Design Review Subcommittee, and Project Opponents, Praise Blue Hibiscus Design

Architect's rendering of the proposed Blue Hibiscus project on Detroit Avenue.
Architect’s rendering of the proposed Blue Hibiscus project on Detroit Avenue.

The design of Blue Hibiscus, a 22-unit affordable housing project proposed for Detroit Avenue, was praised tonight by the WeHo Planning Commission’s Design Review Subcommittee and even some of the projects prominent opponents.

The building, designed in the Spanish Colonial Revival style, is intended to replace the Detroit Bungalows, two 1920s era buildings with a total of eight units that have been in relatively poor condition.

Members of the subcommittee said the design of the Blue Hibiscus building provided a nice transition from the stark Domain apartment complex under construction just south of it on Santa Monica Boulevard at Detroit and the houses north of it along Detroit. The building transitions from four stories on its southern end to three stories on the northern end. The architect for the project is Killefer Flammang Architects.

Among those praising the project design was Stephanie Harker, a member of the city’s Rent Stabilization  Commission, who has objected to the demolition of the Detroit Bungalows. The design also was praised by Cathy Blaivas, like Harker an anti-development activist, who is a member of the city’s Historic Preservation Commission. Michael Wojtkielewicz, a member of the city’s Disabilities Advisory Board, suggested only that the exercise room and laundry room on the building’s fourth floor by relocated so as not to disturb those in the apartments beneath them. Harker, Blaivas and Wojtkielewicz were appointed to the advisory boards and commissions by City Councilmember Lauren Meister, who has objected to demolishing the Detroit Bungalows.

John Altschul, chair of the Design Review Subcommittee, opened the meeting by reminding those in the audience that the only subject open for discussion was the design of the project. Several of its supporters said they expect opponents will raise other objections when it goes before the full Planning Commission on Dec. 3.

The Blue Hibiscus is a project of the West Hollywood Community Housing Corp., a non-profit organization whose mission is to build affordable housing for those with low incomes and special needs. It currently manages 17 projects in and around West Hollywood, including the Detroit Bungalows. Dr. Pamela Love, a resident of the bungalows, launched the campaign against their demolition. WHCHC has said that isn’t feasible because of the high cost of brining the property up to code.


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jmk81
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jmk81

As a designer involved heavily in WEHO,..such facts and one’s opinion can be twisted to convey negativity and half cup empty projections. I understand that in order to continue improving city’s growth and living conditions we must cross lines that may leave some residents of any city/town to their dissatisfaction. Though i am not saying that they should be ignored either. we can constantly rebuttal one another with facts and labels, however real concerns get lost in passionate discussions…

Lynn
Guest
Lynn

Well here we have it folks, the glass half empty and its inhabitants drowning due to their excessive baggage vs. the glass half full where folks consider change to be an opportunity. Flexibility is a virtue, without it, stiff necked, permanently put upon people become frozen in time embroiled in their own disagreeable oeuvre, a virus that easily spreads.

Time to exemplify the positive change you want to see, cut the cord ……and move on.

Second Oy Vay!
Guest
Second Oy Vay!

Thank You Oy Vay, reading Harker’s comments above show her bias and contempt for others views. Imagine her calling anyone a community agitator when she has cost the city over 25 million in redevelopment dollars and speaks 5x a night on every given subject. Add her partner and the guy with the dog and a commercial and thats 30 minutes of public time used up on a regular basis.

Do Not Reply
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Do Not Reply

@Stephanie Harker — Huh??!

Oy Vey
Guest
Oy Vey

Stephanie – it’s a shame that while you deride those who “malign” you and your views, you negatively exacerbate the tone of dialogue with your equally disrespectful statements. Meaningful civic discourse comes from mutual respect, listening and seeking common ground in reaching solutions. It would be nice to consider you such a practitioner. And – in following your own counsel about folks being educated on the facts and not speaking from statements made of whole cloth, it’s another shame you turn around and do the same. Why must you take an unnecessary dig at the Housing Corporation by the assertion… Read more »

Stephanie Harker
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Stephanie Harker

I can only speak for myself, but the portrayal of me as an “anti-development activist” is erroneous and simply untrue. I am now, and always have been for responsible deveIopment. Keep in mind this project in an early incarnation, was called The Hessler and was up to 66 units in a 5-6 story building. I do not object to this project in its new design and if anyone cares to go back and listen to the recordings of my public comments they would be hard put to find me objecting to the idea of the project itself. I DO have… Read more »

SaveWeho
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SaveWeho

I think architects and developers should take note of the overwhelming praise for this project. Design something with character (ie not modernist block cubes)…and the community just might embrace and welcome your development.