Faring Plans to Build a Birdcage on Santa Monica Blvd.

An illustration of proposed alterations of the Robertson Lane project that would replace Hamburger Haven and Bossa Nova with the Bird Cage building and the three-story building wrapped around it

West Hollywood-based development company Faring on Wednesday night unveiled a new project destined to become a landmark in the Boystown district. Shaped like a giant birdcage, the proposed 55-foot tall structure, appropriately named the Birdcage, would be built on the southwest corner of Robertson Boulevard and Santa Monica Boulevard, where the Hamburger Haven hamburger stand currently sits.

“The corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Robertson Boulevard deserves an architectural landmark and a cultural gathering space for our community which we believe the Birdcage delivers,” explained Jake Stevens, Faring’s director of community engagement.

The Birdcage project would also incorporate the adjoining land on Robertson where Bossa Nova Brazilian restaurant currently stands and the lot facing Santa Monica Boulevard currently occupied by a cigarette shop and a hair salon.

Faring intends for the project to house restaurants, shops and a subterranean “speakeasy” bar/nightclub. The above ground portion of the project is 14,000 square feet, while the underground nightclub will be approximately 7,800 square feet.

The Birdcage on the southwest corner of Robertson and Santa Monica boulevards. (Adaeze Cadet of HKS Architecture)

The Birdcage structure itself will house a ground-floor restaurant, while the second floor will be the outdoor seating area for another restaurant. A giant sculpture of a tree is planned as the centerpiece of that birdcage area.

Initial reactions were overwhelmingly positive from the approximately two dozen residents who came to Wednesday’s community meeting. Several people were heard describing it as “stunning” or “beautiful.”

Although the birdcage structure reaches 55 feet into the air, the rest of the project is just two stories tall, 27 feet high on the Santa Monica Boulevard side and 34 feet high on the Robertson side, which slopes down from the main boulevard.

Architect Adaeze Cadet of the HKS architectural firm designed the project. She told WEHOville she was charged with creating a structure that would standout and cause people to say, “Let’s meet up at that structure.” She opted for the birdcage design because it was both distinctive and elegant.

The Birdcage would replace Hamburger Haven, 8954 Santa Monica Blvd.

The Birdcage will be next door to the nine-story tall Robertson Lane hotel-retail complex, which Faring is also constructing. The Robertson Lane project will incorporate the historic Factory building, which once housed the famous Studio One gay disco. The Factory building which currently sits on an east-west axis between Robertson and La Peer Drive, will be dismantled and most of it will be rebuilt on a north-south axis along Robertson.

Faring hopes to get the Birdcage building added to the already approved specific plan for Robertson Lane in order to facilitate support services.

“The only connection that the Birdcage will have to the Robertson Lane project will be a trash and electrical connection that will happen at the B2 level. Otherwise, this project is visually, and user experienced, as a completely separate and individual building,” said Stevens.

Parking for the Birdcage project will be in the three-level, 750-car underground parking garage in the Robertson Lane facility.

“We are overparked in spades for Robertson Lane and The Birdcage is luckily co-located in such a way that the Robertson Lane garage can support the parking needs for this project,” said Stevens.

Faring hopes to construct both Robertson Lane and The Birdcage at the same time. However, Robertson Lane has already been approved and could begin construction in just a few months, while The Birdcage is at the very beginning stages of its approval, a process that would take four to six months at the absolute minimum. Thus, Faring will slow construction on Robertson Lane awaiting approval of The Birdcage.

“The objective is to concurrently construct both projects to minimize community impacts and disruptions to Robertson and Santa Monica Boulevard,” Stevens said.

Although many people have expressed sadness about losing the Bossa Nova restaurant, a favorite among locals, Stevens hinted that Bossa Nova might come back once the Birdcage is completed.

In the meantime, Bossa Nova has two other locations – at 7181 Sunset Blvd. (at Formosa Ave.) and 10982 Pico Blvd. (two blocks east of Sepulveda).

“The corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Robertson Boulevard deserves an architectural landmark and a cultural gathering space for our community which we believe The Birdcage delivers,”


newest oldest
Notify of
Jonathan Simmons
Guest
Jonathan Simmons

You know the new NY Massive HUDSON YARDS went for that artistic tower concept. It appears stunning, unique & and a new site for not just tourists, but even jaded Newyorkets too. The Weho “Cafe Project” appears NOTHING LIKE ANY GREAT CONCEPT OR QUALITY OF ARTDUL THOUGHT. Please don’t muck up our city and spend millions to do it. A glass observation tower with a level for viewing and a level for a restaurant. The cheezie Bonaventure & the like… We’re and are still popular. Making a round two Level design can give. Pedestrians more sidewalk space to be safe… Read more »

Jonathan Simmons
Guest
Jonathan Simmons

WOW – IT MUST HAVE WON THE PRISE FOR: >> Worst Ugliest & Most Awful Proposal of all times. It reminds me of the now out of Date Strip Mall on the North/West Corner of Santa Monica and Fairfax. A very reminiscent proposal for a round cage like steel tubes… I believe for the same reason the old corner site on fairfax had… A TERRIBLE ARCHITECT who wanted a “Statement Building” (strip mall in that case) regardless how BAD it looked when built and has worn to the elements faster than the structure and LOOKS TERRIBLE and we have to… Read more »

Jim Nasium
Guest
Jim Nasium

Birds in cages, how awful…..and filthy.

Ham
Guest
Ham

we need to get rid of the bars on SM blvd. this is a bad idea.

enemyofthestate
Guest
enemyofthestate

La cage aux folles

P.D.
Guest
P.D.

This area is already congested. Why not move it to where IHOP is? Much more of a focal point.

Jim Nasium
Guest
Jim Nasium

Why not? Because the iHop is there.

JRK
Guest
JRK

Great – more people flooding the street. If this thing gets built they should close Robertson to traffic between Santa Monica and Melrose on Friday & Saturday nights between 10P and 2:30A and make it pedestrian only. That intersection is almost gridlocked on weekend nights as it is.

Christopher Roth
Guest
Christopher Roth

“They took all the trees
And put ’em in a tree museum
And they charged the people
A dollar and a half to seem ’em”

Larry Block
Guest
Larry Block

This shows all that developers are investors and creators of great things that move West Hollywood forward. I love it. Welcome to Faringville.

angry gay pope
Guest

Sad about Bossa Nova but Hamburger Haven is an eyesore!

Kerrigan
Guest
Kerrigan

HERE FOR THIS! My only hope is that they use a real tree instead of a sculpture. If Pump can do it, so can they.

JF1
Guest
JF1

YES!

Todd B.
Guest
Todd B.

Somehow, a birdcage doesn’t strike me as something that embraces the community. Yes, I think it’s striking, but this is an important corner. I’d rather see something more embracing like a giant umbrella – something that shelters people as opposed to keeping them cooped up. I could see an umbrella with handle and veins that are lined with LEDs that could be programmed to be any color. Rainbow for pride. All white for other times. red and green for Christmas, blue and white for Hanukkah, exploding colors for NYE, etc. It’s not going to be visual pollution for any residents… Read more »

learntobeajournalist
Guest
learntobeajournalist

Good point but we don’t need to be sheltered from the world. Everyone wants a home, even birds nest. They (birds, people with wings, lol) can actually and symbolically fly out the top opening, people can leave through the door. I don’t see it as a cage but a place to convene and then freely leave and fly away. Simple is often best. We have plenty of rainbow colors on SMB or maybe your idea can be incorporated another way, or with another smaller structure within the mall area or near one of the restaurants. Overall, I think this is… Read more »

learntobeajournalist
Guest
learntobeajournalist

As a compromise, we could ask them to continuously play The Birdcage film, the classic gay comedy starring R. Williams. 🙂

P.D.
Guest
P.D.

What a great idea! I eye rolled when I read about the bird cage. This is so much more inclusive and representative of what West Hollywood should stand for.