No Deal: Flea’s music school drops bid to buy Sunset Junction property

The conservatory proposed building a new school (pictured at right) on the site of a proposed apartment building (left).

SILVER LAKE —  The Silverlake Conservatory of Music has ended its effort to buy a Sunset Junction parcel for a new school after waging a public campaign to get the land owner to sell and give up plans to build a large apartment building on the property.  Now there is a possibility that the conservatory, co-founded by Michael Peter Balzary – aka Flea – of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, might be leaving Silver Lake altogether after purchasing a different property on Hollywood Boulevard.

The conservatory on Thursday told land owner Frost/Chaddock that it had decided against buying the property after three months of negotiations, the developer said in a statement issued today.  The statement in part said:

The Conservatory informed us that they have decided not to purchase the property, and we understand that they instead intend to move forward with the site they have already purchased on Hollywood Boulevard.  Throughout the process both sides proceeded in good faith and were fair, honest and respectful with each other as they endeavored to resolve various deal points.  We understand that the Conservatory’s board ultimately decided that, on balance, it made more sense to remodel their new property on Hollywood Boulevard rather than take on a significant financial commitment to purchase, entitle, and construct a new school at 4000 Sunset.

Frost/Chaddock said it proposed selling the parcel at a price that would have resulted in a financial loss.  The firm initially resisted the unsolicited offer for the property where it planned to build one of three large apartment buildings in the area.

But the company officials eventually began negotiating a sale after the school and its supporters put public pressure on the firm to abandon its planned five-story apartment building and sell the site.  During a public meeting, Flea denounced the developer’s project as the “beginning of the downfall of the neighborhood.”

The Eastsider is seeking comment from the school, which currently operates out of a Sunset Boulevard storefront in Sunset Junction, about its plans.  Curbed L.A. noted that a conservatory representative  said that the school “might become the Los Feliz Conservatory of Music” if it could not find a place to expand in Silver Lake.

While Frost/Chaddock negotiated with the conservatory last year, it continued to pursue plans to build the three apartment buildings.  In December, the firm presented an updated overview of an environmental impact report for the project.

Related Link:

  • Flea’s Music School Drops Quest For New Home at LA’s Hippest Intersection. Curbed LA


  1. Flea, and his music , was the “beginning of the downfall of the neighborhood.”

    • You want a 5 story 200 Unit Apartment on that site rather than a Music School ?!?!!!????


      • i think many business owners would disagree with you. Also in disagreement, those who would like affordable housing in an area where most are being priced out.


        • Busta, what makes you think these units will be affordable? Other than maybe a small percentage that are mandated as such?

          • i’d be glad to tell you why this is important. it does not matter one bit whether there is affordable housing in this project or not. What this does is alleviate competition on an undersupply of housing in our area. now those who can afford these apartments are not competing with folks who are looking for more affordable rents/homes to buy.

          • @eastsidearts — Right on the MONEY
            Its actually been proven, there’s no oversight on these “affordable” units. Developers are building 20+ feet taller than allowed by zoning because they promise to create a small handful of low-income units.
            Part one is happening — they are building way bigger
            Part two is not happening — verifying the low-income units really exist

            John Schwada (formerly with Fox 11 and LA Times) published a scathing piece on Citywatch that documents how many of these units are never rented out to qualifying tenants. http://www.citywatchla.com/lead-stories-hidden/8168-density-bonus-law-city-hall-s-hidden-nightmare

            The City is using a “consultant” to randomly spot check. However, no data was available on how many spot checks had been done or what became of violations.

  2. very sad. I had a lot of hope this would go through.

  3. Wow! It’s over!

  4. Flea was close to right. Actually, the downfall of Silver Lake was already underway because of all the overdevelopment brought in (Eric Garcetti saw to that and continues to force that all over) and all the skyrocketing prices. Silver Lake became popular because it was casual, low key, bohemian. It no longer is. Now it is just about tearing all that down and catering only to affluent or outright wealthy people. Trendy and hip is NOT bohemian.

    Silver Lake once was a place with every economic level of people, with every race, with every lifestyle. Now it is not. Now it is just about money and marketing itself, marketing to convince you you are cool. To hell with what once was the most diverse and inspiring community you would find anywhere; it now is all about the rise of money, money, money – it all about money, to hell with people.

    People have been getting run out by this money – and now Flea is gone too. Silver Lake is now the prime example cited around Los Angeles of what NOT to do. Silver Lake is now becoming a prime place to despise because of this money focus.

    • lol. someone please bookmark Tom’s post for the next reading of The Eastsider blog comments, it’s got to be the funniest piece i’ve read here.

    • “Silver lake used to be a home for people of all kinds!” – “Silver lake has all these new people moving in and it sucks!” hahaha

    • Tom, Excellent post!

      I encourage the rest of us remaining “bohemians” to hold Farrell and other city reps accountable for their betrayal of the qualities that once made our communities diverse, affordable, laid back, and INclusive in the first place.

  5. “I love flea’s music school because it sounds so bohemian and hate garcetti’s overdevlopment business minded agendAAA!” http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/300_portrait/2013/10/flea_eric_garcetti_silver_lake_benefit_2013_p.jpg oops

  6. Silverlake has officially jumped the shark.

  7. “i’m so torn up about an apartment complex that will provide homes to people, what an abhorrence!” — “I’m totally cool with circus of books and rough trade (gotta get dildos somewhere!) and that gay hating burrito chain joint!”

  8. i wish the conservancy moved to boyle heights or atwater, what about near 356 mission in boyle heights
    then kids who maybe could not afford could get lessons from great teachers
    hollywood is just too expensive and nothing but rich kids will be in the new conservancy

    • heactor:

      “One of the primary missions of the Silverlake Conservatory of Music is to provide scholarships to children whose families would otherwise be unable to afford lessons. Through a variety of sources including – personal contributions, corporate contributions, musical intrument donation, and in-house fundraising activities – the Conservatory has maintained a strong roster of talented and committed future musicians. We strive to address the decrease in arts education in schools while providing cultural enrichment to our community at large”


      • that was my point exactly. and thats what is so great about the conservancy

        but my thought is by moving west it is moving away from these low income kids who otherwise would never have music lessons

        we all know the kids who need it most are east of the river or south of the 10, and its going to be hard to ge parents to drive to hollywood.

        either way i will always be a supporter of silverlake music conservancy, it is a true treasure of los angeles

    • I’m unclear how the new location puts this property near “rich kids.” You been to the neighborhoods around Barnsdall Park lately? East Hollywood? The flats of Los Feliz? Arguably the location at Sunset Junction had wealthier residents in the immediate vicinity than it’s new location. Regardless, it’s hard to argue that this move has really shifted the target demographics, since that shouldn’t be guided simply by physical location.

  9. Silver Lake Resident

    Very pleased with this. I hope Frost/Chaddock moves swiftly to build their units and bring some much-needed walkability/street-life to the ‘nabe.

    While I applaud the SLNC’s emphasis on keeping out chain-stores, you can’t stop housing development. People need to live somewhere, and Sunset Blvd. is the place to build condo units. Street-life will thrive and local businesses will as well with the influx or more people with money/means.

  10. Jennifer D if you would have read the EIR these are not the vague “affordable” units meme. These are low income units meaning not exceeding 80% of the area MEDIAN income level. There can be some quibbling about which “area” they are using to determine the income level, but let’s just hope that it is the City Of LA and not the immediate area. Find out what very low and low income housing really means.

    • @Fallopia Doesn’t seem like you read the Citywatch article. Doesn’t matter how you crunch the math on what “affordable” means, there’s no one physically going to the sites to be sure they are rented to qualifying tenants.

      The Density Bonus “low-income” and “very low-income” units should be on the registries (wait lists) for qualified applicants. The article demonstrates that projects in upscale and gentrifying areas are not on the registries. Maybe you have a good theory for why this is happening?

      • It seems that you’re talking about enforcement which is something entirely different. My point is “affordable” is not the same as specified “low income” and “very low income” classifications. To be considered drunk you need to be at or exceed .08% blood alcohol level but I was just out on the streets this past Saturday night and it was obvious that many people driving had exceeded that level. Why aren’t they being given DUI’s?
        I’m with you on the follow up verification that these units are housing those that they were intended for but that is a different argument altogether.

  11. Silver Lake could use the additional housing. Even if it’s pricey, it will increase supply and take some pressure off the older, cheaper housing stock nearby… it’s all cumulative.

    I do wish they would rethink the design though, Flea’s proposal looked more contextual as far as the building materials are concerned.

  12. Here’s the major issue. They think it’s making the neighborhood better, but in fact the junction area has gotten worse over the past few years. A former resident of Sanborn, my former home was sold and now is used primarily as an Air BnB, not to mention a lot of the homes on my former block are also being converted to accommodate AirBnB rather than permanent residences. Transients by themselves don’t generate crime, but tourists attract it. I can’t tell you how I avoid the junction at this point like the plague. littered with tourist picture taking in the middle of the street when I’m trying to make a right turn to avoid sunset, and utter jackassery that rivals you and your boys last trip to vegas when you paid 1000 for bottle service. Seriously its brutal, I’m excited to move in 2017.

    • Carsmakepeoplestupid

      Get out of your car. Ride a bike. Walk. Use a jazzy. You’re miserable because your ass is welded to the driver’s seat. How can you enjoy the ultimate outdoor city in a car?

Post a Comment

Please keep your comments civil and on topic and refrain from personal attacks. The moderator reserves the right to edit or delete any comments. The Eastsider's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy apply to comments submitted by readers. Required fields are marked *