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5-Story Mixed-Use Near Bev Center Still Too Tall for Neighbors

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The proposed mixed-use development on La Cienega just north of the Beverly Center is going another round with unhappy neighbors next week. When we last saw plans for the building at 320 N. La Cienega, it had seven stories, 47 apartments made up primarily of studios but with a handful of larger units, a digital billboard on top, and space for a restaurant and a floor of offices. Developer Beverly La Cienega LLC imagines the apartments would attract "young adults" (a new trend?) and could help revitalize this rather drab stretch of boulevard by replacing the four one-story commercial buildings and billboard that currently occupy the site, but there's been some resistance. So after more than a year of back and forth with the community council, neighbors, and Councilmember Paul Koretz, the developer's back with modifications. The new plans drop the building down to five stories and 43 units (losing all the two-bedroom units), with no billboard, no floor of office space, a smaller cafe instead of a restaurant, and no balconies on the building's east side, which overlooked the yards across the alley. Koretz is now on board, but many of the neighbors are not having it.

The main sticking point is the height of the building (though the neighbors aren't thrilled with the minimal setbacks from the street, either). The proposal seeks a rezoning to build 11 feet above the 45 feet allowed. The new proposed height would make the building as tall as the Luxe@375 project going up across the street, and was requested by Koretz. Joel Miller, a consultant to the developer, says the 45-foot building, with its nine fewer residential units, might not make economic sense and that "it's conceivable that the developer might choose to do nothing with the property and maintain the billboards as is." The billboards, for those keeping score at home, are 47 feet tall.

The plans are making the rounds of local and city committees this month, with the first stop at the Mid-City West Community Council's land use committee. "It is a very interesting project. It is a little bit controversial because there were some issues with the height. There have been some mitigations made, and we will review the new plans that are presented," the head of the MCWCC told the Park La Brea News.
·Mid-City West to review La Cienega project [Park La Brea News]
·7 Stories of Mixed-Use Proposed Just North of the Bev Center [Curbed LA]