WHCHC Announces Plans for Workforce Housing in Norma Triangle

Design options for the Wetherly Palms building

The West Hollywood Community Housing Corporation (WHCHC) has announced plans for a building with up to 100 units of affordable housing in the Norma Triangle neighborhood.

The Wetherly Palms will be located on North Wetherly Drive just north of the First Baptist Church of Beverly Hills, which is on the northeast corner of Wetherly and Cynthia Street.The seven-storybuilding will have a mix of apartment units ranging from studios to two-bedrooms. One two-bedroom unit will be reserved for a full-time resident manager.

In its announcement of the development, WHCHC said that “all units will be fully accessible to people with mobility impairments. Wetherly Palms will include ample common amenities such as outdoor recreational open space, a community room with a kitchenette, library, and computer area, a fitness room, a resident manager’s office, and offices for on-site social service providers.”

WHCHC staffers have been interacting with residents in nearby buildings to get their input on the project, whose height typically would draw opposition from nearby residents. The WHCHC hasn’t settled on a design for the project and is seeking input from community members on various options.

“We are thrilled about the response we’re receiving,” said Jesse Slansky, WHCHC President & CEO. “People from all walks of life are coming together to support Wetherly Palms. West Hollywood residents know that this is a real crisis and are stepping up to be advocates for more affordable housing.”

In its announcement, WHCHC notes that affordable housing is a major issue in West Hollywood, as it is elsewhere in Los Angeles County.

According to the 2019 West Hollywood Community Study, residents listed the “cost of housing and housing affordability” a top issue. Over the past decade, wages have not kept up with rents. According to the City of West Hollywood’s 2017-2018 Rent Stabilization Annual Report, many in the city are paying 50%–or more–of their income on rent.

One aspect of the project that WHCHC called out is its inclusion of workforce housing.

“Workforce housing is affordable housing for households with earned income that is insufficient to secure quality housing in reasonable proximity to their workplace,” the announcement noted. “The majority of people employed in West Hollywood work in the service industries including accommodation, food, and retail. These jobs do not generally pay wages high enough for people to live where they work, averaging below $40,000 annually. Approximately 80% of people employed in West Hollywood commute in, exacerbating traffic and congestion. By locating housing near jobs, Wetherly Palms addresses this quality of life issue that impacts everyone.”

“Wetherly Palms is exactly the type of apartment community that is supposed to be here,” said Karl Lott, WHCHC board chair and a Norma Triangle resident. “In addition to affordable housing, it offers the opportunity for us to provide workforce housing to the ‘missing middle’.”

Matt Mason, WHCHC’s director of real estate development, noted the apartment building won’t require the demolition of existing housing because it will be built on an empty 14,400-square foot lot behind the church.

“There is no tenant displacement, no environmental remediation and no historic preservation,” he said. “The existing surface parking lot is a non-conforming use in an area zoned for high-density, multifamily residential housing. “

Evidence of the support that WHCHC has gathered for the project is evident in a quote in its announcement from Manny Rodriquez, an active member of the West Hollywood West Residents Association which represents the single-family and duplex homeowners south of Santa Monica Boulevard and has pushed back against proposals like state Sen. Scott Wiener’s SB50, which would allow construction of denser housing near transportation hubs. WHWRA objects that SB50 would allow construction of four-story buildings in its neighborhood.

“In West Hollywood, we have always rallied to help when community members are in need,” said Rodriguez. “Wetherly Palms is a continuation of the core values that drove the movement for Cityhood. It is the right thing to do, plain and simple.”

“We’re really quite heartened,” Slansky said. “Usually, you hear about local opposition to affordable housing (NIMBYism). In this case, the community knows us, knows our work, and knows that our residents are part of the fabric of West Hollywood.”

West Hollywood Community Housing Corporation (WHCHC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit community housing development organization. It has been building affordable housing and providing services to residents since 1986. WHCHC currently houses over 800 residents in 16 affordable apartment communities in three cities. WHCHC has seven projects currently in development.


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Siegfried
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Siegfried

7 stories (100 units) on a small residential street that leads to a one-way street in one direction and the other to Cynthia, which is already incredibly overcrowded, especially during rush hour, although there is an elementary school in walking distance is too big. Keep the buildings over 4 stories to the main streets!

Jim Homeia
Guest

This is great news. I believe that many people feel happy when WHCHC have plan to build affordable and accessible housing in the city. With 100 units of affordable housing, many young people will have good chance to own a house there.

Vigilant
Guest
Vigilant

Perhaps folks could take a look at the Senior Affordable Building at 1435 N. Havenhurst, immediately south of The Andalusia, and across from The Colonial House and La Ronda, all on the National Register of Historic Properties. It is by far the best recent construction on the street beyond the highly touted buildings of Richard Loring and Nick Hertz. which look as if they were kicked off of a far planet.

Blueeyedboy
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Blueeyedboy

A group of friends took a look last night at these two renderings. All agreed that the pic on the left is by far the better choice. It is classic while the building pictured on the right has no architectural interest and will look dated and ridiculous in twenty years.

James Francis
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James Francis

With all due respect just look at Doheny which has 7-10 story Condominiums right beside or with 500 to 1,000 feet of the proposed site so this argument makes no sense other than a slight way of a homeowner using a Nimbism phraseology or NIMBY tactic to avoid one’s property from being located near affordable or low income housing. Regardless of the occupants in this area property values are always rising, its just a matter of homeowner inconvenience and people not wanting to share the wealthy area with other non wealthy residents. To which I say, this area should not… Read more »

TheRealZam
Guest

Thanks WHCHC for continuing to build affordable and accessible housing in our city. As someone who needs accessible housing, I can attest to the fact that there are very few housing options and those the vast majority of these housing options command a steep premium. Trust me, I’ve looked. To those who claim that the hill is to steep for disabled people, you are making false, and ableist, assumptions about what it means to be disabled. Check out the trending hashtag, #YouHateDisabledPeople, if you want to get a real perspective of how ableism and stereotyping really hurt our community. I… Read more »

David
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David

It’s a 7-floor, 100 unit building. It’s 100% out of character for this neighborhood. We only say that there are other locations that would work better because 7-story buildings belong on busier, flatter roads. I fully support affordable housing projects, even next door to me, but let’s limit it to the regular 4-floor max.

JJ1
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JJ1

YUP

James Francis
Guest
James Francis

With all due respect just look at Doheny which has 7-10 story Condominiums right beside or with 500 to 1,000 feet of the proposed site so this argument makes no sense other than a slight way of a homeowner using a Nimbism phraseology or NIMBY tactic to avoid one’s property from being located near affordable or low income housing. Regardless of the occupants in this area property values are always rising, its just a matter of homeowner inconvenience and people not wanting to share the wealthy area with other non wealthy residents. To which I say, this area should not… Read more »

James Francis
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James Francis

Please read my comment above David. This is the only WeHo neighborhood with no potential affordable housing and Other locals Deserve to live in this part of Weho too! If they live or already work why should WE be priced out? With all due respect just look at Doheny which has 7-10 story Condominiums right beside so your argument does not make sense other than a slight way of a homeowner using a Nimbism phraseology or NIMBY tactic to avoid one’s property from being located near affordable or low income housing because of homeowner inconvenience or people not wanting to… Read more »

James Francis
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James Francis

I would like to mention that there are 7-10 story condominiums that are 500-1000 feet from the proposed site so the comment above does not make sense in my opinion! But to get housing concessions can be made to ensure affordable housing but many locals need to live here in the city on fixed incomes! There are many buildings much larger built on a Doheny drive which is a HILL and the residents on that street are condo owners not renters who live nearby this exact location for affordable housing. Wonder why this comment is only pertaining to this complex… Read more »

James Francis
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James Francis

Yes height concessions may be made but Weho has a housing deficit and people are being priced out of existing rentals in all of West Hollywood! I would like to mention that there are 7-10 story condominiums that are 500-1000 feet from the proposed site so the comment above does not make sense in my opinion! Since there are many buildings much larger built on a Doheny drive which is a hill and the occupants and residents on that street are condo and homeowners who live nearby this exact location for affordable housing. Wonder why this Only pertaining to renters?… Read more »

Siegfried
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Siegfried

James, yes, there are taller buildings along Doheny and Sunset. Wetherly is a short 1 block street, not a major thoroughfare. In fact if you want to go east, there is only one way out. Cynthia. Have you seen Cynthia during rush hour times. It is a small residential street. There is an elementary school around the corner so there are a lot of kids walking in the neighborhood. The last thing that is needed is more traffic on this small street. If we need more housing and we need to build up, then at least those taller buildings should… Read more »

Vigilant
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Vigilant

Who will be running the Pitchfork and Torch concessions?

Peter Buckley
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Peter Buckley

By allowing this, then this will happen throughout the Norma Triangle including the 2 vacant lots on Lloyd and Willey.

JJ1
Guest
JJ1

yup

JJ1
Guest
JJ1

The neighborhood is organizing on NextDoor and will fight this. NO ONE is happy with a structure this size proposed for our neighborhood contrary to what Mr.Jesse Slansky says…who ever he is..no one on the block has spoken to him. This should be built on the city owned land at Crescent Heights and SM Blvd…that would be a more appropriate spot for a building of this scale.

Jacalyn Davis
Guest
Jacalyn Davis

Absolutely right. This building is too tall and the streets are too narrow. I love how the same neighborhood group that opposes taller structures in their neighborhood and perfectly fine with such a tall structure in my neighborhood. Unbelievable. They need to reduce the scale!

Jonathan Simmons
Guest
Jonathan Simmons

The Crescent Heights lot can not be built on due to underground contamination from previous businesses going way back before WeHo became a city.

Henry (Hank) Scott
Admin

That is not correct, the city has worked to remove contaminants that came from the dry cleaner on the lot.

Vigilant
Guest
Vigilant

Looking through the site of FSY Architects makes one wonder why the two examples were chosen as possibilities for this site. Although they have a range of projects it was hard to see something that might begin to connect with the location. Could the community have more details on this or will there be a community meeting?

On the other hand WHCHC has done a few interesting projects and some not so interesting so what will be inspiring the potential design? Could we hear from them?

B S
Guest
B S

2 points i’d like to clarify here.
1. The developer is NOT receiving positive feedback from the neighborhood…maybe from the greater WeHo community, but they have not contacted anyone in my building and I live next door to the site in question.

2. This proposal has not even been submitted to the city for consideration yet. If you call the planning department, they are unable to find any info as nothing has been filed for this address.

G. Moore
Guest
G. Moore

Workforce housing really??? Did whoever wrote this actually speak to the developer at all? If you take the time to call WHCHC they will tell you it is for Seniors, the Disabled ( on a hill so steep healthy people cant walk up it) and Workforce. Come on Wehoville I love you you but care enough to fact check. Its our lives you you are glossing over with poor information. Research is key we shouldn’t be doing that for you.

Henry (Hank) Scott
Admin

Workforce housing is stated in the WHCHC announcement of the planned project.