Wednesday, February 25, 2009

West Hollywood Gets More Mixed-Use Projects

West Hollywood California Mixed-Use ProjectAttention those who enjoyed the deli counter at Jons or a drive-thru burger at Carl's Jr -- these two venerable La Brea institutions may soon be gone, each replaced by a large mixed-use project.

A 6-story, 187-unit apartment building with 70,359 square feet of retail space will be built at the Jons site, at the southeast corner of Fountain and LaBrea (rendering above). The open sky of the big parking lot will be replaced by a large block of a building. A similar project by the same developer will rise on LaBrea close to Santa Monica at the Carl’s Jr site.

The developers are wisely constructing rental units since there are too many over-priced condos for sale and coming to market in the next few years. Renters will appreciate the central location and the retail, restaurants and nightspots close by (West Hollywood Gateway, Formosa CafĂ©, Jones…). The area is noisy and urban -- a great place to be renting, but not an ideal place to own.

These two new developments, along with the Movietown Plaza development at the Trader Joe's site at Poinsettia and Santa Monica, are bringing high-density living to the east side of West Hollywood. The city is gaining a Manhattan-type flavor: low-rise living, culture and entertainment at one's fingertips.

Updated 10/14/11: Curbed LA reports that the Movietown Plaza development site is up for sale and will not go forward in its current incarnation because of unaligned goals among development partners Casden Properties, AIMCO and Cerebrus LP.  What will happen to this shuttered, dormant retail complex?

For those whose driving mantra was "take Fountain" to get across town -- you may find that Willoughby is your new (secret) corridor.

Updated 5/18/09: Curbed LA reports that the plans for the mixed use project at 7141 Santa Monica Boulevard are on hold, rescuing, for now, the Faith Plating Building, one of Frank Gehry's early projects.