It’s official. The City of West Hollywood’s purchase of the 21,892 square foot lot across from City Hall closed last Friday.
The property, which sits on the northwest corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Sweetzer, is the location of Crossroads Trading Co, Peters Cleaners, and Joey’s Café. It is adjacent to the property that houses the Coast Playhouse at 8325 Santa Monica Blvd., which the city purchased in 2016 for $2.5 million.
This latest purchase was for $11,410,750. The sale was negotiated with the trust that owned the property by Morgan McMullin, Dario Svidler, and Shaya Braverman, founders of Partners CRE at the Compass real estate brokerage.
As WEHOville has reported previously, the City of West Hollywood has a number of other properties that it has yet to decide how to use. In 2015, the city paid $7 million for the one-acre lot once occupied by Walgreens on the southwest corner of Santa Monica and Crescent Heights boulevard. It is still working on plans to construct a temporary parking lot on the property and has yet to begin the process of figuring out its eventual use.
The city still hasn’t found a tenant to occupy the first floor of the four-floor parking structure that it owns at 8383 Santa Monica Blvd. at Kings Road. Aaron Brothers, the framing retailer, last year moved out of the first-floor retail space that it had occupied for more than 20 years. A local realtor has a “for rent” sign on the retail space’s front window.
And the city still hasn’t developed a plan for the use of the 7,177-square-foot Laurel House, popularly known as “Tara,” that was donated to the city in 1997 by its owner, Elsie Weisman. After Weisman died in 2000, the city announced plans to convert the house, which is at 1343 N. Laurel Ave., into apartments and build other apartments on the property, all to house low-income senior citizens for whom there is a shortage of affordable housing. However, local residents protested that plan and the city last year hired a consultant to study possible uses of it.
Besides City Hall, the city’s other properties include the Werle Building, 7,533-square-foot, two-story office building at 626 N. Robertson Blvd. that was built in 1940. West Hollywood purchased the building in 1987 and in 2003 the city entered into agreements with various nonprofit organizations for the use of the property on a temporary basis. In late 2011, the City Council approved a plan to develop long-term relationships with tenants and to make necessary property improvements. Those non-profits include the Alcoholics Anonymous Recovery Center, the ONE Archives, part of the ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, and the June L. Mazer Lesbian Archives, which is dedicated to preserving and promoting lesbian and feminist history and culture.
The city also has contemplated making a bid for the property at 621 N. Robertson Blvd. just north of Melrose that is the location of the West Hollywood Lion’s Club. That building is a small log cabin that was erected in 1936 as a Boy Scouts of America clubhouse in celebration of BSA’s 26th anniversary. The building got a makeover decades later and eventually became a meeting place for recovering addicts. It is owned by the City of Beverly Hills, which has said it plans to evict the Lions Club and demolish the building.