By Edwin Folven, 1/03/2013
Developer plans to build 43 units near Beverly Boulevard
Changes may be in store for a section of La Cienega Boulevard north of Beverly Boulevard through a plan to replace a series of existing storefronts with housing and retail space.
The project is proposed for 316 through 324 N. La Cienega Blvd., and has been in the works for the past couple of years, according to Joel Miller, vice president of Psomas, a consulting firm representing the developer, Beverly/LaCienega LLP. Plans call for 43 apartments in a five-story building. The project will be recessed towards the rear to fit with the lower-level homes and apartment buildings on Alfred Street, which runs parallel to La Cienega Boulevard behind the proposed project. There will also be 800 square feet of ground-floor retail space for a café, although no tenant has been selected. Miller said there will be no alcohol sales at the café, and the developer also plans to remove a billboard above the current buildings at the site.
“This is viewed as a catalyst project that will help turn around La Cienega,” he said. “It will be four stories of residential over retail. This is an area in high demand for apartments for younger professionals.”
Miller said the developer, Solomon Aryeh, originally planned to build a seven-story building, with a larger retail component. That plan was opposed by some neighbors and City Councilman Paul Koretz, 5th District, who wanted to keep the building height more in line with the residences on Alfred Street and other buildings in the neighborhood. Koretz’s deputy, Paul Michael Neuman, said the councilman supports the new plan with the lowered, 56-foot building height at the front, and 45 feet toward the rear.
The Mid-City West Community Council’s (MCWCC) Land Use Committee is scheduled to review the project on Jan. 8, and the council’s executive board will consider the plan on Jan. 15. Tim Deegan, chair of the MCWCC, said the project had previously been examined, but was sent back to the Land Use Committee because of the requested changes in height.
“It is a very interesting project,” Deegan said. “It is a little bit controversial because there were some issues with the height. There have been some mitigations made, and we will review the new plans that are presented.”
Neuman also said the project could be a catalyst for La Cienega Boulevard. In a letter to the city’s Planning Department, Koretz said the project will replace a series of “dilapidated” buildings from Beverly Boulevard to Rosewood Avenue, and will be shorter than many nearby buildings, such as the Sofitel Hotel and the Beverly Center.
“It is my hope that the planning department and the applicant in this case will consider the change in height suggested … and create a project that will complement and improve this worthy portion of my district,” Koretz said.
Miller said the project, which is estimated to cost between $8 and $10 million, will be reviewed by the planning commission on Jan. 22. If approved, the developer hopes to begin work on the project by the fall.
Tags | Beverly/LaCienega project