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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Sunset Junction development moving along

Renderings courtesy Frost/Chaddock

A preliminary report exploring the impact of constructing a trio of apartment buildings in the Sunset Junction area of Silver Lake is expected to be presented to the public early next year, according to the developer. Matt Levy with developer Frost/Chaddock is scheduled to appear at a community meeting tonight to provide more information about the project, which includes three separate buildings with more than 300 units of housing and stores near Sunset and Santa Monica boulevards. The proposal had stirred up opponents and prompted the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council to vote against the project as currently envisioned.

Levy, who was present at a heated meeting held earlier this year, said he plans to gather more feedback tonight about portions of the project that “are negotiable such as design and community benefits.” Work is underway to complete a draft of an environmental impact report, which will look at how the development would increase traffic, for example, and other factors. “We expect the draft EIR to be released for public review around the new year,” he said.

Tonight’s meeting, which is being organized by a group of residents, is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. at the Holy Virgin Cathedral.

58 comments

  1. to think those lovely cottages were removed for these square boxes is sad. the least the developers could do is hire an architect with some vision.

  2. This is great news. I’m so excited for the bates motel to gtfo and i love 4100 bar, but that building and the parking lot in front of it do nothing to create community.

  3. this is not a done deal yet. pleas come to the meeting to express your concerns.

  4. Drinking Game Alert:
    Every time someone says the word “hipsters” during this post tale a guzlet of your favorite cocktail.

  5. Unfortunately, our councilman, Garcetti, is going to quietly do everything needed to make sure the project goes through, even as he lies that he is really in favor of the community opposing it. He is just a shill for developers, has never seen a major development he does not favor. For instance, just look at how he jammed through the plan for massive development of Hollywood against the community’s desires. Whatever he tells you, behind the scenes he will be making sure the project goes through.

    Garcetti is completely 100% bought and paid for. Just look at his campaign donor list — it is about 75% developer and landlord interests! And he has catered to them at every turn.

    This project is WAY out of line. This single handedly, by a single developer, completely overwhelms and transforms Sunset Junction. It is far and away drastically out of scale with anything else around there.

    And just think: how can they possibly have ingress and egress for the cars of the people who will be living at the site on Santa Monica Boulevard, formerly the bookstore? Its a very narrow street going through there at a major intersection. How can you possibly have cars coming in and out of that location into that!? That’s why the one-story bookstore was the right thing for that location! That inn and of itself should be more than enough negative environmental impact to nix this project or any project of such scale!

    Yet, Garcetti is not doing anything to stop it.

  6. Sorry, y’all sound like a bunch of oldies opposed to change. Los Angeles is getting denser – deal with it.

  7. You want to see horrible–look at the Orsini nightmares at the other end of Sunset.

  8. Any updates on where the city is on reconfiguring the sunset junction intersection… or the transit plaza?

    • We do NOT want a transit hub there. First, the are not enough lines here to call for a hub. But second, the moment you have a hub, that classification gets a tremendous amount of extra density approved for the surrounding area.

      That is, the hub will do nothing good for transit (it will actually slow it and make it cost riders more), but it will be used to allow for much, much greater building density in the area!

      Fight against any transit hub there!

      • As I recall from one of the NC meetings (several months back), these are all ‘by right’… so the area is already zoned for 4 story mixed use. I’m not really sure why you think a new plaza with some greenery, a bus stop and a traffic signal is going to change the community plan and allow for high rises.

  9. To everyone opposed to the design elements incorporated into these proposals, do you have alternative suggestions? Things you’ve seen done elsewhere that you like? I’m interested because I think they do lack some panache, but without offering some alternatives, it’s unfair to just diss what someone else is putting out there.

    • I’ve seen many a plan design that provides for a LOT less density. And the density is what people are proposing first and foremost.

      So, to answer your question, my design suggestion is to cut the density of this plan by 75%, to bring it in line with the surrounding area and the nature of Sunset Junction that makes it a desirable neighborhood. That is an alternative that should be adopted.

    • Of the 3 sites, to me the one that’s most sensitive is the old bookstore (just south of Jiffy Lube). That’s the hilliest one. To the topo is flatter and commercial and residential buildings get bigger. So my suggestion is to move some units off this site onto the others. Also would be great to have more of them affordable.

  10. I was born and raised in Los Feliz and I think adding density along vibrant corridors like Sunset in Silver Lake is fantastic. Exactly what the city needs. I’m tired of the same old nay-saying crowd complaining about the same old tired crap. Parking! Developers! Blah blah blah. The times they are a changing. This is great for the city and part of a more sustainable course that will create exactly the type of vibrant, rich, pedestrian oriented neighborhoods that LA has missed out on for so long due to the type of misguided, old, and dusty thinking rampant in the comments above.

    • The only people a development like this benefits is: 1- The developers, 2- People who don’t live here yet but want to. This is not about the times changing , this is about plain old greed. Not every corner of L.A. is suited for added density unless some developer has the deep pockets to push a square peg into a round hole by any means necessary. Some of us moved here for the simple, small town design of Sunset Junction and it appears that some other people have moved here destroy the existing environment and turn it into a pretentious west side clone. Jeremy, your vibrant, rich, pedestrian oriented vision is not shared by many of us, we haven’t “missed out” on anything. In fact, your vision is horrifying. I’m not surprised the developer’s shills are coming out of the woodwork. Must be the work of all those expensive “consultants” Frost-Shaddock hired to do damage control.

      • Sorry, but looking for a small-town feel in the middle of Los Angeles is ridiculous. Sounds like it’s time for you to move!

        • Given that Silver Lake has traditionally been characterized by low-density single family homes with yards etc., that’s hardly ridiculous. If you desire a bunch of monolithic apartment buildings maybe “it’s time for you to move”?

          Not to be snarky, but why would you say that to someone who is just trying to preserve the character of their neighborhood??

        • There is lots of “small-town feel” to be had all over parts of Los Angeles. It’s one of the attractions of the city. Suggesting someone else move because they are sticking up for a quality that has made the city great is …obnoxious. I am starting to think Sarah works for the developer.

        • its easy to tell some one to move, but I dont think your going to pay for the costs to move somewhere else. Otherwise I will be happy to move if you pay for my costs.

    • As a resident of Sunset Junction, this is what the neighborhood needs; Businesses and amenities that serve the community to fill up the the vacant lots between Sanborn and Fountain, and make that stretch walkable and attractive. What we don’t need is three huge and most likely pricy apartment buildings (which don’t benefit anyone currently living here) and a HUGE increase in traffic. No thanks.

  11. More density on transit corridors is a GREAT thing for the city.

    • Oh, how? You clearly are not a bus rider. If you were, you would know they already are overpacked like a bunch of sardines at rush hour. How will MORE density help that?

      You should try practicing what you preach.

      • I am a bus rider, and I agree with him. If there is more demand for buses, Metro will supply more buses. It’s not like we’re at a capped number of buses and no matter how popular certain lines get they won’t change the number of buses….

    • Perhaps if there were a TRAIN station there (if only!), but I ride the bus every day, and I doubt many of my fellow riders would be able to afford a pricy condo like these. It’s just not the demographic.

  12. These all look great and are such an improvement over the old eyesores they’re replacing. They have style and respect the modern architectural legacy of the area. Yes, very welcome as opposed to the hideous faux-Tuscan Orsini monstrosities downtown on Sunset. Now tear down Jiffy Lube and build a green park in the middle of it all. With real grass and trees, not painting the street with chartreuse polka dots. More housing will bring more life to the area and the streets. More walking to new businesses, cafes, bars, restaurants, bookstores etc. Build it! Change is good!

  13. All this Density talk…along Transit corridors? Do you expect the people who buy these condos to ride busses? Is that the assumption of the 600k plus homeowner? I’m a fan of greater density…but I’m tired of it only being applied to neighborhoods where developers can make a quick buck. Is it really improving the rest of LA to squeeze more and more residents into Silverlake because Forbes called it the coolest neighborhood in the country. I know I’m an aging leftie…but that’s why I live here.

    So conceptually, Density is great, and if they were putting these apartments somewhere that needed revitalization, that would be great. So let’s be realistic, this is a money making proposition for a builder…and that’s fine. But it’s going to increase traffic. That’s what more cares does.

    • I’m one of those 600k+ homeowners and my wife does take the bus or Metro to work every morning. So please save the stereotypes. By the way… Silver Lake is two words… you would know that if you lived here.

  14. Perhaps only those that don’t own cars and pledge to not own cars should be allowed to live there since it is in a transit corridor and they can all use the bus or ride a bike. It helps with the density problem and makes the air cleaner.

  15. Sunset Junction has been soooo fetishized that people are losing perspective. There is nowhere in walking distance from this area to: buy groceries, do laundry, hit the gym, drycleaning, drugstore etc. If you want more density do it around Hyperion and Rowena/Griffith Park. Walk to all of those things plus school, daycare etc. SJ is great for hanging out, not as a functional/walkable neighborhood. It is missing too many essentials.

    • “eastsidearts- we- my family of three- live in the Sunset Junction neighborhood and we walk to the grocery stores (Vons and TJ), dry-cleaners, local amazing public schools that or daughter goes to and my daughter can walk to her friends houses, no need to drive her. And with all the walking we do, we don’t need a gym.

      • Ok Doreet, that’s great. However I believe most people will not be walking from THESE developments to TJs, Gelsons or the Vons on Vermont. That’s my point.
        The Hyperion Rowena/Griffith Park Hyperion area is a better place IMHO.

        • Eastsidearts- Great suggestion-BUT, you should know that the developer went to much trouble to get a Sunset Blvd. address attached to the project. The very small northernmost tip (southwest corner of sunset and sanborn) is technically Sunset blvd and they’ve adopted it for the “prestige/hip/trendy” selling value. They’re purpose isn’t to develop sensibly or with the larger community picture in mind, it’s to reap as much as they can from an investment aimed at trendy re-settlers. Convenience and practicality have nothing to do with it.

    • GREAT point!!!

      If Silver Lake is building up in density it would be nice to have more essentials.

      I love walking, but for me it’s tough to walk to Trader Joe’s and walk back with big bags of groceries.

      Coffee and Gelato are awesome but a small grocery near Hyperion and Sunset would be a dream.

  16. I want to know more about traffic and parking plans. I live at Sunset Junction now. Problems are becoming more frequent as we have more visitors. Parking has gone from abundant to non existent. I live on the lower potion of Sanborn, when they changed upper Sanborn to permit parking only in order to help their parking concerns, they shifted the issue to my block.

    What issues are we shifting on others with this move?

    • Dear Really? Prepare for your worst parking nightmares to come true and believe nothing that the developers and smiling politicians say. My suggestion, get on the phone now to LA Dept of Transportation and get permit parking. You have my sincere sympathies.

  17. Parking nightmere at Divine Saviour Catholic Church at 610 Cypress Ave, 90065. The church members double park, park in the red, park in the loading zone, park in residents driveways and leave no where to park.

    And, it happens every Sunday and at every church event. No respect for the neighbors. These people might as well stay home. They are no going to heaven for their bad parking behaviour.

  18. I think Sunset Junction is in Councilmember Eric Garcetti’s area. He is running for mayor. Get on the phone to his office NOW. Call 311.

  19. It’s really very simple. There are two options for Los Angeles: we can continue down a misguided path where housing is expensive and parking is cheap because of of nimby anti-development attitudes that place a value on parking uber alles. Or we can embrace smart development that will provide denser, walkable, and more affordable neighborhoods, and deal with more expensive parking. Frankly, it’s a no-brainer. It’s insane that so many have been brain-washed over the past few decades of mismanaged growth into thinking that cheap parking is the highest good. Cheap housing is a thousand times better. Thank God the Nimbys are slowly dying off.

    • Couldn’t agree more. But if the city wants us to live a more urban lifestyle, than they really need to invest in making our streets and neighborhoods safer and more pleasant places to actually walk.

  20. I heard that those new developments are supposed to have 2 parking places per apartment, but somehow (Garcetti?) they only have one now in their plans. They should have 3 each! At the very least, the residents of the new buildings shouldn’t have to use up all the street parking that everybody else needs.

    • The problem with that is parking is very expensive to build in cities (up to $100,000 a spot). Mandating more of it will not only add more cars to the roads, but it will raise rents on new construction. If you notice, all the charming old mixed use buildings from before WW2 have no parking, or much less than what you are proposing. That’s no coincidence – mandate a lot of parking in a dense location and the buildings will be very cheaply built and much larger to maximize the property… or just obscenely expensive.

      What we need is more frequent bus service and more pedestrian friendly streets so people aren’t compelled to drive around the neighborhood as much as they do now, and those who live in central locations will be able to live car-lite or car-free like they do in other cities (i.e. couples sharing one car, or students/elderly/those who work downtown or telecommute/etc. living without one).

  21. I live in Sunset Junction and in favor of development. Although there may be a few elements in this area worth saving most are not. If you think that the ‘good’ parts of the neighborhood out way the ‘bad’ you obviously do not live in this part of Silver Lake. Come down here and walk around at night past Manzanita toward Fountain and tell me about the culture and heritage this project would be destroying. The only thing I would be sad about would be if Grosh had to move.

  22. I think this is great and what the area needs, more space for people to actually live here rather than come for a walk around then leave … their garbage. Lets get it going !

  23. In my opinion it would be more palatable if the density was reduced somewhat, but more importantly that they hire an architect with proven sensitivity to the local environment like Escher GuneWardena, Barbara Bestor, or Michael Maltzen, who are locals and who have done laudable projects in this area and elsewhere in the city. Silver Lake is undeniably an architecturally significant area, and if the developer and Garcetti were willing to embrace the idea of progressive architecture as part of our legacy, it seems to me that there would be a lot less blow-back, and even, possibly, enthusiasm.

    I live on Sanborn near Hoover, so very close to the proposed development.

    I strongly dislike the generic condo design of the Laguna condos, though I realize they are for low cost senior housing. If the development under consideration consists mostly of high-end condos, I fail to see why the expense of a community-vetted review of A-list architects could be objectionable. The structures that occupy the proposed space are a bit of a train wreck, although everyone did like the little stores at the end of Sta Monica blvd. I think the developer should be required to up the design factor and respond in a significant way to the history of Silver Lake.

    One more thing- a plan like this in historic parts of West Hollywood, or the West Village in NY would never go forward w/o huge community involvement, so I would suggest anyone who agrees that this is basically unstoppable get on board to at least force the issue of design so it doesn’t become Santa Clarita on the Junction.

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