‘Sprouts’ Garage Entry Will be Lengthened to Address Concerns About Traffic Backup on Santa Monica Blvd.

Empty lot on Santa Monica Blvd. west of West Knoll where the "Sprouts" building will be built
Empty lot on Santa Monica Blvd. west of West Knoll where the “Sprouts” building will be built

The West Hollywood Planning Commission’s Design Review Subcommittee gave an overall blessing to the design of the new development proposed for the south side of Santa Monica Boulevard near its intersection with West Knoll.

At its meeting last night, the architect for the project, Aleks Istanbullu, addressed concerns raised by some residents that inclusion of a grocery store would result in more cars lining up on Santa Monica Boulevard to enter the adjacent parking garage. That garage is part of the building that now houses 24 Hour Fitness, Capitol Drugs and LASC.

Istanbullu said that the parking payment booth and its associated barrier now sit just inside the garage, meaning only one car can enter the garage at a time. Others must wait outside on Santa Monica Boulevard while the driver inside the garage obtains a ticket that causes the barrier to open and permit him to park. Istanbullu and Todd Eliott, a lawyer representing the developer of the project, said the payment booth will be moved farther inside, allowing seven to eight cars to enter the garage at once.

Design Review Subcommittee members Marc Yeber, John Altschul and David Aghaei praised the project, noting design, the landscaping and the outdoor cafe proposed for the corner of Santa Monica and West Knoll, which Aghaei said would add to the sense of the city as a pedestrian-friendly place. The building will have trees or shrubs on all three of its levels. Yeber filled the role normally occupied by subcommittee member Roy Huebner, who recused himself from the meeting because he lives within a 500-foot radius of the project.

The building, which will be on an empty lot that once housed the Athletic Club and Palms bar buildings, is being developed by Michael Talla, who owns the entire block. It will include a Sprouts grocery store, part of a chain that offers organic and natural foods. The project also includes a 8,000-square-foot fitness center/gym and the 1,100-square-foot café with outdoor dining along with rooftop parking.

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Maxine
Maxine
7 years ago

Whenever a developer comes to the community for design review, it is ALWAYS a case of the Emporer’s new clothes. Community must keep pressing and pressing to downsize a project, as developers ALWAYS ask for more space and sq? footage than they need or want. KEEP PRESSING!!!!

Rudolf Martin
Rudolf Martin
7 years ago

very good questions, Jonathan! I hope that the Planning Commission will address them but I doubt it. Some of your concerns could only be answered with a more comprehensive vision for traffic in WeHo that would address rapidly increasing density and there currently is no such vision.

Lynn
Lynn
7 years ago

@Jonathan: thank you for voicing many of the concerns that hopefully many of the residents have. Your pov of view from experience in this area is valuable. Some aware and informed folks actually scrutinize these elements in our daily lives and also question the why’s and wherefores. What is spectacularly missing from the equation is a sense of alertness and long-range thinking regarding development, not to mention sensitivity to and knowledge of development far beyond our 1.9 sq mile city. If anyone has ever read the cv’s of various commissioners, it would truly validate the impression one receives from seeing… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
7 years ago

By the way the architect already told us they were doing that in the neighborhood meeting ! It was clearly mentioned that it would not be enough. Have they answered yet where the crane required for this type of construction (precast offsite concrete trucked in ) will go and if that too will block traffic ? The Architect was not sure how big a crane would be needed ( scary ) Im just a citizen and seem to ask more important questions than even our own planning dept. For the record I was a Plan review board president for 6… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
7 years ago

How does this address all of the other traffic issues raised ? How does this address the cars waiting to get in and out while they wait for the pedestrians walking alone the sidewalk ? Including pedestrian safety How does this address the question raised about an approved 8000sf commercial project all of the sudden jump to 40,000sf ? How does this address the proposed project and its impact from across the street ? How will this work with all the new traffic generated by the Red Building ? How will this interface with the super project proposed at the… Read more »

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