WeHo Planning Commission to Consider Martel Avenue Project

Illustration of proposed 1016 Martel Ave. project (R&A Design)
Illustration of proposed 1016 Martel Ave. project (R&A Design)

The West Hollywood Planning Commission will consider Thursday a proposed development on the corner of Martel Avenue and Romaine Street that will require eviction of tenants in six rent-stabilized apartments.

The three-story building at 1016 Martel Ave. would replace six existing rent-stabilized apartments in three buildings with 11 condominium units on Martel and Romaine. Rather than provide housing on site for low- and moderate-income people, the developer has chosen to contribute to a city fund to build affordable housing. The developer is identified on city documents as several limited liability corporations all with connections to David and Kiarash Neman.

The city’s Community Development Department staff recommends that the Planning Commission approve the project. The developer must seek the commission’s approval because it wants several things that don’t comply with existing rules for the residential zone in which it will be constructed. For example, it is asking that the city let it increase the size of each unit from the maximum of 1,500 square feet to 1,650 square feet. It also is asking for slight reductions in the distance required from the boundaries of the lots on which the project will be built.

In addition, the developer is seeking incentives in exchange for incorporating a courtyard into the project. One is to allow it to size nine of the 27 parking spaces for compact cars. Compact car spaces normally are not allowed for residential buildings.

The developer must comply with the state’s Ellis Act to evict the rent-stabilized tenants. That will require paying relocation fees to each tenant.

The commission will meet in the City Council Chambers at 625 N. San Vicente Blvd. south of Santa Monica.

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Development Woes
Development Woes
3 years ago

Let’s have a housing fund for current Weho residents that have been maturing “in place”. Weho can afford to design and fund such a program. No more uprooting residents and throwing them on the trash heap and no more slamming doors in the face of our most vulnerable.

Development Woes
Development Woes
3 years ago

These McBoxes barely warrant a passing grade. Weho should not accept mere passing grades even if all the correct boxes are checked. Boxes have met their individual and collective expiration date.

Weho has an opportunity to be a veribable Petri dish for authentic, innovative and enduring design at every level since it is a hughly desirable destination accepting only the highest quality design from all aspiring developers. A higher bar please!

weho resident
weho resident
3 years ago

SO MUCH FOR ‘AGING IN PLACE’. THE ENTIRE AGING IN PLACE EXERCISE WAS A GIANT RUSE PERPETRATED BY OUR CITY’S SERVICES MAVEN AND THIS IS BUT ONE OF MANY PIECES OF EVIDENCE THAT AGING IN PLACE REALLY MEANS ‘IF IT SUITS OUR DEVELOPMENT GOALS, AND YOU ARE WILLING TO ENDURE GREAT HARDSHIPS RATHER THAN RECEIVING ANY APPROPRIATE ACCOMMODATIONS TO YOUR CURRENT HOME, THEN AND ONLY THEN MAY YOU AGE AND ROT IN PLACE. THE ‘HOUSING FUND IS ONE BIG FARCE AND SERVES ONLY TO PROP UP THE INCOMPETENCE OF WEST HOLLYWOOD COMMUNITY HOUSING WHEN THEY ROUTINELY GO TO THE CITY… Read more »

Celestine
Celestine
3 years ago

Utterly disgusting. Even with a relocation fee, it is unlikely that these tenants find housing at their price. It takes too long for the city to build low-cost housing and these always have a waiting list already.
I used to like the first new modern buildings because they were so different, but seeing dozens of them reminds me of some chicer version of a Soviet bloc.
There needs to be something for everybody…it’s the fabric of a community.

Kaycee
Kaycee
3 years ago

The perception here is that the very people this city was founded for, TENANTS, particularly long-term ones, are expendable. Many of those evicted for condo conversions and oversized new apartment buildings are seniors, disabled, and low to moderate income residents who are now being uprooted so someone can swoop in and make a quick buck. These “in lieu” payments are disgraceful and should be made illegal, and another hold be put on condo conversions until we solve the issues all of this development is causing for current residents. Building more condos to sell does not solve the shortage of rentals.… Read more »

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
3 years ago

I am very skeptical of any reasons to grant “concessions” regarding parking to developers. In a development of this size, the affordable housing units mandated under the City’s code should be on site rather than the requirement being satisfied by payment of an “in lieu” fee, which does not reflect the real cost of constructing an affordable unit. These sorts of “concessions” are in effect incentives to demolish rent controlled housing.

Todd Bianco
3 years ago

Haven’t I seen this exact design dozens of times before? It’s a generic modern box. Forget the “incentive” for the marginal courtyard. The courtyard is there because it needs to be appealing enough to attract buyers. Where are the solar panels to power the common area? Will each parking space have EV charging capacity – or at least pre-wire for it? All new construction should incorporate these things. If the renderings are to scale, the building towers over its neighbors and is out of character for the neighborhood. Is there no creativity in design anymore? Are all spec projects like… Read more »

Alison
Alison
3 years ago

This City was founded to protect renters…have we forgotten that?

Alison
Alison
3 years ago

No! Stop eliminating rent stabilized units for condos!

Rudolf Martin
Rudolf Martin
3 years ago

So we’re evicting all existing rent controlled tenants to import more condo residents? What’s not to like? Of course our aptly named “Community Development Department” gives a thumbs up! Who are we?

VERY Concerned Citizen
VERY Concerned Citizen
3 years ago

NOOOOOOOOOO!!! TOO freaking BIG and Too FREAKIN UGLY! The “vision” for our city is in the eyes and hands of an urban planner who LOVES these BIG GIANT BOXES that lack ANY, I repeat…ANY charm, or character or “Creative” ARCHITECTURE. PLEASE DO NOT APPROVE THIS BEAST

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