Boutique hotel coming to Silver Lake sooner than expected

SILVER LAKE — It looks like Sunset Junction will be home to two hotels, with one expected to open by the end of  the year.

A real estate investment firm is renovating a motel that had been used for long-term stays into a hotel with 54-guest rooms and a new restaurant. “The property will be the first newly revitalized hotel to open in Silver Lake,” according to a statement by Timberlane Partners.

The hotel at 4141 Santa Monica Boulevard  will have a big head start over  a new, 4-story, 94-room hotel that is planned a block away as part of the Sunset Junction Gateway project.  Construction on the Sunset Junction Gateway hotel wouldn’t begin until next year at the earliest if  all necessary reviews and approvals are in place.

The Timberlane property was built in 1988 as a motel “without active guest amenities,” according to the firm. It had until been used for long-term rentals as studio apartments until the end of last year, when tenants on month-to-month leases had to move out of what was once called the Sunshine City Apartments, said one long-term resident who was paid to relocate.

Timberlane did not provide information about hotel rates or what firm would manage the property.

“In its new incarnation, [the 4141 Santa Monica property] has been reimagined by Electric Bowery, a Los Angeles-based design and architectural studio, with a focus on the neighborhood’s unique sense of community and distinct personality,” said Timberlane, which has renovated properties in the Silver Lake and Hollywood areas.

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  1. Cool, digging the Tunisian makeover. With this and the new Zumthor LACMA, is the city seeing a new design typology emerge? We could use more contextually appropriate buildings in the region if it means dumbing that disgusting, terribly out of context, stucco box stigma.

  2. Great plan, scream all over about a a crisis housing shortage at dire emergency scale, and that coupled with fast growing massive homelessness, and here the city — and Councilman Mitch O’Farrell in particular, as this is in his district and he is dictator here — allows 94 homes to be eliminated in favor of people who don’t even live here, a hotel. If the city officials don’t think the alleged housing shortage is dire enough to stop this, then they should stop screaming about the housing shortage.

    Yet another 94 units of rent controlled housing for lower income people lost — and then next year after the latest homeless count, city officials will once again put on their act of being surprised to find lots more people are homeless — because of the policies they have been making for the past about 15 years. The city has been clearing the way all around town for rent controlled housing to be eliminated in favor of anything a developer wants, and this is just the latest example. Tenants advocates have been raising hell about it, they have flooding city hall, to no avail, the city does even more of it, the elected officials are in favor of it, despite what they say – their actions speak louder than their words.

    • Could not agree more.

    • Perhaps 94 unit hotel in the neighborhood, means 94 bedrooms will no longer be used illegally for airbnb, which means increasing the available stock for lower income, single room sublets.

      If I’m a homeowner in Silver Lake with a spare room, I can get 12-15k per year renting on Airbnb with a simple 10×10 room. That’s a lot more than I could collect in rent with longer term tenants…

      People, understand that every neighborhood needs things like hotels, schools, parks, offices, restaurants etc. Otherwise, residents and visitors have to travel by car (or further) for every single need. ALL neighborhoods need to be comprehensive.


    • From my understanding, this building was constructed as a hotel (not an apartment building) and was only allowed to be used as longer-term hotel-style rentals via some kind of conditional use permit because the intention was always to turn it back into a hotel (I guess in 1988 there was no real demand for a hotel in the neighborhood?) Anyway, I understand the concern around moving out 94 homes/residents but they were only allowed to be used as apartments in the first place due to this special use permit. None of the tenants had leases or were protected by rent control.

      • No, there is no conditional use permit needed for a long-term residence, and residences were always allowed in that zoning. A permit is needed in order to use it as a hotel. The difference is the duration of the tenancy, someone can stay in a hotel no longer than 29 days in a row, a transient tenancy. These people were month-to-month, longterm tenants.

        The story seems to say the intent when built was to use it as a hotel but that it never was used as such. So it was 94 studio apartments all along. And now it is no apartments, and tall those tenants have been evicted — and will probably show up in a cardboard box on the sid4walk in front of you home.

      • I lived there and I definitely had a lease. It was a poorly managed building but I enjoyed calling it home until I was forced out via rent increases (I was never paid to move out). We didn’t have proper rent control due to the age of the building. No newer buildings have strict rent control.

    • All true.

      On the other hand, Silverlake does not have a great hotel, and many folks use AirBnB to find homes for friends and relatives when they visit the area.

      So if more of them are using this hotel in the future, and not occupying housing that could be for longer term tenants, that could have a benefit to the neighborhood.

      I think it is difficult / problematic to point to any particular project as being the solution or cause of greater trends in the city, sometimes an old hotel becomes a new hotel and we should be OK with that.

      Meanwhile, it sounds like the building is currently empty and not serving the neighborhood in either direction.

      • There are hotels nearby, several right over on Vermont Avenue. Regardless, they could build one, rather than evict 94 tenants! There’s a vacant lot right next to this place, something about to be built there! At Sunset and Bates there already is an empty, former hotel sitting there waiting to be renovated! You cannot intelligently argue that 94 people have to be evicted, possibly land on the streets because there is no possible other place to build a hotel, and that out of towners are far more important than basic housing for Los Angeles residents — that’s not only disingenuous, its unconscionably callus!

        • unless i’m reading this sentence wrong, haven’t the tenants already been moved out?

          “It had until been used for long-term rentals as studio apartments until the end of last year, when tenants on month-to-month leases had to move out”

          if that is indeed true we are talking about revitalizing a currently EMPTY building, which is an unalloyed good for the neighborhood.

          i strongly believe in developing new housing in LA, and in Silverlake and across the east side specifically. but attacking EVERY development as a zero sum game misses the forrest for the trees.

          • I lived there for two years before they moved us all out. I wasn’t paid to move, nor was anyone I talked to. Instead they just slowly doubled the rent so people would choose to move out. The sudden cost of living increase has been very difficult, especially since we were given no warning about the project. Just a simple memo would’ve helped.

            While I wasn’t evicted, I did find the process extremely unethical, and I wouldn’t be surprised if some people were evicted.

    • agree. peace.

  3. It’d be nice to have businesses on Sunset that actually served the people who live and work here…. On top of that, the city is still engaging in class war and making poor people homeless.

    • Literally, there are only 2 hotels along Sunset from its origin to Western in East Hollywood… the rest of the buildings along the blvd are absolutely for people (like myself) that live and work in the neighborhood!

      What more do you want? A soda parlor and a telegram office?

      • There are multiple hotels right over on Vermont.

        And it would be far more preferable to evict the people at the Olive Motel on Sunset in Silver Lake and renovate that instead.

        The people supporting this are all talking in a vacuum, as if this is a do or die situation for everyone living here, life will go downhill if we don’t evict 94 people from their homes in order to provide ever more hotel space in this city for them. And our Councilman did nothing to stop this, he is one of the supporters — check his contributors.

  4. Full circle time for this property! It was built as a hotel in the crazed runup to the ’84 Olympics, when developers thought they’d get rich and pay for their project in just a few weeks with the usurious room fees they could charge! Well, that didn’t exactly work out. The building was finally converted into minimal studio apartments. Whether it can be marketable in its new incarnation will be interesting to see.

    • yeah, kinda sad here. lived there for a couple of years after the northridge quake. have to agree all the changes there really aren’t my taste. may visit in another 20 yrs. peace.

  5. I have worked in Hotel Security/Customer service for decades. There is not a “nice” hotel in our area. Plus, I could use a job there and it will bring more business, investment and tourism to our area.
    I’m curious, there are actions that can be taken when a landlord makes illegal moves to “flip” a property. Does anyone know if this was the case at 4141? Was there a legal fight?
    I thought the previous building was ugly and hope this business will be an improvement. As always, the eyes of Silverlake are upon you!

  6. I”ll always remember it as Sunshine City…The Silver Lake eyeshore.

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