Neighbors Raise Objections to 10-Story Cancer Center Planned for Beverly at Robertson

Illustration of the proposed ‘Cancer Center’ on the southwest corner of Beverly Boulevard at Robertson

A handful of vocal WeHo-area residents attending a community meeting at the West Hollywood Library last night expressed their opposition to the “West Hollywood Cancer Center” project developers want to erect on the southwest corner of Beverly and Robertson boulevards. 

 “You are experiencing a development-weary town!” one man said loudly. He added how residents are not “going to just roll over” and let the project happen. “We’ve suffered,” said the man, who lives near the intersection of Rosewood and Sherbourne avenues. “You don’t know this neighborhood.”

The project, also named “8816 Beverly Blvd.,” involves five lots stretching from 8800 to 8806 Beverly Blvd. (aka 157 N. Robertson), 8816 Beverly Blvd. and 146 N. Clark Drive. The buildings currently onsite will be demolished and replaced with a medical building 10 stories high with a roof top restaurant. Four subterranean levels will contain a parking garage with 346 spaces. The former Eames showroom once occupied by Herman Miller will be preserved for its architectural and historical significance.

Beverly Denenberg, who has lived in WeHo with her husband since 2002, said, “Codes are being broken and we are not conforming to what the vision of the city was originally intended to be.”

Denenberg was one of about 35 people who showed up for the meeting. About 20 of them were area residents. The rest were affiliated with entities involved with the project or accompanying those who were, such as Rincon Consulting, WeHo-based real estate developer Faring, architectural design firm Office Untitled and the planning department of the City of West Hollywood.

The project is currently in a “scoping period” that began Aug. 1 and will continue through Sept. 3. During this time the public can comment, express concerns and ask questions. 

Darren Embry of Faring, the developer of the project, explained that a plan for a hotel on the site was scrapped in favor a  “mixed-use” building that would be “spread across points of access,” a reference to the fact that there will be multiple ways to enter the site. He said the project is intended to address the demand for cancer research, thereby providing a public service. 

Perhaps the biggest point of contention had to do with the project being labeled a “cancer center” project. One woman called the cancer center concept “deceptive,” wondering if Cedars-Sinai Medical Center had weighed in considering that it has a well-known oncology practice only a few blocks away. Still another woman called the cancer angle of the proposal a marketing ploy.

Traffic was a major concern raised by those at the meeting, an issue that Greg Martin, a senior planner with Rincon Consulting, said would be addressed in the required environmental impact report (EIR). One local resident said that traffic congestion in the area is bad now, but it will be even worse once the new Melrose Triangle project nearby is done.  “Property values go up,” he said, “and the quality of life goes down.” 

Martin approached one of the project renderings to show how cars will access the site via the alley stretching between Robertson Boulevard and Clarke Drive. The front of the building on Beverly Boulevard will have car share, auto, taxi, and valet pick up and drop off space. 

One speaker who said he lives near the site said “a 10-story building is going to impact our neighborhood in terms of sunlight, views, noise….” 

Martin acknowledged that current zoning for the location allows for only four stories and that Faring’s request for a variance so that it can build 10 stories could be rejected by the city.

Architect Ben Anderson of Office Untitled noted that the development will stand 35 feet back from the street and be “pushed toward the commercial corner,” meaning Beverly and Robertson. It will be 60 to 70 feet back from Clarke Drive, the “furthest away from the residential” side.

Residents also objected to the restaurant proposed for the roof of the building, noting the noise they have experienced late into night from the Catch rooftop restaurant at the corner of Melrose Avenue and San Vicente Boulevard .

Other questions raised were whether new office suites were needed on Robertson given the number of vacancies there. Those vacancies, however, involve retail spaces not offices.  One speaker asked whether Faring was considering including affordable housing unit, which Martin said is not part of the plan.

What’s Next?

The planning commission will review the project and vote on it sometime in March and then it likely will go before the City Council for its approval in April. The public is welcome to comment upon the project at the latter meeting, Martin said.

During the current scoping period continuing through Sept. 3 residents with concerns about the project can contact associate city planner Adrian Gallo at agallo@weho.org or (323) 848-6304.


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JF1
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JF1

“We’ve suffered.” Lol. LA has built out for decades. The only way now is up. That is the future. You’re not going to stop it.

Jonathan Simmons
Guest
Jonathan Simmons

First, let’s not argue over the “cancer”. It is another, of many, Cedars Outpatient & Services and doctors who need to be near Cedars. Before the new Hospital Towers (15 yrs ago) 40,000 people came and went DAILY from the entire Cedars. Dr, nurse, admin, food service, mechanics 4 bld, office machines, elevators, individual room AV or fixture issues, in addition 2 patients and their visitors. They have a massive internal plan which works to get so many people in and out. On the flip side, a million years ago I considered a home backing onto the not so large… Read more »

Steve Killam
Guest
Steve Killam

This is not a good project for the neighborhood making a bad traffic situation even worse. I live on Bonner Drive and the cars driving down Bonner use us as a cut through because traffic is so bad and the speed down Bonner and we as residents are taking our life in our own hands when crossing the street. The impact of the city is a terrible idea.

Joshua88
Guest
Joshua88

They put speed bumps all around my area – Fountain Ave to Fairfax, because of the multitudes of accidents. Ask the right people, Mr Killam.

Tia
Guest
Tia

This neighborhood already has all the traffic calming tricks – traffic circles, speed bumps, bulb-outs & chicanes and it still is crazy.

carleton cronin
Guest

Being cynical is my job. I’ve seen quite a bit of human activity during my 86 years.
I have a distinct feeling that the word “cancer” is used as chum to attract people who still believe in the inherent goodness of Man while forgetting how they got taken at the used car lot.
This sort of development is coming, no doubt but, as Augustine said (prior to his ordination)”not just yet!” The project is handsome though, audacious and would cast
a shadow all the way to Santa Monica Blvd. Not just yet, thank you.

Joshua88
Guest
Joshua88

*Appreciate!

Karen O'Keefe
Guest
Karen O'Keefe

Wow.

Have a heart, people.

L.A. is a megacity, we are part of that megacity. That is reality. People need places to live. And to stay while they or their loved ones get treatment. This is super close to Cedars Sinai so it’s far more logical that people stay close to where they get treatment while they’re treated.

We need to build UP not OUT. We are in a climate crisis. And a homelessness and affordability crisis. This makes perfect sense.

Richard K.
Guest
Richard K.

Karen, this is an office building with retail shops on the ground floor. No one will be staying here. And it’s unknown what kind of office building it will be because they don’t have tenants yet.

Vigilant
Guest
Vigilant

Thinking you missed the point. This is a 10 story medical center, not a residential or hotel complex where people can stay while being treated. The marketing ploy appears disingenuous.

Karen O'Keefe
Guest
Karen O'Keefe

Perhaps, I misunderstood the scope of the cancer-related building, but the point remains: We need to build UP not OUT. We’re a major metropolitan area, and sprawl is killing the habitability of our planet. And the center is cancer-related, whether it’s housing or otherwise.

Karen O'Keefe
Guest
Karen O'Keefe

I looked at more about the plan. It would include lots of office space for medicine/research. i.e. allowing people to participate in clinical trials very close to home, and helping develop more cures to cancers.

Sounds like a great addition to our city. https://urbanize.la/post/10-story-cancer-center-planned-west-hollywood

Richard K.
Guest
Richard K.

Did you notice “cancer center” in quotes in the article you refer to. That’s because the applicant decided to call it a “cancer center”. In fact, no cancer research or clinical trials may be occurring in this building at all. Just a really tall building adjacent to single family homes, duplexes and small apartment buildings. It could be a podiatrist center or dental office center.

Tia
Guest
Tia

Probably will be all Plastic Surgeons & Botox. I don’t buy the “cancer” bit.

WeHoVaudevillian
Guest
WeHoVaudevillian

Wow! LA is a big city so growth is inevitable. Kindof like with cancer. Is it desirable or healthy though?

That’s the predicament

Vigilant
Guest
Vigilant

“so growth is inevitable, kind of like cancer”. Asking if it is desirable or healthy or is not a predicament, it is a conscious decision to influence the world around you in a positive light. Granted, I have a different take on the matter. Several years ago my Mother had a considerable breast cancer challenge after a lifetime of flawless health. She remedied it through radical surgery at the facility connected with the university where she was still studying at the age of 93. She decided she did not want any scary information, pronouncements or statistics feeling confident in the… Read more »