The Melrose Triangle Project, in the planning stages since 2003, is likely to be approved tonight by the West Hollywood City Council with some fixes to possible traffic problems.
The city’s Department of Community Development, responding to a request from the Council in August, is suggesting the developer fund several efforts on Almont Drive, which is the eastern border of the project, to reduce traffic problems. The Council at its Aug. 18 meeting endorsed the project but asked city staffers to return with ideas about addressing possible traffic problems.
These include construction of traffic circles on Almont Drive at Rangely, Dorrington and Ashcroft avenues, landscaping on the Almont Drive cul-de-sac and converting the north-south alley just east of Doheny Drive to a one-way alley. The estimated cost to the developer, the Charles Company, is $250,000.
The Community Development Department also plans to study the impact of eliminating left turns from northbound Doheny Drive by drivers wanting to head west on Santa Monica Boulevard. If the study shows a positive impact, the Charles Company would be asked to pay for implementing that change.
The Community Development Department memo to the City Council notes that the Los Angeles Conservancy has filed a lawsuit arguing that the city failed to study alternatives to the project that would have allowed the preservation of the Streamline Moderne building at 9080 Santa Monica Blvd., which will be demolished to construct the Melrose Triangle project. But the memo argues that that building has not been designated as a local cultural resource and that it has been altered in various ways since its redesign in the Streamline Moderne style in 1938.
The resolution that will be presented to the Council for a vote tonight will require the Charles Company to find a way to preserve the entrance to the 9080 Santa Monica building within the project, which the developer has agreed to do.
The development will consist of three buildings containing 303,000 square feet of commercial and residential space that will sit on a plot of land bounded by Santa Monica Boulevard, Melrose Avenue and Almont Drive at the city’s border with Beverly Hills. It is viewed by its supporters as a dramatic “gateway” to West Hollywood for those traveling east from Beverly Hills.
The Council will meet at 6:30 p.m. tonight at the Council Chambers at 625 N. San Vicente Blvd., south of Santa Monica.