Melrose Triangle Project Gets Final Okay from WeHo City Council

Melrose Triangle project site plan
Melrose Triangle project site plan

The West Hollywood City Council gave its final endorsement to the Melrose Triangle project tonight, allowing the developer to proceed with a development that has been in the planning stages since 2003.

The Council agreed to grant the developer, the Charles Company, a demolition permit and a development permit. At its meeting on Aug. 18, the Council had certified the project’s environmental impact report and changed the city’s zoning ordinance to accommodate the project.

With its approval, the Council asked that city staffers consider several steps to reduce the possible impact of the project on area traffic. These include the possible construction of traffic circles on Almont Drive at Rangely, Dorrington and Ashcroft avenues and converting the north-south alley just east of Doheny Drive to a one-way alley. The Charles Company has agreed to cover the $250,000 cost of those measures.

Council members expressed opposition to a proposal by city staffers to study the impact of eliminating left turns from northbound Doheny Drive by drivers wanting to head west on Santa Monica Boulevard. The Council agreed, however, to a proposal by Councilmember John Heilman that the city determine if there are ways to reduce the impact of traffic moving from Doheny to Santa Monica Blvd. without necessarily barring lefthand turns.

The Melrose Triangle project will consist of three buildings containing 303,000 square feet of commercial and residential space that will sit on a plot of land bounded by Santa Monica Boulevard, Melrose Avenue and Almont Drive at the city’s border with Beverly Hills. The latest iteration of its design, by the Studio One Eleven architectural design firm, positions it as a dramatic gateway into West Hollywood for those traveling east from Beverly Hills.

The majority of residents speaking to the Council tonight expressed support for the project. Those who opposed it, including Lyndia Lowy of the West Hollywood Preservation Alliance and Adrian Scott Fine of the Los Angeles Conservancy, said they were concerned that the design calls for the demolition of the Streamline Moderne building at 9080 Santa Monica Blvd. that was known as the Jones Dog & Cat Hospital. That building, now empty, was built in 1928 and renovated in the Streamline Moderne style in the 1930s.

The LA Conservancy has filed a lawsuit to stop the demolition of the building, arguing that the city failed to study alternatives that would have allowed the preservation of the Streamline Moderne building. The city has argued that that building has not been designated as a local cultural resource and that it has been altered in various ways since its redesign in the Streamline Moderne style in 1938.

The Charles Company has agreed to find a way to preserve the entrance to the 9080 Santa Monica building within the project.

  1. Pet Co., “Target” and other stores like that are practical for people like Von’s etc…. I wish they would build a BIG super Walmart/Sam’s club somewhere nearby. I love those stores!

  2. at the very least this development will serve to hide the hideous PetCo facade across the street. but it’s a real shame about the historic building. and traffic.

  3. The PDC, blue whale was already build when I first moved to West Hollywood in 1981. I would imagine there were homes and maybe apartment dwellings that were torn down to make room for the PDC. The Pacific design center is a beautiful structure but once you are inside it’s nothing special. I worked there in the late 80’s early 90’s. I was told it is a million dollars a years to have a showroom at the PDC. That was in 1991. It is probably a lot more now? That would explain why the red building remains vacant?

  4. Again, the solution to this is to utilize the Red PDC for the additional overdevelopment. Put their proposed new City Hall in the Red building. Put the new Sheriff’s Station in the Red Bldg. (it should be located off SV Blvd anyways for better access) That would leave more room for open space, retail, theatres in the highly coveted SM & SV Blvd development. But as for Melrose Triangle…I do hope there are useful stores incorporated. West Hollywood has already become a trendy design enclave that no residents ever use. While that might relieve some traffic…what is the point of development if it doesn’t benefit residents? I still think they should relocate the USPS to the Melrose Triangle since the new small Doheny location is an utter failure. How great to incorporate useful things like a drive-up mailbox so cars don’t have to park, etc. It can be done if there is any foresight. Common sense our city council members don’t have…or are “paid” not to have.

  5. kayaytche – The PDC is a great example of terrible development in West Hollywood. That thing ate up an entire neighborhood, and has been a multi-story ghost town since the ribbon cutting.

  6. joetheplummber – really? How about a little decorum here? Insults are uncalled for. I’m happy this is going to be built, because I like progress, which I think this is. But I am concerned about building more retails space when SMB is littered with empty store fronts because small biz owners can’t afford the rents. Many stores are now struggling and making little if anything. And still, the Red Building at the PDC is forever vacant. As hinted at by R Crane, what’s likely to fill all of these store fronts are chains. Ok, fine. But have you been to Manhattan lately? Gone are the unique places that made Manhattan so special. The same thing is set to happen here, I fear. Maybe that is progress, too, though? Rent is too damn high.

  7. @Paul. You are like what 7-Up is to Coca-Cola. You are the UnCola. You would like everything to be sweet and bubbly and well, just put the “lime in the coconut.” Wake up Paul West Hollywood is Progress. Beverly Hill is full of rich Hillbillies with Mansions. Of course they don’t care about their back side. They have a Mayor and a City Attorney that are too stupid to write a non-discrimination ordinance against the Dorchester Group whose owners operate a hotel that profits from hate. Lillie, you dumb survivor’s daughter, get a B.I.D.. make all the Hotels in B.H. sign-on and agree to hire people without regard to race, creed, color, religion, gender or sexual preference. That will cause the Sultan to shriek. P.S. Those Beverly Hillbillies have so many corn cobs up their bums they don’t dare laugh at WeHo.

  8. Demolishing the historic Streamline Moderne building to make way for this banal development is a short-sighted mistake. But, you know, yea! Another Jamba Juice location!

  9. People friendly not gay or straight friendly. Areas of the city are by design catered to the gay community but that being said, over the years straight females go to gay clubs and bring their straight BF’s, so it is not so gay anymore. Seniors live here as well as Jewish people and yes, gay people who could care a less about gay bars. The city of West Hollywood needs to be more people friendly as well as environmentally friendly like Beverly Hills & Santa Monica.

  10. Be real folks WEHO is not Beverly Hills and the gardens around BH we can all use, I see the two cities as extensions of each other. We need more green space sure, we also need more office space so people can live and work in WEHO. We need to get a subway and get all the buses on electric, lots of work to be done but this was a decent move in the right direction. WEHO still has a long way to go, Sunset Strip is Iconic and we need to make sure to preserve it, a few more hotels and upgrades is progress but don’t make it like Disneyland and be too kid friendly. Keep WEHO gay, and we need to promote more gay festivals and activities all around the city. Straight people have the rest of LA.

  11. Some crazy designed building on small narrow heavily trafficked corner is utterly absurd! This is a not Las Vegas for Christ sake. Beverly Hills will be laughing at West Hollywood way before they would be appalling trust me. Beverly Hills has all that grassy area down Santa Monica Blvd., You don’t see them ripping it up building store front to replace the grassy area. West Hollywood needs more environmentally friendly areas not huge ugly buildings. The air quality is terrible with all the buses, trucks and cars. That will only worsen with tall buildings trapping in all the smog & dirty air.

  12. It is certainly much better than that monstrosity on the east side of town. They will at least have something they can point to and call beautiful instead of saying the Target and Best Buy are a beautiful gateway. I mean, someone said Beverly Hills will be envious…what would have been said if Target was on the west side? Those poor folks on the east side are in for 10 or 20 years of construction of more of those boring buildings. Well, I guess most of them will have moved on or died by then. Because who can possibly afford the rent in the new places? Sad.

  13. Finally. It’s been a very long road and now we have a gateway project to be proud of. Let’s hope more roadblocks aren’t going to be thrown at this project.

  14. I think it’s disgusting! These council members are hell bend on making West Hollywood a mini gay Las Vegas. Drive up and down the street and you’ll see empty store fronts and the businesses that are just getting by, restaurants etc….. will end up going out of business as result of all this ugly architecture with competing businesses. Traffic is horrendous now and it is like taking your life in your own hands just crossing the street. This little piece of land does not need a huge monstrosity building separating where Melrose begins and Santa Monica Blvd., At one time there was a gas station at that location. Who know why they took it out? What is wrong with you people? Santa Monica Blvd., is a narrow pathway with no bike lane due to lack of street space. This city needs to be more bike friendly and/or a safe place to walk. STOP trying to over develop this small area with hideous ugly high rises!

  15. Oh, and the architect, landscape designers and all of staffs hard, thoughtful and amazing work. I hope the start date is soon.

  16. Delighted! I can’t wait to see, use, walk, shop, eat. The council has successfully created the culture and history of today that will be loved by generations to come. The continuum of our history.

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