The City of West Hollywood is in negotiations to purchase the one-acre site at 8120 Santa Monica Blvd. at Crescent Heights owned by Walgreens.
The negotiations, if successful, will bring to an end a 10-year effort by the drugstore chain to develop the property, where Walgreens had planned to build a shopping plaza with a drug store and other shops and 20 apartments.
Acquisition of the site gives the City of West Hollywood a number of previously unavailable options in this densely populated city with little room for new civic projects. The city has confirmed that negotiations are underway, but Public Information Manager Lisa Belsanti said there has been no determination as to how the city might use the property if it acquires it.
After Walgreens acquired the property it upset neighbors by forcing out a number of local shops and restaurants and a church. Among the more popular, which moved to new locations nearby, were Marco’s and Tasty Donuts. Neighbors also pressed the city to demand that Walgreens and its developer, Pacific Development Partners, conduct an expensive and lengthy review of the potential environmental impact of the project. Some City Council members also expressed concern about the impact of the project and its design, given that it occupies a prominent place on Santa Monica Boulevard, which is West Hollywood’s “Main Street.”
The decision by Walgreen’s to try to negotiate a sale follows an announcement by the drugstore chain this spring that it was closing 200 of its 8,232 drugstores in the United States and the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
While there is no indication of how the city might use the property if it is able to acquire it, residents have long demanded construction of more parking structures and more park space. There also is a need for more low- and moderate-income housing in the city.
With the increase of development and gentrification that is happening in Weho, I would like to see a nod to the gay significance of this city. I stood at the corner of Havenhurst and SMB for the Pride Parade, and I kept thinking about how all of these gay organizations that help our community are struggling for funding all the while trying to provide services to everyone along the parade route. Such a prominent intersection would be a great place to house some gay non profits that have been displaced over the years or may be struggling to continue. Restaurants,… Read more »
Mike is correct about the need for housing for displaced people. Given the waiting list we need to have some flexibility to deal with emergency situations to house needy West Hollywood residents who have been displaced by development or through landlord harassment. While not all low income units will need parking we need to remember even people who have no vehicles may have a need for parking for visitors or in-home health care workers. Staff has recently informed the City Council that even though West Hollywood has, in general, surpassed our affordable housing requirements, have still not met our mandated… Read more »
Just to add to Rob Bergstein’s good and informative comments about affordable housing. And the work of WHCHC in West Hollywood. The term ‘affordable housing’ is always confused with ‘rent controlled housing’. Affordable Housing is a technical name given specifically to housing built for people with low incomes and special needs–built by both for-profit and non-profit developers through federal, state and local funding, donations and foundation grants. For instance, I believe the Elder Housing project in Hollywood partnered with a for-profit developer to build their project. If you are interested, you can check out several affordable housing developers in our… Read more »
If they kept stacking the units the bonuses could add up to a skyscraper. Why not, a skyscraper surrounded by a park. Unlimited transportation passes could eliminate the need for parking as allegedly low income folks don’t drive or own vehicles. Voila!
If they made it low income housing, how many stories could they make the building?
Affordable housing should be given first to those who are displaced by redevelopment of their current residence. Re-configuring the intersection will not help. South of Santa Monica Bl. the street becomes one lane in each direction except during rush hour. What exactly could be done? Public Parking is badly needed and should be included in any new development. I think the idea of a alternate route from Hollywood and Highland to somewhere along the red line is only wishful thinking and most likely never be built. When the Red Line reaches Westwood I think that will be the last we… Read more »
I agree with many. This shouldn’t be used for a public park, parking garage or traffic issues. What exactly do you want done to help traffic? This should probably become a mixed use building of storefronts/restaurants on the bottom and apartments above. Just make sure there is plenty of parking for everyone and other local businesses to use in the evening. To comment on “affordable housing”…Snarygal is correct. The waitlists for affordable housing has been closed for years. LA Section 8 (which landlords should be encouraged to participate in and many do not) has been closed for years and there… Read more »
Whatever goes in I hope they construct it such that it can be converted into a subway stop- we have to advocate for the pink line, folks! http://la.curbed.com/uploads/2010_09_wehospur2.jpg?skip_mobile_check=true
Dimitri & Snarkygal…..for each of the Monarch projects (SM & La Brea & SM & Fountain) 20% of the units are permanent affordable, low income housing. Ditto for the Domaine project where Faith Metal Plating used to me. 75 units of permanent affordable senior housing are going in at Movietown Plaza (where Trader Joe’s was & will return). Something like 40 units each of permanent affordable housing built by the WHCHC–the West Hollywood Community Housing Corporation–at both La Brea & Lexington & Santa Monica & Sierra Bonita. Something like 30 units built on Fairfax, just south of Santa Monica also… Read more »
Dimitri…in each monstrous new housing development, there are a few token apartments set aside as “affordable housing”. However, to get those units, I believe, you have to get on the waiting list of the WHCHC, whatever the initials are. The problem lies in the fact that the waiting list is always closed to new names. To put a parking garage on Santa Monica Blvd would be horrendous. That is such a prominent corner. That area needs a drug store or businesses to serve the community. Not another restaurant, or a garage. This is main street. Same thing if you put… Read more »
What a grand vision: a parking garage. NO. Put some mixed-use housing (that includes affordable housing) with at least a little public space for everyone. It’s not rocket science.
Great idea to use the opportunity to finally fix that intersection using some of the property.