A new condominium project proposed for Doheny Drive is a go. The West Hollywood City Council last night approved demolition of two existing houses on the 1.2-acre site and approved a development permit for the 50-unit building.
The building, at 702-714 N. Doheny Dr., is a project of Jason Illoulian’s Faring Capital. It include 38 condominiums and 12 apartments to be rented to low-income tenants. Beneath it will be 100 parking spaces. The property is the site of the annual Mr. Bones Pumpkin Patch during Halloween and the Mr. Greentrees Christmas tree lot.
The three- and four-story building is designed by R&A Design of Culver City, whose principals are Christian Robert and Benjamin Anderson. It faces Beverly Hills, bounded by Doheny Drive on the west and Keith and Harland avenues on the north and south.
Illoulian told the Council that it will include amenities such as a bowling alley, a spa and a wine cellar, all of which will be available to the low-income tenants as well as the condo owners. Robin Conerly, executive director of the West Hollywood Community Housing Corporation, praised Illoulian for donating the 12 low-income units to the WHCHC and waiving in perpetuity the monthly fees normally assessed against residents of condo units.
Several local residents praised the project and Illoulian’s efforts to engage them in planning for it, but it was criticized by a few others in a sometimes unruly Council meeting. Lisa Strutman, a lawyer who lives in Los Angeles but owns property in West Hollywood, questioned whether it made financial sense to incorporate the low-income apartments into the condominium building. Several other speakers who lived several blocks away raised questions about the traffic it might generate. Opponents of the project in the audience frequently interrupted discussion of it by yelling and shouting.
In her positive evaluation of the project, Stephanie Reich, the city’s urban designer, has said it “will enhance the pedestrian environment along Doheny Drive and on Harland Avenue and Keith Avenue as well. Along Doheny drive there is street tree and parkway planting, planting in the front setback and private patios that are screened for privacy, yet open enough to provide a sense of activity along the street.”