As WeHo Examines AKA West Hollywood, Other Short-Term Apartment Rentals Come to Light

Korman, aka, cim group
Illustration of 8500 Sunset Blvd.

The West Hollywood City Council tonight agreed to move to Sept. 4 its consideration of an appeal by the owner of the 8500 Sunset Blvd. apartment building of a Community Development Department decision that the company was violating city regulations banning short-term rentals. But while the city continues to battle with Korman Communities over its interpretation of the city ordinance regarding such rentals, it appears other developers have been doing the same thing.

Letters dated June 12 from Daniel Mick of the city’s Code Compliance Division warn the owners of the Dylan, Huxley and Domain apartment buildings on the city’s Eastside that they appear to be violating a ban on rentals of less than one year. Such a ban was enacted by the city to prevent building owners from taking apartments off the rental market and to prevent them from unauthorized competition with hotels.

“It has come to our attention that you may be using the units on the property for a different purpose, namely, for occupancies intended to be of relatively short duration (e.g. several months),” says Mick’s letter. “This use of the property is inconsistent with Section 19.90.020, inconsistent with the development entitlements governing the property and inconsistent with the city’s long-standing goal of limiting housing in residential zones to bona fide housing.”

As part of its 403-page appeal of the city’s ban on Korman’s short-term rentals at the AKA West Hollywood buildings on 8500 Sunset Blvd., that property’s owner also has filed a document that lists 14 buildings (11 of which are in WeHo) that it says are offering to rent apartments for a term of less than 12 months. The Kings Road Apartments at 733 N. Kings Road, the La Cienega WeHo at 375 N. La Cienega Blvd., the Domain WeHo at 7141-7155 Santa Monica Blvd. and the Villa Elizabeth at 7513 Fountain Ave. all offer leases for terms of a minimum of six-months, the document says. Kings Road Apartments and Villa Elizabeth, however, are in Los Angeles. The Crescent at 1274 N. Crescent Heights Blvd. offers a lease with a seven-month minimum.

Mediterranean Village at 840 N. Larrabee St., the Ascent at 1218 N. Larrabee St., the Villa Careena at 1136 N. Larrabee St, the Villa Ester at 920 Kings Rd. and the Villa Francisca at 930 N. Palm Ave. all offer leases with a minimum term of three months according to the document. The document shows that the Angelene, which at 915 N. La Brea Ave. is outside WeHo’s city limits, offers a minimum two-month lease. And the document shows that the Huxley at 1234 N. La Brea Ave. and the Dylan at 7111-7119 Santa Monica Blvd. offer one-month minimum leases.

A recent online search of units for rent at the Avalon, the Domain, the Dylan and the Huxley, which are among the newest apartment buildings in West Hollywood, shows the Dylan now is offering units with a three-month minimum lease. A 681-square-foot one-bedroom unit on a three-month lease rents for $3,708 a month. The Huxley charges $4,901 a month for the same size unit on a three-month lease, with the rent falling to $2,601 for a 12-month lease. The Domain asks $3,845 for an 788 square-foot one-bedroom apartment with only a one year lease available. On its website, the Avalon offers a one-bedroom, one bath apartment for rent for $4,455 with a two-month lease.

Korman specializes in so-called corporate extended-stay hotels, which typically rent furnished apartments to business travelers who plan a stay longer than what is typical in a hotel. Shortly after Korman bought the 8500 Sunset Blvd. property from CIM Group, the city notified it that its plans to offer short-term corporate housing violated a city law banning such housing. In response, Korman agreed to rent out the units in one of its two buildings at 8500 Sunset as unfurnished apartments. But it has insisted that the furnished units it rents out for 31 days or more to business travelers are legal.

  1. There is a HUGE difference between someone signing a six month lease and residing in that rental unit in West Hollywood for (at least) those six months and having the opportunity to be a member of the community here in the city and that of someone renting a fully furnished, maid service, turndown service, room service….all hotel amenities on a nightly weekly or 31 day rental. They are not residents. The units were built to add to our rental housing stock in West Hollywood (both the market rate & the affordable that at this time, I believe are not rented out until this matter has been resolved) were never intended to be hotel rooms.

  2. I don’t think you are informed, the city doesn’t have the right to uphold laws or shouldn’t interfere with developers, but when ordinances are involved and renters rights are violated by not having units rented to them that the city requires due to tax breaks for these developers that instead go to short term or corporate housing! Boutique hotels when the are apartments

    Please be advised of knowing about this city’s laws before thinking they are Palm greasing their hands, it’s actually the developers doing that instead and using illegal methods of renting that is breaking the law and preventing residents from living at those properties under fair Housing Law and Practices!

  3. I am infuriated with Korman and CIM Group, the Domain, The Dylan and The Huxley. All got away and we’re very calculated to avoid accepting affordable rentals or by city law and now State Law that section 8 be permitted if your name comes up on the city waiting list! I lost all my housing options because the city found out after the fact and my invitations to view those units 12-10 months ago were voided over then not having to be compelled to secure those rentals as affordable because they wanted them temporary or corporate rentals to begin with, all the while got hundred of thousands of dollars in tax breaks and incentives, all along with the city unaware they brought in more hundreds of thousands of dollars in these same exact rentals! I am disgusted with these deceptive tactics and blatant disregard of our city and state laws that these property developers and property Managemt companies try to to undermine West Hollywood. This city that gave them the opportunity to be in prime location and give them guaranteed profits, but no they want more!
    This greed now is in the form of illegal enterprise and profiteering at the detriment of tax payers and low income and moderate income tenants who wait 5-10 years just to be considered for units reserved to be affordable, only to be denied. So not only is this excessive Greed, this is knowingly breaking housing laws and violating our housing rights! There is a housing crisis in this city if it hasn’t already occurred to these developers! Now we lose our housing opportunities that the city said we have be selected or qualified for! All because of more money and profits that these owners have become clever and shall I say Sneaky! They knew what they wanted to do and wanted to get away with renting corporate and temporary housing before the city realized. They Manipulated the housing being built only to their favor and their financial windfall and profits all by abusing rights and laws. How disgustingly greedy are or can these housing developers and owners be? This is discouraging to say they now want to contest our laws and ordinance all because of 30 + 1 or + 2 days to consider Longterm exemptions! Do they think we as residents really are that stupid or gullible? The audacity and stench of greed is unbareable! City council needs to punish these owners with fines and loss of contracts or loss of bids or suspend any future business from doing this ever again!

  4. This city council is a bunch of greedy dictators. What right do they have to tell property owners what they do do with their property. Oh thats right, their palms are being greased by the hotel industry. I hope their corruption catches up with them someday.

    1. It’s called land use law. Look it up. They are violating the permit that was issued. IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH GREASING PALMS. That’s the standard mantra for those who do not have a clue how the law works.

  5. “The Kings Road Apartments at 733 N. Kings Road, the La Cienega WeHo at 375 N. La Cienega Blvd., the Domain WeHo at 7141-7155 Santa Monica Blvd. and the Villa Elizabeth at 7513 Fountain Ave…”

    Of those, only the Domain WeHo is in West Hollywood. Your article states otherwise; some fact-checking would go a long way toward credibility.

    1. The story is quoting the Korman Communities document, and notes that it errs. The Kings Road Apartments and Villa Elizabeth are outside the city’s boundaries..

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