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Rowena Ave. Townhouses Seeking Parking-less Cafe

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Last night, the developer and architect for the proposed Rowena Ave. townhouse development (the Coffee Table-replacer) met with the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council's Urban Design & Preservation Advisory Committee to talk cafes and parking. Developer Fifteen Group had already announced that they'd be reducing the size of the development from its 64 units (fully entitled by a previous developer) down to 45 units with a much smaller footprint and 101 parking spaces. They've also taken out the subterranean parking and replaced it with attached garages, which complicates things for the potential retail space on the ground floor (the entitlements allow for, but don't require one).

The previous owners had promised to house the Coffee Table in their development and residents still say they want a cafe there, but that would require the developer to provide five extra parking spaces, which Fifteen says it can't do. They're asking the community to support a variance that would allow them to have a cafe without any added parking (is it no parking day or what?). That could actually dovetail nicely with an SLNC proposal to put that section of Rowena (roughly between Hyperion and Glendale) on a road diet, reducing traffic lanes and adding bike lanes, turn lanes, islands, and metered parking. That plan is still very much in its infancy.

Fifteen's Justin Barth was straightforward that, whatever the community decides, the developer would build either the new townhouse plan or the larger, entitled plan, saying "One of these two will happen. The debate is, can you guys get behind this project?" (Some attendees objected to the implied ultimatum.) He said they hope to start work in the spring.

A potential cafe would be about 1,000-1,200 square feet, possibly with a residential unit above it. Cuningham Group (which designed Hollywood's The Avenue), is doing the design work, but these aren't full-on renderings, just mockups.
· Townhouses at Old Coffee Table Site Will Play to Ivanhoe Crowd [Curbed LA]
· Silver Lake “road diet” would trim traffic lanes instead of carbs [Eastsider LA]