WEST HOLLYWOOD REAL ESTATE & DEVELOPMENT

Crescent Heights Methodist Church Is Sold for $4.5 Million

Crescent Heights Methodist Church Is Sold for $4.5 Million

Fri, Feb 17, 2017

The Crescent Heights United Methodist Church building, which was closed in 2011, has been sold for $4.5 million.

The sale, currently in escrow, was announced by Malcolm Bennett, CEO of International Realty and Investments. Bennett’s firm has managed the building and the pastor’s house adjacent to it since the United Methodist Church closed the church. The purchaser, who has not been identified, was represented by Jack and Steven Ravan of South Park Group Commercial Real Estate.

The decision by the UMC’s California-Pacific Conference to close the church was acrimonious. The church’s pastor, Scott Imler, refused at first to leave the property. Imler accused Methodist leaders of closing the church because he advocated for legalizing marijuana and because it had a largely gay congregation. But United Methodist leaders noted that the…

Oops! WeHo’s Beach Nation Likely Won’t Be Back After All

Oops! WeHo’s Beach Nation Likely Won’t Be Back After All

Thu, Feb 16, 2017 14 Comments

Looking to dine and drink on the beach? Maybe you need to go to Malibu.

WEHOville published a story yesterday http://wp.me/p2Ph78-gpH quoting a minority owner of Beach Nation who said that our city’s sandy outdoor dining spot isn’t going away but is temporarily closed for renovations. This morning, however, Paul Kalt, the majority owner of Beach Nation, called to say that the return of Beach Nation is highly unlikely.

Kalt, whose Kalt Property Management is a contractor that invests in restaurants, said he hasn’t decided what will replace the current restaurant and coffee bar on the northeast corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Sweetzer.

“At this point, what is likely is that it will be a new concept,” Kalt said. “It’s most likely it won’t be Beach Nation.”

Kalt said the City of West Hollywood is reviewing requests for…

Beach Nation Isn’t Sinking. It’s Under Renovation

Beach Nation Isn’t Sinking. It’s Under Renovation

Wed, Feb 15, 2017 2 Comments

No, Beach Nation hasn’t been washed away.

Yes, it is closed for now. But the popular outdoor restaurant and coffee bar on the northeast corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Sweetzer will be back at it in a few months.

Michael Berman of Schoos Design, an owner of Beach Nation, said the City of West Hollywood has approved its plans for building out a full kitchen and adding an outdoor eating counter.

Beach Nation opened on that desolate lot in May 2014. A story published in WEHOville at the time described it as the opposite of paving paradise and putting up a parking lot, which was Joni Mitchell’s famous description of what happened to Alla Nazimov’s Garden of Allah at 8152 Sunset Blvd. at Crescent Heights.

Beach Nation opened with a front yard filled with white sand, creating a beach-like atmosphere that allowed visitors to…

Opinion: ‘Alternative Facts’ Surface in the Debate Over the 8150 Sunset Project

Opinion: ‘Alternative Facts’ Surface in the Debate Over the 8150 Sunset Project

Mon, Feb 13, 2017 13 Comments

Is Donald Trump the investor behind the controversial project at 8150 Sunset Blvd.? Do “alternative facts” matter?

Some opponents of project have launched a vicious campaign against its developers, Townscape Partners, and three West Hollywood City Council members that they have labeled the “Townscape Three” and who they say are backing the 8150 Sunset project.

The assertion that Trump is backing the enormous multi-use project was raised again by a speaker during the public comment period at last week’s West Hollywood City Council meeting. The attacks on WeHo City Council members John Duran, John Heilman and Lindsey Horvath — the so-called “Townscape Three” — have been made in a flurry of emails over the past few months from someone who identifies himself as Michael Grace. Grace has not responded to emails from WEHOville to…

Jason Illoulian Proposes Nine-Story Hotel on Beverly at Robertson

Jason Illoulian Proposes Nine-Story Hotel on Beverly at Robertson

Fri, Feb 10, 2017 13 Comments

A nine-story hotel on the southwest corner of Robertson and Beverly boulevards?

That was the idea that local developer Jason Illoulian proposed during a neighborhood meeting on Thursday night. The idea was met with mixed reactions. Several residents living nearby were strongly opposed, saying nine stories was far too high, while other residents and nearby business owners liked the idea, hoping it could help revitalize Robertson Boulevard, which has a number empty storefronts just south of Beverly Boulevard.

Emphasizing that this was merely a preliminary proposal, Illoulian said he wanted input from the community early in the development process to help create a building people would be happy with.

“This is where we start the project, not where we end it,” Illoulian told the group of approximately 30 people attending the…

Prominent Collection of WeHo Buildings Is Sold

Prominent Collection of WeHo Buildings Is Sold

Mon, Feb 06, 2017 1 Comment

A prominent collection of buildings on the southwest corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Westmount, housing everything from the Trevor Project to Fresh Corn Grill to Eddie’s Barbershop, has been sold.

The sale was brokered by Cushman & Wakefield. The firm’s Manfred Schaub said he could not reveal the price and would only identify the purchaser as a East Coast family that invests in real estate. The property was purchased from PICOA Inc. (formerly Portland Investment Company of America), a Los Angeles-based real estate investment company.

The buildings run from 8700 to 8714 Santa Monica and include 33,640 square feet. On the eastside is See Materials, a vendor of interior design products. Fresh Corn Grill, a popular fast food stop, is on the west side. In the middle is the four-story building at 8704 Santa Monica. It houses Eddie’s…

City Report Shows Slow Growth in Housing in WeHo

City Report Shows Slow Growth in Housing in WeHo

Fri, Feb 03, 2017 6 Comments

The amount of development and the loss of affordable housing has been a constant issue in West Hollywood, and a talking point for many of the eight challengers seeking to unseat two incumbents on the WeHo City Council next month.

A report by the city’s Human Services and Rent Stabilization Department offers facts about what really is going on. According to that report, which will be presented to the city council on Monday, the facts are as follows:

— Since 1986, when the Ellis Act was adopted by the state legislature, 203 buildings with a total of 764 rent-stabilized housing units have been removed from the market. That represents only 4.5% of the city’s total of 16,832 rent-stabilized units. Of those properties, 7.9% have been returned to the rental market.

The Ellis Act allows property owners to evict renters if they intend…

L.A. City Council Approves 16-Story Building on WeHo’s Southern Border

L.A. City Council Approves 16-Story Building on WeHo’s Southern Border

Thu, Jan 26, 2017 6 Comments

The Los Angeles City Council has approved a proposal by Rick Caruso to erect a 16-story tower on La Cienega Boulevard on the southern edge of West Hollywood,

The unanimous approval, which came during the council’s Tuesday meeting, means that Caruso can begin construction on what will be by far the tallest building in the area. The building will be at 333 La Cienega Blvd., just south of the Beverly Center, bordering the West Hollywood West neighborhood. Caruso hopes to have it completed in 2020.

Another developer has purchased the Mikey’s Car Wash property nearby at 431 N. La Cienega. It plans to build an apartment building there with ground-floor retail space, although details aren’t available. The developer, Stark Enterprises, paid $21.25 million for the quarter-acre lot.

Caruso’s project was supported then opposed then…

Preservation Alliance Asks that Six More Buildings Be Considered Historically Significant

Preservation Alliance Asks that Six More Buildings Be Considered Historically Significant

Tue, Jan 24, 2017 21 Comments

Local historic preservationists want to add six buildings to a list of 57 commercial properties identified by a city consultant as worthy of being designated as historic. And some property owners are saying no to having theirs included.

Designation as a historical resource offers both pluses and minuses for building owners. On the plus side, they can qualify for benefits including less strict zoning requirements and a reduction of up to 50% in property taxes in exchange for rehabbing and preserving a building. On the minus side, an owner who plans to significantly alter or demolish a building designated as historic must obtain a “certificate of appropriateness” if the designation is by the City of West Hollywood. A more complex process, including an often-lengthy and expensive California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) study can…

Debate Over WeHo-Adjacent Development Takes a Turn South

Debate Over WeHo-Adjacent Development Takes a Turn South

Sun, Jan 22, 2017 2 Comments

The debate over development in and around West Hollywood, focused lately on 8150 Sunset Blvd., may take a turn south with two major projects being planned for La Cienega Boulevard at the edge of and just outside the city limits.

The latest, announced yesterday by the Real Deal, the real estate trade website, is a plan for a mixed-use development at 431 N. La Cienega, the site of Mikey’s Car Wash. It will include ground-floor retail space with apartments above that, according to broker Brandon Michaels of Marcus & Millichap. “It’s going to be a substantial project, with a lot of capital,” Michaels told the Real Deal.

According to the Real Deal, Stark Enterprises paid $21.25 million for the quarter-acre property which it will develop with Robin Group of Beverly Hills. It west side of La Cienega just south of Rosewood, bordering…

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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 4 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 Planning Commission Rejects Preschool Planned for Horn Avenue

WeHo Planning Commission Rejects Preschool Planned for Horn Avenue

Fri, Jan 20, 2017 11 Comments

Amid fierce opposition from area residents, West Hollywood’s Planning Commission unanimously denied approval of a controversial day care center at the old Spago restaurant site on the Sunset Strip on Thursday night. Meanwhile, the owner of that day care center raised charges of discrimination against families and said city staff mislead him about the approval process.

The Chalk Preschool was applying to convert the famed Spago restaurant site at 1114 Horn Ave., just above Sunset Boulevard, into a daycare center for up to 73 children, ages 2 to 6. Residents in the West Hollywood Heights area turned out in large numbers to oppose it, citing concerns about extra traffic on the steep, narrow Horn Avenue as parents dropped off and picked up their children as well as the noise from children playing on the playground the preschool proposed…

Opinion: What Is the Identity of the Eastside of West Hollywood?

Opinion: What Is the Identity of the Eastside of West Hollywood?

Mon, Jan 16, 2017 13 Comments

If you are like me, in the last several years you have driven around Los Angeles and noticed these single-lot buildings being bought up and torn down, and these tall, eyesore boxes going up to replace them. They are blanketing L.A. with no real architectural design, nothing that speaks high-end originality or has a “wow […]

Proposed Preschool Near Sunset Gets Pushback from Neighbors

Proposed Preschool Near Sunset Gets Pushback from Neighbors

Thu, Jan 12, 2017 10 Comments

A proposal to build a preschool/child day care center on Horn Avenue just north of Sunset Boulevard has raised concerns from residents along Horn and Shoreham Drive, for whom the avenue is the only way in and out of their neighborhood.

The preschool is a project of Chalk Preschools, which owns preschools in Manhattan Beach, Venice and Westwood and in Chicago and plans to open one in Pasadena this year. The West Hollywood school will be in the building once occupied by Spago, a restaurant opened by Wolfgang Puck in 1982 that became famous for its celebrity clientele, which Chalk will renovate.

Elyse Eisenberg, chair of the West Hollywood Heights Neighborhood Association, www.wehoheights.com which represents those living in the area, has said the they are concerned about the preschool’s impact on traffic and parking, whether it…

The Sunset Is Sold In WeHo’s Most Expensive Real Estate Deal

The Sunset Is Sold In WeHo’s Most Expensive Real Estate Deal

Mon, Dec 19, 2016 6 Comments

Kilroy Realty Corp. has acquired the building complex at 8560-8590 Sunset Blvd., known as The Sunset, in what is likely the most expensive commercial real estate deal ever in West Hollywood.

The purchase, reported first by The Real Deal, a real estate trade website, totaled $210 million or $1,179 a square foot, according a source quoted by The Real Deal. Tenants in the complex include Equinox gym, H&M apparel, Olive Peoples eyewear, SoulCyle exercise salon, Swarovski, Regus and Primo, the coffee bar.

The 178,699 square foot property covers 2.22 acres and includes a 10-story, 71,875 square foot office tower and a three-building retail and office complex totaling 106,824 square feet. It is near the CIM Group’s Sunset-La Cienega project, which is nearing completion. One marketing brochure by HFF described its location as part of “the…

Cedars-Sinai Leases 5th Floor of PDC’s Green Building

Cedars-Sinai Leases 5th Floor of PDC’s Green Building

Mon, Dec 19, 2016 3 Comments

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center has leased the entire fifth floor of the Pacific Design Center’s Green Building for administrative offices.

Charles Cohen, president and CEO of Cohen Brothers Realty Corp., owner and developer of the PDC, welcomed Cedars-Sinai in a press release today.

“We are proud to welcome Cedars-Sinai as a significant presence at PDC,” Cohen said. “This leading medical center has a storied history and stellar local and national reputation.” Cedars-Sinai’s presence in the Green Building will add more diversity to the PDC campus’ creative tenant mix which includes media, entertainment and marketing firms.

Cedars-Sinai has consistently been named one of America’s “Best Hospitals” by U.S. News & World Report. Founded as a tiny care center in 1902, Cedars-Sinai has grown to become one of the largest…

L.A. City Council Designates Lytton Savings Building as Historical Cultural Monument

L.A. City Council Designates Lytton Savings Building as Historical Cultural Monument

Tue, Dec 13, 2016 12 Comments

The designation will delay construction of the 8150 Sunset project, but it’s unclear what impact it will ultimately have on the Lytton building’s preservation.

8555 Santa Monica Project Gets Reluctant Endorsement from Design Committee

8555 Santa Monica Project Gets Reluctant Endorsement from Design Committee

Fri, Dec 09, 2016 8 Comments

A large retail-residential project beside the Ramada Inn in Boystown received reluctant approval Thursday during the Design Review subcommittee meeting of West Hollywood’s Planning Commission.
The 8555 Santa Monica Blvd. project, which covers a one-acre lot from the east side of the Ramada Inn to West Knoll Drive plus three lots on West Knoll, will be five stories tall with 34,000 square feet of commercial space. It will have 12 “live-work” units, designed for people who work from home, and 97 residential units, 22 of which will be set aside for moderate- and low-income residents.

Since the project was last critiqued by the three-member Design Review team in January 2015, it has expanded thanks to the purchase of two more single-family homes immediately behind it on West Knoll Drive. While the portion on Santa Monica Boulevard…

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