Stacey Jones and Sue Buckner each expressed reservations about the layout and…

Analysis: How WeHo’s Decade-Old Green Building Codes Compare to Santa Monica

Analysis: How WeHo’s Decade-Old Green Building Codes Compare to Santa Monica

Thu, Dec 07, 2017 5 Comments

David Hakimi argues that WeHo should review its green building standards as Santa Monica moves ahead in constructing a building like that in Seattle (pictured above), the largest of 11 certified ‘living buildings’ in the world.

Could More ‘Granny Flats’ Mean Less Housing? What Is a ‘Live/Work’ Space? The WeHo City Council Debates

Could More ‘Granny Flats’ Mean Less Housing? What Is a ‘Live/Work’ Space? The WeHo City Council Debates

Tue, Dec 05, 2017 1 Comment

Like most in California, West Hollywood struggles with a housing shortage and anger at over-development.

 

Planning Commission Approves Scaled Back Design of Beverly Blvd. Building

Planning Commission Approves Scaled Back Design of Beverly Blvd. Building

Fri, Dec 01, 2017

West Hollywood’s Planning Commission on Thursday night unanimously approved a slightly scaled back retail-residential project on Beverly Boulevard that it had previously rejected.

The five-story project on Beverly Boulevard and Sherbourne Drive, adjacent to the old Jerry’s Famous Deli building (now home to the Granville Café), proved controversial in April when the Commission unanimously gave thumbs down because of issues with massing and compatibility with the surrounding neighborhood.

The scaled back version has 26 residential units (down from 30 in the previous version), four of which are set aside for lower-income tenants. It also moves the required common space for residents from the roof to the ground level and encloses the entrance to the subterranean parking garage to reduce noise.

The most significant change,…

Appeals Court Rejects Effort to Stop Demolition of 9080 Santa Monica Blvd.

Appeals Court Rejects Effort to Stop Demolition of 9080 Santa Monica Blvd.

Thu, Nov 30, 2017 13 Comments

The decision appears to clear the way for the Charles Company to proceed with construction of the Melrose Triangle project.

Patio del Moro Is Back on the Market, but Its Owner Doesn’t Want to Sell

Patio del Moro Is Back on the Market, but Its Owner Doesn’t Want to Sell

Wed, Nov 29, 2017 2 Comments

Yes, the Patio del Moro is back on the market. But no, its owner doesn’t really want to sell it.

The apartment building, which is at 8225 Fountain Ave. between North Harper and Havenhurst, was sold earlier this year by Kevin and Susanne McConnell, its longtime owners, to Friedman Capital of Washington, D.C. Lately some West Hollywood residents have noticed a “for sale” listing for the building on Redfin, the real estate website, at a price of $8.5 million.

Brian Friedman of Friedman Capital told WEHOville that he doesn’t really want to sell Patio del Moro, which is one of West Hollywood’s most historic and architecturally significant buildings. However, Friedman said, he has received two unsolicited offers for the building (with one them for $10 million). Because of his fiduciary responsibilities to his investors,…

Historic Preservation Hearing Raises Questions About the City’s Oversight of Building Owners

Historic Preservation Hearing Raises Questions About the City’s Oversight of Building Owners

Tue, Nov 28, 2017 4 Comments

A proposal before the Historic Preservation Commission to approve revised rehabilitation and maintenance plans for two local buildings evolved last night into a discussion of whether the city is doing enough to monitor whether owners of such buildings actually are doing the work they are supposed to.

“A lot of the problems at El Palacio and The Lotus I put at the fault of the city,” said local resident Cynthia Blatt, referring to the buildings whose plans were before the commission. Blatt and several commissioners said the situation with El Palacio and The Lotus was proof that the City of West Hollywood needed to more carefully monitor what’s going on in historic buildings whose owners have been given significant property tax reductions in exchange for a promise to restore and maintain them. Such tax reductions are authorized…

Are Owners of Historic Properties Actually Maintaining and Restoring Them?

Are Owners of Historic Properties Actually Maintaining and Restoring Them?

Mon, Nov 27, 2017 1 Comment

The owner of the El Palacio and The Lotus, two apartment buildings designated as West Hollywood cultural resources, will go before the city’s Historic Preservation Commission tonight to address complaints that it hasn’t done enough to restore those buildings while the company has benefitted from tax breaks associated with the cultural designation.

The buildings are owned by limited liability companies controlled by Lawrence Taylor of Malibu, founder of Christina Development Corp. Both are part of West Hollywood’s “Courtyard Thematic Grouping.”

The Lotus, located at 1216-1224 N. La Cienega Blvd., is a 14-unit apartment building built in 1928 in what is known as the “Exotic Revival” style. El Palacio, located at the northeast corner of Fountain Avenue and La Cienega, is an 18-unit building built in 1931 in a…

Mid-City West Council Meets Tomorrow to Discuss Project Adjacent to WeHo’s Westmount Drive

Mid-City West Council Meets Tomorrow to Discuss Project Adjacent to WeHo’s Westmount Drive

Mon, Nov 20, 2017 2 Comments

L.A.’s Mid-City West Community Council is holding a meeting tomorrow night to discuss a proposed development in Los Angeles that residents of parts of West Hollywood West fear will throw shade over their neighborhood.

Stark Properties, the Ohio-based developer, is proposing to replace Mikey’s Car Wash at 431 N. La Cienega Blvd. with a six-story building with 87 apartments. The building would be just under 67 feet high, a substantial increase over the 45-foot height currently authorized by the City of Los Angeles’ zoning law for that property. The ground floor of the building would have almost 3,000 square feet of commercial space, and there would be two levels of underground parking.

Stark Properties is asking for an increase in the density bonus from the currently permitted 21.5% to 27.5%. Such a bonus allows a developer to…

Planning Commission Approves Two Condo Projects, Endorses Speeding Up Approval Process

Planning Commission Approves Two Condo Projects, Endorses Speeding Up Approval Process

Fri, Nov 17, 2017 1 Comment

West Hollywood’s Planning Commission approved an apartment building on Norton Avenue, a condominium building on Formosa Avenue and also took initial steps to make it quicker and easier for developers to get approval for projects during its Thursday night meeting.

The commission unanimously approved a three-story, eight-unit apartment building with underground parking at 8116 Norton Ave., just west of Crescent Heights Boulevard. It will replace a large, two-story house and back building that make up a total of four units on the lot currently.

Architect Brion Moran of the Inglewood-based Aero Collective told the commission that even though the lot is deep and narrow (50 feet wide by 150 feet deep), his contemporary design will have all eight units opening off of a center courtyard.

The commissioners liked the design and felt it…

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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, […]

City Report Shows More than Half of WeHo Residents Are ‘Rent-Burdened’

City Report Shows More than Half of WeHo Residents Are ‘Rent-Burdened’

Mon, Nov 13, 2017 5 Comments

In West Hollywood, where renters make up almost 80% of the population, more than half of them are “rent burdened,” meaning they spend 30% or more of their income on rent and thus may face challenges paying for food, clothing, transportation and medical care.

The number of rent-burdened residents is one piece of data from the 2016 Housing Report recently released by the City of West Hollywood’s Rent Stabilization and Housing Division. The report paints a picture of a city with a small pool of households inhabited by moderate-income residents (17%) and a much larger number of very-low and low income households (41%) and of more relatively affluent households (43%). Those with very-low and low incomes earn less than $29,616 or $47,386 a year, respectively for a one-person household. Those with moderate incomes earn $59,232 a year….

Sunset Boulevard ‘Belltower’ Project Draws Praise and Criticism

Sunset Boulevard ‘Belltower’ Project Draws Praise and Criticism

Fri, Nov 10, 2017 8 Comments

Members of the city’s Design Review Subcommittee lauded the project’s design while some of its neighbors criticized it harshly.

U.S. Supreme Court Declines to Hear Appeal in WeHo Affordable Housing Lawsuit

U.S. Supreme Court Declines to Hear Appeal in WeHo Affordable Housing Lawsuit

Mon, Oct 30, 2017 4 Comments

The U.S. Supreme Court today announced that it will not consider an appeal from a West Hollywood property owner that could have effectively gutted the city’s requirement that developers subsidize the construction of affordable housing.

The developer, 616 Croft Ave. LLC, is a company owned by Shelah and Jonathan Lehrer-Graiwer. In the early 2000s they bought two houses on adjacent lots on Croft Avenue between Rangely Street and Clinton Avenue with plans to replace them with an 11-unit condo building. Under the city’s inclusionary housing ordinance, someone building 10 or more units is required to set aside 20% of them as affordable housing or pay a fee to the city’s affordable housing fund in lieu of that.

In 2011, when the Lehrer-Graiwers finally filed for a building permit, the in lieu fee was $540,000. The Lehrer-Graiwers…

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 3 Comments

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 12 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 4 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…

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