(Image of Ashes and Snow via Flickr user bobinoceanpark)
You ask, we answer, with the aid (and sometimes scorn) of your neighbors. In regards to Tuesday's questions:
1) North Hollywood: A reader writes in, "NoHo across from the Subway station: Yes, that is a giant apartment building that will have a Sav-On retail store on the bottom level. The renderings I saw at a Neighborhood Council meeting several years ago were hideous. Straight out of the Warner Center/Woodland Hills early 1990's. But any new construction is an improvement, right? See more from the CRA's vision of North Hollywood at the link... http://www.nohoartsdistrict.com/cra/commons_lankershim.html
Also in the area is the NoHo Commons mixed use retail/living development and other loft conversions going in, some of which look way more attractive and will hopefully attract more artists (or media & entertainment professionals?) to the NoHo Arts District.
2) North Hollywood: A tipster offers the following, "Here is what is going on at the corner of Lankershim and Valleyheart- the property was purchased by Universal City Apartments LLC (aka Trammell Crow) in 2003 for $6.8 million. The project is a 145 unit apartment complex with 256 parking spaces. It will likely include some retail along the street."
3) Santa Monica: Multiple readers sent in the same link in regards to the structure on Santa Monica Pier. "I can't believe the Santa Monica person needs the pier question answered. There are posters hanging all over the "Nomadic Museum," as well as bus and print ads everywhere." Lovely reports were filed on both Gridskipper and LAist. And then there's the website, http://www.ashesandsnow.org.
4) Santa Monica: Our beach babe contributor has answers for both parts of this two parter. In regards to the sketchy McDonalds, she says, "The old McDonalds in now razed and has been replaced with a hole as of today. At least I noticed it today. Eventually, a new McDonalds will be there! Woo hoo. Two stories, one of which is underground (don't ask me). But the new McDonalds will include some retail and a whole new design. More sexy for the folks in SM, I guess. But still no drive-through (too many traffic impacts). The plans have changed daily, but I think it's finally going to stick, especially since they are now building. Also, there's something about a glass walkway connecting to the alley, but again, no clue what the hell that's all about."
Part dos, in regards to the former Rand site: The Rand site is part of the specific plan centered on civic stuff - City Hall is there, along with the coolest police station and a future civic center (a civic center within a civic center - think about that one). Supposedly, City Hall will open up to the beach as seen here in Fig 2-4 (PDF). The entire specific plan is available here: http://santa-monica.org/planning/CivicFEIR.html And for your reader, the FEIR was passed in October 2004, but not sure how they have progressed. I'll keep asking around."
5) Hollywood: Lucky for you, reader, we subscribe to Councilman LaBonge's Weekly Newsletter and actually bother to read it. Here's what the Councilman had to say about the Hollywood Reservoir:
12/16/05: Councilmember LaBonge [took] residents of Hollywood Knolls for an up close look at one of the major landslides that [resulted] from last year's rainstorms, this one where the ground gave way beneath Lakeside Drive on the west side of the Lake Hollywood Reservoir complex. Only the upper reservoir has since been reopened to the public. FEMA will help fund repairs to this slope with the work slated to begin next year.
01/13/06: Repairs to the roadway and hillsides around Lake Hollywood, damaged from last year's rainstorms, will soon be underway now that we have secured public funds. The 3.3-miles perimeter is favored by runners and walkers as most of it is forested and off-limits to vehicular traffic. The Mulholland Dam, which affords an unparalleled view of the L.A. basin, remains accessible.
6) Hollywood: Hmmm... no answers from the reader community. We're going to bet that if a Trader Joes is coming to Hollywood it will be a part of a CRA project, so we'll look into our stack of hearing notices and environmental reports to see if we find anything.
7) Echo Park: A reader with the scoop on the "den of something evil hotel" offers this, "re: the Echo Park post, yes Dana Hollister owns the "Bates Motel" on Sunset. As of now plans are for a renovation/rehab. Clean up the hotel and maybe add a restaurant. She also owns the Paramour. Right now Auntie Em's is running some production out of Little Pedro's, but I think its getting rehabbed into a club." ... "The hotel is slated to be kind of boutique-y-- thats not quite the right word, but I
think you know what I mean. Hip or something."
8) Hollywood: No takers for the question about the new rock-climbing gym on Hollywood Blvd. We'll keep looking.
[Questions for next week? We'll post them Tuesday and see what we can find. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org]