Plans for the land on Santa Monica Boulevard that now is the site of the popular French Market and for the nearby building that once hosted the Voyeur and then DBA nightclubs will be presented to the public on Jan. 13.
The presentation will be by Faring Capital, whose Jason Illoulian is a major developer in West Hollywood. Faring acquired the French Market land and the building just east of it this year.
Faring proposes to keep the DBA building in place and demolish the French Market building, which is at 7965 Santa Monica Blvd. at North Laurel. The building and the parking lot on its east side will be replaced by a four-story building with three levels of subterranean parking. That building will include 50,000 square feet of office space, 8,600 square feet of restaurant space, 4,400 square feet devoted to shops and a 3,200 square foot space for a bar or nightclub.
Faring has submitted plans for the project to the city’s Community Development Department. However Illoulian told WEHOville today that the design submitted to the city is not what he ultimately envisions for the development. Illoulian said he wants a design that reflects the nature of the city’s Eastside, which is increasingly home to hip bars and restaurants and to apartment buildings marketed to relatively affluent young people. Start-ups and other creative businesses will be the target for some of the building’s proposed office space. Among the building’s proposed amenities are an outdoor cafe and a passageway from Santa Monica Boulevard through the building to its rear.
The plans submitted to the city also call for using some of the office space for an “incubator,” which is a collective office space for entrepreneurs. Currently part of the French Market is occupied by the recently launched For the Social Good, an organization created by Tai Sunnanon to provide low-cost office space to non-profit and for-profit organizations and businesses whose work focuses on improving society.
The French Market closed its doors this past summer, a move that was especially lamented by older members of the local LGBT community. The market’s French Quarter restaurant is was known as a gathering place for members of the Municipal Elections Committee of Los Angeles (MECLA), a political action committee in the 1970s that raised money to support gay-friendly candidates. When news of the renovation became known in March, Rick Castro, in a posting on his blog, announced “FRENCH MARKET PLACE- THE END OF GAY.” Castro is owner of Antebellum Gallery in Hollywood, which bills itself as the only fetish art gallery in the United States. The French Quarter also has long been a gathering place for members of the LGBT recovery community.The restaurant also once was a popular weekend brunch place.
The building just east of it once housed Voyeur. https://www.wehoville.com/2013/10/09/dba/That club, at 7968 Santa Monica Boulevard at Edinburg, was known for its S&M theme and topless dancers. Its audience included celebrities such as Lindsey Lohan. Cardiff Giant took over the space in 2012 and the next year launched DBA, a club that featured edgy performers and events such as interviews with writers.
Faring’s presentation will take place on Jan. 13 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the City Hall conference room at 8300 Santa Monica Boulevard at Sweetzer. Parking is available at the parking structure on Santa Monica Boulevard and Kings Road.