Plans for WeHo’s French Market Property Will Be Unveiled on Jan. 13

French Market
French Market

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.

Jason Illoulian of Faring Capital
Jason Illoulian of Faring Capital

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.


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J
Guest
J

What’s going on with this? Does anybody have an update? The people with the money got their way every step of the way, didn’t they?

Randy
Guest
Randy

I meant to say “over-priced condos,” not “over-sized condos,” in my previous comment. I understand that the Red building has been vacant, but I also understand that the owner has been stubborn about the price, and has so much money that he doesn’t feel the need to reduce it. What seems exciting about these plans is that they incorporate the “incubator” space, and other commercial/office space. Much like the current building, with space for offices and businesses, and modernization. And much more parking. As I mention on most articles related to development, please, please consider a rooftop park, which is… Read more »

Jason Illoulian
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Jason Illoulian

Thank you for everyone’s comments. If anyone has anything else to add or wants to communicate directly with us, please go to the Contact section of our website (faringcapital.com) and provide your comments. We will do our best to address them as we figure out the right vision for this exciting part of town.

SaveWeho
Guest
SaveWeho

Seems like Jason Iloulian is slowly taking out the history of Weho. (Norms, French Market, Factory). Every time a part of Weho is lost…Faring Capital’s name is attached.

Rob Bergstein
Guest
Rob Bergstein

The French Market was what it was–a decent neighborhood coffee shop. But they shot themselves in the foot a few years ago when they went from free parking to paid valet parking and at the same time eliminated the side dishes that came with entrees and raised their prices. While they reversed out the parking policy, they never recovered. Our favorite waiter, Joey, called a lot of his former customers to try & get them to come back, but most of them did not.

Steve Martin
Guest
Steve Martin

Manny makes an interesting point. When the City Council wants large scale development, such as the project at Movie Town Plaza, it claims it is motivated by the need to create affordable housing, But it has no qualms about approving the demolition of rent controlled housing as it did when approving a new hotel project at Doheny and Sunset or for the Center for Early Education. The real point is that we have a General Plan that we toiled years to create and is absolutely meaningless. Clearly this site is ripe for development and a thoughtful project would be an… Read more »

DS
Guest
DS

Yes! French Market was and is a dump. I understand the history, but let’s all acknowledge the present and the future. Bring on development like this – it helps property values. I assume all the nay-sayers are sitting comfortably in their $400/month, rent-controlled apartments. If you own in West Hollywood like me, this is a good thing.

Manny
Guest
Manny

The Chamber of Commerce and most of our council don’t seem to think there is any urgency for more office space in Weho. They both endorsed and approved the 8899 Beverly buiding’s conversion from office to condos.

Barry
Guest
Barry

speaking as a neighbor, lets get new restaurants, especially after the French market closed a while ago…I would love more casual neighborhood options and something to match laurel hardware. the street needs another jolt of energy

Cody
Guest
Cody

This plan is backasswards! How about demolishing the nightclub and KEEPING the French Market builiding. That French Market building has historical architecture and looks much more beautiful than that bland nightclub building. It seems like they have torn down pretty much every historical building in Weho.

jeffrey howard
Guest
jeffrey howard

enough of this overbuilding in west hollywood. its perfect the way it is. They should put height limits on all new buildings not to be over 25feet from the ground level. Also put a clause in there that if sunlight is blocked for the houses the home owners will get paid every month they are robbed of their sunlight.

RickT
Guest
RickT

We need more office space in WEHO, about time someone see’s this. I was trying to expand my office and stay close to my home in WEHO it’s very hard to find space. I ended up in Downtown which sucks and I’m paying $2.50 sq foot, now I have to commute 20 minuets instead of walk to work and my 15 employees also. We need a lot more office space in WEHO, even Beverly Hills needs it. I could not find a single suitable spot at around $3 sq foot and later hiked my budget to $4 sq foot, it’s… Read more »

Todd Bianco
Guest

Most of the PDC Red Building is still empty after being complete for 2 years. And I understand there is space available in the Green & Blue Buildings. I’ve read somewhere that the Red Building was going for $5/sq ft and space in the Green Building was going for $3.50/sq ft. Perhaps that’s changed now, but still fairly pricey. If your commute to Downtown LA is only 20 minutes, you’re doing pretty good. Most people I know who commute from WeHo to Downtown LA have a 30 – 45 minute drive, depending on traffic. I think the current use of… Read more »