Will Westwood's Flat-Iron-style Wilshire at Gayley tower in ever start work? Maybe! Developer Kambiz Hekmat is supposedly preparing to move forward on the project, designed by starchitect Robert AM Stern, and has officially decided it'll be condos rather than a hotel, according to the LA Business Journal. (It's been up in the air since the project was first proposed years ago whether the 29-story project would have 250 hotel rooms or 144 condos.) Hekmat has just hired Dan Rosenfeld, a former deputy in County Supe Mark Ridley-Thomas's office, to guide the WatG through the still-thorny road to construction. The Hollywood Video on the triangular site was cleared way back in 2011 and there are still no cranes in site.
Though the Gayley got its first of approvals from the city in 2012, the West LA planning commission has been doing some take-backsies lately on nearby projects that had previously been approved: For example, a nearly-finished mixed-user that had been given the go-ahead for groundfloor retail or restaurants has had to halt leasing on those spaces because of a successful appeal from local business owners. Whether or not NIMBYs will allow the neighborhood's tallest structure to be built without a fight remains to be seen, but Hekmat's no stranger to opposition: another of his Westwoood projects, the City West tower, was the subject of "vehement community opposition" and a lawsuit. (That project was eventually built and is still owned by Hekmat.)
The Wilshire/Gayley project would be right on top of a proposed Metro station and would be right next to a station entrance.
Meanwhile, Hekmat is selling his brick Murdock Plaza tower at Wilshire and Westwood to Tishman Speyer Properties, which will likely mean a reno for the fading tower that once housed offices of ex-Mayor Richard Riordan and philanthropist Eli Broad. Today it's only 55 percent leased.
· Developer to Shed Property as He Scales Tower [LABJ]
· Can Robert AM Stern's Wilshire Gayley Hotel Be LA's Flatiron? [Curbed LA]
· Westwood Hollywood Video Gets Boot, Stern Tower Coming Soon? [Curbed LA]