CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story implied that the Planning Commission would consider the actual approval of the proposed development mentioned above. The development was approved last year, and Thursday’s meeting will be to consider allowing a structuring of the development to facilitate separate investment in the commercial and residential components of it.
The West Hollywood Planning Commission on Thursday will considering approving a mechanism to make easier the development of a project on Sunset Boulevard at Miller Drive that had drawn criticism from nearby residents and Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz.
The project, as originally proposed, would have included 24 condominiums, ten additional units priced for low-income people and 9,200 square feet of shops and a restaurant. A 2010 study estimated it would have increased traffic on the already busy boulevard by more than 900 cars a day. Because part of the project’s land is within the city limits of Los Angeles, Koretz said he wanted that city to have a say. The development is a project of Karma Development LLC, owned by developer Frank Davamandi of Santa Monica,
Unable to secure approval by the City of Los Angeles, Karma scaled back the project so that it sits entirely within the West Hollywood city limits. Now it will include 11 apartments, one of them for a low-income tenant, 11,240 square feet of shops and a restaurant and a 20 by 60 foot billboard. It would replace an existing three-story building with 31 apartments. The Planning Commission approved that new plan last year. On Thursday it will be asked to permit the existing project to be subdivided into 13 “air space parcels.”
Creating “air-space parcels” is a way to let one company own a building while someone else owns the space between the floor and the ceiling within the building. The main attraction of an air space subdivision is that it creates two separate legal parcels within the same building. Different parties then can own the residential and commercial parts of the building, providing more flexibility for investment opportunities.
It will sit across from the Sunset La Cienega project, which spans La Cienega at Sunset Boulevard and is one of the largest construction projects currently underway in West Hollywood. That development, by the CIM Group, will include two 10-story towers with 296 hotel rooms and 15,000 square feet of retail space on the east side of La Cienega on land formerly occupied by the Peterson building. One the west side there will be two eight-story towers with 190 residential units and 55,000 square feet of retail space. Both parcels will feature large public plazas with viewing terraces.
The Planning Commission will consider this proposal at its meeting on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in the City Council Chamber at 625 N. San Vicente Blvd., south of Santa Monica.