Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The "Burton Corridor" in Beverly Hills?

Two new residential developments are coming to Burton Way in Beverly Hills. One, an eight-story mixed use complex with apartments, is being greeted with open arms. The other, a 14-story condominium complex, is bringing dissent to the Hills of Beverly.

The mixed-use complex, to be constructed at the intersection of Burton Way and La Cienega / San Vicente Boulevards, is the brainchild of Rick Caruso, developer of the Grove and the Americana in Glendale.

Caruso's plans to build an eight-story mixed-use structure on his lot, with 88 apartments and a ground-floor Trader Joe's, have been widely praised by residents who welcome the project as a smart addition to the neighborhood.

The condo building, on the other hand, has been given a cool reception.

…A tiered, 14-story condominium project planned for just north of Burton Way, along 3rd Street between Wetherly and Almont drives, has met with opposition from neighbors, who criticize the building's height and say that it is out of character with its neighborhood.

The 95-unit Wetherly Drive condo project, as it is known, replaces 84 units in seven older apartment buildings.

Genton [developer] -- and others -- stressed that the height of the property was in keeping with other buildings in the area, including the nearby Four Seasons hotel.

What’s really being disputed is the future of Burton Way, a major artery of Beverly Hills. Should it be low-rise or high-rise? Beverly Hills isn’t Westwood or Century City. Is it really desirable to build up? But the city must grow denser, with residential living on major corridors of public transport. We can’t continue to fill the streets with more cars.

Look for more discussion when Councilman-elect Paul Koretz takes office. [Los Angeles Times]