No Deal Yet: Flea’s music school and developer still negotiating over Silver Lake property

Renderings of the apartment building (left) and music conservatory proposed for the same Sunset Junction lot.

SILVER LAKE — When the Silver Lake Conservatory of Music announced that it wanted to buy a developer’s property for a new school, things did not look too promising.  School cofounder Michael Peter Balzary – aka Flea – of the Red Hot Chili Peppers denounced the developer’s plans to build a five-story apartment building on the site as “the beginning of the downfall of the neighborhood.”  Developer Frost/Chaddock said the Sunset Junction property was not for sale. The two sides, however, eventually did  begin talking but a final deal  has not been reached.

The talks have continued as the developer has presented an updated overview of an environmental impact report that still includes the five-story apartment building planned for the property that the conservatory wants to buy.  The  apartment building at the southwest corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Sanborn Avenue.  and two others nearby would add more than 300 apartments to the area under Frost/Chaddock’s proposed Junction Gateway.

A spokesman for the developer said the proposed five-story building – the 4000 Sunset site – remained in the updated environmental report as a “back up” in case negotiations with the school fall through:

Our discussions with the Conservatory Board about selling them the 4000 Sunset site are ongoing, and nothing is finalized.  However, the EIR for our project would include all 3 sites regardless, in case anything were to fall through before the sale was complete.  In essence, it would be a back up plan so that we can keep our options open if something were to change.”

The school, which is currently housed in a Sunset Boulevard storefront a short walk from the Frost/Chaddock land, said it remains committed to purchasing the property.  “The Conservatory is working hard to find a solution that will allow the school to fulfill its institutional mission, and discussions with Frost/Chaddock are continuing on the 4000 Sunset parcel,” said spokesman said Ari Bessendorf.

The public has until Dec. 14 to submit their comments on the updated environmental impact report.

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  1. Hey, density lovers. Take a look at both renderings and tell me which toothpaste are you buying?

  2. I think it is a win-win for both the developer and the Conservatory to have the deal go through. The Conservatory gets a great space, and the developer will get support from the neighborhood for the other two developments.

  3. Has anyone ever asked what Frost/Chaddock has actually built? I can only think of projects they’ve gotten then entitlements for – Mixville Lofts, the old Bert Co site – that immediately went up for sale as soon as they got approved. The sites then sat around for many years attracting problems, tagging, homeless, dumping, before another developer finally bought the site, seeing major flaws in the approved plans & filed change orders to completely redesign what had been approved years earlier. Look into the case files. Ask questions.

    • Didn’t they build those apartments on Fairfax where Lindy & Grundy used to be?

      Either way, I just hope the Silver Lake Conservancy receives the same scrutiny as these guys received… that illustration is nice, but I wouldn’t be surprised if their desire to build a ton of parking will just mean a giant wall of concrete facing the sidewalk (and any open space and activity insulated within the complex.)

      • Corner Soul everyone is so gung ho against FC that Kantner and Flea are about to deliver the REAL neighborhood killer…a sea of surface parking. Think the Walgreens on Sunset in Echo Park. The man already built a blank wall on one of the most walked sections of street in Los Angeles. NIMBYs fail again.

  4. Didn’t the school have another site already selected in 2013? And what about the detailed parking and plans for the school?

    WHY THIS SITE? This is the toughest of the Frost Chaddock sites. There are better locations for the school in Silver Lake with all the traffic it generates – such as 99 cent store. Or the Phil’s Moving site for a nice campus?

    Does the school actually fit on this site? The renderings looked hokey and not thought out.

    Seems like this is some power trip by Gareth Kantner to use the school for his own purposes.

  5. how does blocking the building of new housing in Sunset Junction in any way make housing available to people who want to live here? NIMBY’s are helping to keep LAs housing costs unaffordable for most people. I live here, on Hyperion Ave. having more people around who actually live here is a good thing.

  6. The scary thing is is that this plan for a surface parking lot might very well win the support of the community merely because it has a celebrity face backing it. That wouldn’t be the case if a surface parking lot was being proposed by a run of the mill developer or even if Gareth Kantner hadn’t managed to get celebrity endorsement and was instead promoting this himself. As people have pointed out above judging by his solid wall Kantner doesn’t exactly have the best track record when it comes to understanding what makes for a healthy public space.

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