Planning Commission Approves Project Replacing Madison Car Wash

With a unanimous vote on Thursday night, West Hollywood’s Planning Commission approved a new four-story retail-residential project at 7617 Santa Monica Blvd., near Curson, a site currently occupied by the Madison Car Wash.

(Office Untitled architect)

The 63,560 square foot, 45-foot-tall project will have 71 residential units, 11 of which will be set aside for lower-income residents. The ground floor will have 8,600 square feet of retail space and at-grade parking for retail customers. There will also be two subterranean levels for residential parking, for a total of 131 spaces in the project.

Designed by Christian Robert of the Culver City-based Office Untitled architecture studio (formerly known as R&A Architecture & Design), the project features four different courtyard areas for residents, plus a rooftop pool area. The exterior covering will be dark and light corrugated metal panels, combined with a white and fuchsia cement plaster, an element the commissioners especially liked.

Century City-based La Terra Development LLC, which has a dozen Los Angeles area residential projects, is the owner and developer. Real estate investor Charles Tourtellette is the founder and CEO of La Terra Development.

The commissioners were impressed with the design and appearance, several calling it “beautiful” and “thoughtful.”

“I’m really pleased with this project,” said Commissioner Lynn Hoopingarner. “I would say, ‘Please more of these’.”

Commissioner Rogerio Carvalheiro praised the design, feeling the project would vastly improve that section of the city.

“I’m somewhat sad to see the Googie-style car wash go. I think what we’re getting in its place is far beyond,” said Carvalheiro. “It sets a great example for Santa Monica Boulevard and elevates all of it.”

Commissioner John Erickson concurred, feeling the building would create a standard for other projects in the area.

The commissioners were also pleased that it would activate an area that has very little pedestrian activity after dark while not tearing down any existing housing.

“How great is it that we are just adding housing without actually getting rid of anything. I think that is a really big plus to this project,” said Commissioner Adam Bass.

Of the 21 people speaking during the public comment period, 16 fully supported it. They were glad it was bringing housing to the city. They also felt it would be an improvement to the neighborhood and were glad to see the car wash, a frequent spot for drug dealing, leave.

“It represents hope, inspiration, and it really will enrich our neighborhood,” said Bob Scallian who has lived in the area since 1984.

Meanwhile nearby resident Kelly Stagg looked forward to the shops in the project and the visual improvement it will provide the area.

“It brings a complete facelift to this part of town,” said Stagg. “West Hollywood is a city of progress and that area is not looking so hot these days.”

Of the public commenters opposed, several were concerned how it would change the fabric of the neighborhood. Two others, who live directly behind it, were concerned how the four-story building would affect their privacy and as well as the potential noise from the building affecting their quality of life.

Commissioner Sue Bucker was absent from the meeting.


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James Francis
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James Francis

One would think, hypothetically speaking, with the size and scope of this 2 street project on Santa Monica Blvd, with the 71 units being built, it would seem more realistic and fundamental that at least 21 or 25 units would be set aside for low income units! That would still allow the other 50 to 46 units to remain market value! Its makes little to no sense why these numbers must be 5-10 units maximum in every building with 50-80 units! This will only encourage the developers to offer the least amount of units or provide little compromise in a… Read more »

Vigilant
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Vigilant

Not exactly reassuring as to what residents really care about.

Having a fire station next door means your fire will get immediate attention.
The firemen are intelligent enough to manage their parking issues.

Anyone looking at the plans should be able to determine the proximity to the 7-11 and dry cleaners.

Folks will need to travel to Redlands to get their cars washed.

Grant
Guest
Grant

More traffic on that block. Glad the dry cleaners is safe. That horrid 711 can go though.

Enoch Miller
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Enoch Miller

I wonder how the residents in that new building will like having a fire station next door. I curious if anyone raised any questions or concerns about Station 8’s ability to function during the demo. and construction process?

john
Guest
john

IS the building where the 7 11 is located going to be destroyed too ?

john
Guest
john

Is the 7 11 building also going to be removed?

Adam Bass
Guest
Adam Bass

No. This will not replace 7-11. The project is approved for just the area where the car wash currently sits.

Pat
Guest
Pat

So the dry cleaners will remain? It abuts the car wash and is in the strip mall