Since at least last fall, the Silverlake Conservatory of Music, led in part by its cofounder Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, has been trying to get its hands on 4000 Sunset, a piece of land owned by developer Frost/Chaddock that's slated to host one building of a three-building mixed-use project called Junction Gateway. The Conservatory had hoped to build a new standalone music school building on the parcel, which happens to sit directly at the center of one of Los Angeles's hippest neighborhoods, but we can now report that, as of this morning, it's not going to happen.
Discussions officially began in September 2014 by Frost/Chaddock's account, after the Conservatory made an offer to buy the property; the two groups were reportedly close to making a deal recently under which F/C would have sold 4000 Sunset to the Conservatory on the condition that the school support the other two buildings in the project. But instead the Conservatory's Board of Directors voted not to pursue the purchase, a rep from Frost/Chaddock tells Curbed.
Junction Gateway is set to have three buildings with a total of about 300 units and 16,000 square feet of retail spread throughout Sunset Junction, the hippest and most crowded area of so-hip-it's-boring-now Silver Lake. The Conservatory wanted the project to be scaled back, and hoped to accomplish that by building itself a new campus on the site at Sunset and Santa Monica Boulevards, right around the corner from its present location. It's just one of a few local groups and residents who think the project is too large and will create too much traffic.
For a while, Frost/Chaddock's position had been that the land (which they bought for $5.5 million and rather abruptly cleared in 2011) was not for sale, but they changed their minds and sat down for negotiations with the Conservatory in September. A statement just out from F/C notes that the Silverlake Conservatory of Music recently purchased a site on Hollywood Boulevard; F/C tells Curbed that an attorney for the school confirmed this in October, but that F/C continued with discussions anyway "in good faith." The statement adds that the Conservatory has now decided "it made more sense to remodel their new property on Hollywood Boulevard rather than take on a significant financial commitment to purchase, entitle, and construct a new school at 4000 Sunset."
At an August Silver Lake Neighborhood Council meeting, a rep from the Conservatory had hinted that if the school couldn't find a suitable spot to grow in Silver Lake, they "might become the Los Feliz Conservatory of Music," and a Hollywood Boulevard location could put them there.
Now that the Conservatory is no longer interested in buying the space, it's not clear what's next for Junction Gateway, or whether community opposition will remain strong. The release from F/C does says that the project's environmental review is still in the works; it was written to cover all three buildings in case the sale didn't go through, says rep Glenn Gritzner. Curbed has reached out to the Conservatory for confirmation of its board's vote and details on the non-sale, but has not yet received a response.
· Flea's Music School Trying to Stop Sunset Junction Mixed-Users [Curbed LA]
· Here's Flea at a Silver Lake Neighborhood Council Meeting [Curbed LA]
· Here's the New Look For Three Sunset Junction Gamechangers [Curbed LA]