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WeHo Sends Fickett-Adjacent Condos Back to Drawing Board

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Rendering via WeHo Patch; others via Save Hayworth on Facebook

Here is an important lesson out of West Hollywood for architects and developers: when the city council tells you to make specific changes to your project, you should probably make them if you want your project to be approved. For a while now, WeHoans have been concerned about a project at 1350 Hayworth Ave., which would demolish a two-story, 16 unit building from the 1940s to make way for a four-story condo building with 17 units. The issue is not so much the old building's demolition as it is the new building's potential effects on its neighbor--the Edward Fickett-designed Hollywood Riviera apartments, a city landmark. The council considered a design for the new building back in September, but "rejected the ultra-modern design," according to WeHo Patch, "saying it did not fit with the character of the street and was too large in comparison to the other buildings in the neighborhood" (which are mostly one- and two-story apartments built in the first half of the twentieth century).

Last night, the council considered revised plans, which reduce the size of the project and increase the setback. According to an email from a WeHo planner published on the Save Hayworth Facebook page, the new design maintains the "mid-century, modern-inspired" feel, but "places a prominent courtyard at the front of the building, where the previous design had the courtyard in mid-section?The first floor of the building is now a two-story facade and steps back to a three-story facade, and eventually steps back, on the fourth-floor rear portion of the building, into a four-story facade." As for the Hollywood Riviera: "the re-design has a significantly reduced the height at the shared property line, and it stepped back from the northerly property line. In the re-design, at the street front, the Hollywood Riviera is higher than the proposed building." The new project is also 2,200 square feet smaller than the previous version.

Both residents and councilmembers hated the new plans, according to Patch--Councilmember Abbe Land "criticized the design, pointing out that the council had given specific direction for changes that were not incorporated." The council voted unanimously to send the architect back to the drawing board and to include residents in future design meetings. (Meanwhile, maybe this project would have better luck if it didn't look like it was going to bring some kind of nuclear winter to WeHo?)
· Council Sends Hayworth Condo Back to the Drawing Board, Again [WeHo Patch]
· Save Hayworth [Facebook]