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WeHo's Movietown Plaza Back in the Spotlight

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Despite the terrible economy, a flurry of planning can be found in West Hollywood, and specifically, along Santa Monica Boulevard. In addition to developer Monarch Group’s Carl's Jr-killer on Santa Monica, yesterday West Hollywood* published the draft Environmental Impact Review (EIR) for its Movietown Plaza project at 7300 – 7328 Santa Monica Boulevard. Not much has changed about the project, which would put up 294 condos, 76 affordable senior units, and 32,300 square feet of retail, including space for a grocery store. As part of this plan, the partly existing Movietown Plaza—which contains a Trader Joe’s--would be destroyed, but Darren Embry, government and community relations for Casden says the developer is in talks to bring Trader Joe's back to the space. In terms of the size of the project, which had caused unhappiness at one point for some West Hollywood residents, Casden is still hoping the project will rise taller than is currently allowed in this area: 5 stories along Santa Monica Boulevard and 9-10 stores in the middle of the development. Meanwhile, the architect is Van Tillberg, Banvard & Soderbergh, a firm which seems to have cornered the market on large-scale mixed-use in Los Angeles.

With the publication of the draft EIR, there’s now 45-day* comment period. There’s a Planning Commission meeting on September 3rd to discuss the project.

Meanwhile, Embry said that he hopes entitlements for the development, which he said will "revitalize this portion of east West Hollywood," will come through in late fall or early winter. He also brushed off any concerns about funding for the project, saying “It’s a go.”

· Official Site [Movietown Plaza]
· Draft EIR [Movietown] (PDF)
· Neighborhood Changer #2: Adios, West Hollywood Carl's Jr [Curbed LA]