Realtors Report WeHo’s Purchase of Lot on SMB at Sweetzer Has Closed

8301-8313 Santa Monica Blvd.

It’s official. The City of West Hollywood’s purchase of the 21,892 square foot lot across from City Hall closed last Friday.

The property, which sits on the northwest corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Sweetzer, is the location of Crossroads Trading Co, Peters Cleaners, and Joey’s Café.  It is adjacent to the property that houses the Coast Playhouse at 8325 Santa Monica Blvd., which the city purchased in 2016 for $2.5 million.

This latest purchase was for $11,410,750. The sale was negotiated with the trust that owned the property by Morgan McMullin, Dario Svidler, and Shaya Braverman, founders of Partners CRE at the Compass real estate brokerage.

As WEHOville has reported previously, the City of West Hollywood has a number of other properties that it has yet to decide how to use. In 2015, the city paid $7 million for the one-acre lot once occupied by Walgreens on the southwest corner of Santa Monica and Crescent Heights boulevard. It is still working on plans to construct a temporary parking lot on the property and has yet to begin the process of figuring out its eventual use.

The city still hasn’t found a tenant to occupy the first floor of the four-floor parking structure that it owns at 8383 Santa Monica Blvd. at Kings Road. Aaron Brothers, the framing retailer, last year moved out of the first-floor retail space that it had occupied for more than 20 years. A local realtor has a “for rent” sign on the retail space’s front window.

And the city still hasn’t developed a plan for the use of the 7,177-square-foot Laurel House, popularly known as “Tara,” that was donated to the city in 1997 by its owner, Elsie Weisman. After Weisman died in 2000, the city announced plans to convert the house, which is at 1343 N. Laurel Ave., into apartments and build other apartments on the property, all to house low-income senior citizens for whom there is a shortage of affordable housing. However, local residents protested that plan and the city last year hired a consultant to study possible uses of it.

Besides City Hall, the city’s other properties include the Werle Building, 7,533-square-foot, two-story office building at 626 N. Robertson Blvd. that was built in 1940. West Hollywood purchased the building in 1987 and in 2003 the city entered into agreements with various nonprofit organizations for the use of the property on a temporary basis. In late 2011, the City Council approved a plan to develop long-term relationships with tenants and to make necessary property improvements. Those non-profits include the Alcoholics Anonymous Recovery Center, the ONE Archives, part of the ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, and the June L. Mazer Lesbian Archives, which is dedicated to preserving and promoting lesbian and feminist history and culture.

The city also has contemplated making a bid for the property at 621 N. Robertson Blvd. just north of Melrose that is the location of the West Hollywood Lion’s Club. That building is a small log cabin that was erected in 1936 as a Boy Scouts of America clubhouse in celebration of BSA’s 26th anniversary. The building got a makeover decades later and eventually became a meeting place for recovering addicts. It is owned by the City of Beverly Hills, which has said it plans to evict the Lions Club and demolish the building.

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Ham Shipey
Ham Shipey
3 months ago

These are public funds you are using!!!!! What is going on?

Alan Strasburg
Alan Strasburg
3 months ago

I am an uber-liberal and I believe in taxes commensurate with the need to provide the greatest public good, but can someone please explain what-the-f*&k is the public good in a small municipality becoming a speculative real estate investor? These are public funds used in ways it’s clear we haven’t had a public explanation as to their intended use. For five years we’ve watched a $7 million investment of public funds lie fallow on land at Crescent Heights and Santa Monica that can’t even raise a head of lettuce or park a car, not to mention house people at any… Read more »

Ham Shipey
Ham Shipey
3 months ago
Reply to  Alan Strasburg

West Hollywood is a national disgrace. One minority group has had too much influence for too long. Things must change.

Anonymous
Anonymous
3 months ago

I called last week about renting the Aaron Brothers space and was told it has been leased.
Anyway to confirm if that’s true?

Observer
Observer
3 months ago

The City should constuct an all affordable housing building at the SW corner of SMB and Crescent Heights. A parking lot is NOT the best use for this site.

Art
Art
3 months ago
Reply to  Observer

And it was YEARS ago that I attended a meeting at City Hall that determined the “temporary” parking lot–AND IT’S STILL NOT DONE! A parking lot that takes YEARS to do!?! Total incompetence. Whose head should roll???

Save WEHO
Save WEHO
3 months ago

This has to be one of the most corrupt cities in the USA. Run by the five political hack pay for play members of the WEHO City Council who should be investigated by the Ddepartment of Justice.

Rob Bergstein
Rob Bergstein
3 months ago

I think of a great use of the former Aaron Bro’s buildIng would be for the city to convert it to 12 step meeting space (and NOT spend $15 million to purchase the log cabin) and low cost office space for our non profits that provide social services to our residents. Or even into city office space instead of our renting office space above The koontz hardware store and at Santa Monica and Harper. Why spend money renting when we own vacant space? I’m just a say’n

Observer
Observer
3 months ago
Reply to  Rob Bergstein

Well said !

charles irving
charles irving
3 months ago
Reply to  Rob Bergstein

That’s a weird location it will be interesting to see who can afford such a lease

Robert Haaga
Robert Haaga
3 months ago

How about using some of these millions to assist the homeless and help them off of our streets. Each day, I take a 10 minute walk from Croft to 24hr Fitness and each week it seems I see one more homeless person on my way. I believe I counted 8 homeless just in that short walk a few days ago. When I first moved here in 2012 there was just one…. an eightfold increase!

Just sayin
Just sayin
3 months ago

Can you believe the audacity and arrogance of a city that charges its residents $2-3 an HOUR to park their cars on its municipal streets, while it has millions upon millions to squander on real estate speculation?!!

Dennis
Dennis
3 months ago

Such a small City that has WAY too much money to waste on acquiring real estate as opposed to doing things to make the city a better place to live. How about some proper bike lanes to start with

Jonathan Simmons
Jonathan Simmons
3 months ago
Reply to  Dennis

THE PURCHASING OF OVER PRICED PROPERTIES… WITH NO PRE THOUGHT PLAN OR EVEN AN INKLING IS THE MOST SCARY THING SUCH A SMALL CITY.

DIVY UP ALL THOSE MILLIONS AND APORTION TO ACTUAL RESIDENTS OF WEHO BASED ON A SCHEDUAL OF YEARS LIVING IN WEHO AND LIVING WITH THE BAD PARTS OF A TRAVEL AND PARTY CITY.

CRIME. NOISE. TRAFFIC. PARING. CHARGING MUNICIPAL FEES WHEN THERE IS GOBS 9F SURPLUS L.

julian jones
julian jones
3 months ago

There is a reason for everything they are not going to provide full details

Dot Frost
Dot Frost
3 months ago
Reply to  Dennis

Better the City of West Hollywood than Faring Capital or another greedy developer set on destroying what made West Hollywood appealing in the first place.

JF1
JF1
3 months ago

That’s a lot of government owned buildings in such a small city.

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