The plan to redevelop the rustic event center at the Sportsmen's Lodge in Studio City cleared another big hurdle yesterday, when four separate appeals to the project were rejected by a City Council committee. Opposition to the major reboot of the site came from a host of neighbors—most prominently, the company that owns the hotel next to the event center, says the LA Times. (Increased noise and parking concerns are among their reasons for not supporting the overhaul.) The project, by developer Richard Weintraub, is looking to start fresh on the site, installing a classy, new retail complex called Sportsmen's Landing that would include restaurants, retail, and an Equinox gym.
Weintraub and the owners of the Sportsmen's Lodge hotel (which Weintraub leases) are engaged in a legal battle that centers on the developer's plan to create the Landing. The hotel's owners (officially, the Ventura Boulevard Association LLC, an LLC that represents a New York family that's owned the hotel for over four decades) have a lawsuit against Weintraub regarding extensive improvements he made on the hotel that, they say, were made without the proper permits. They've also filed a lawsuit against the city over the Sportsmen's Landing project. A lawyer for the LLC showed up at a previous hearing for the project to express fears that inadequate parking at the proposed Landing would send overflow cars into the hotel's lot. (The project would have about 440 parking spaces for 98,000 square feet of retail space.)
Weintraub's project has really riled people up, from his own landlords to Studio City locals; since it's been moving through the approvals process, Sportsmen's Landing has "stirred up criticism of the sale of city property to the developer and triggered an unsuccessful push to oust a Studio City Neighborhood Council board member who supported the planned makeover," says the Times. Weintraub bought the land around the hotel in 2007, paying around $29 million. He has a long-term lease for the Sportsmen's Lodge that's supposed to last until 2062.
The full City Council considers the Sportsmen's Landing redevelopment today.
· Plan to demolish Sportsmen's Lodge clears hurdle [LAT]
· Huge, Fancy Sportsmen's Lodge Redevelopment Approved [Curbed LA]
· Sportsmen's Lodge in Studio City to Be Redeveloped Into a Fancy Shopping Center [Curbed LA]