Cohen Brothers Realty Co. staged an informal presentation tonight of its concept for a complex on the south side of Santa Monica Boulevard near San Vicente that would include a hotel, a shopping center, apartments, a movie theater, an 800-seat open amphitheater and a 50,000-square-foot sheriff’s station.
The 10.4-acre site, currently occupied by an MTA bus depot, also would include a garage for the storage of MTA buses.
The presentation, held in the lobby of Cohen’s Blue Building at the Pacific Design Center, featured illustrations of what the complex might look like and an argument for how it would benefit West Hollywood. The complex would have the potential to “activate a key section of Santa Monica Boulevard,” the presentation said. Other possible advantages cited included generating jobs and sales and hotel occupany tax revenue, reducing the noise from the existing bus depot, providing space for new restaurants and stores, attracting more visitors to West Hollywood and perhaps serving as the site for a new City Hall.
A story in WEHOville in February revealed that Cohen Brothers had signed an agreement that gave it the exclusive right for two years to negotiate with the MTA a plan to build the massive complex, which would include two high-rise towers, 600,000 square feet of residential/hotel space and 120,000 square feet of retail shops.
Of the several dozen people who attended the presentation, objections were raised mostly by residents of houses on nearby Huntley Drive, who worried about the traffic the project would generate. The project would have to be presented to the City of West Hollywood for approval. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors would have to sign off on Cohen’s proposal to acquire the current location of the West Hollywood sheriff’s station.