West Hollywood is no longer on board with the plan to build a multi-use megaproject next to the Pacific Design Center, on a Metro-owned parcel at Santa Monica and San Vicente. This week, the West Hollywood City Council unanimously voted to ask Metro not to extend a contract they have with PDC owner Charles Cohen and his company, Cohen Brothers Realty Corporation of California, that allows Cohen to negotiate exclusively to put a mall bigger than the Grove on the site, says Wehoville. In 2013, Metro agreed to work solely with Cohen on developing the Design Village megaproject for their 10.4-acre lot, which they currently use as parking for buses; that contract expires this coming April. Meanwhile, WeHo is peeved that the massive development—335 residential units plus 67 apartments for seniors, a 250-room hotel, a movie theater, an outdoor amphitheater that seats nearly 700, plus restaurants, clubs, and bars—is being planned out without input from anyone, including them.
Cohen's initial plans for the parcel, drawn up by Gruen Associates, popped up pretty much out of nowhere and unpleasantly surprised WeHo earlier this month. "A project of this scope and magnitude needs to be led by the City and its partner agencies of Metro and the County of Los Angeles. The process under by which such a significant publicly owned site is envisioned should be inclusive and transparent, and led by the community rather than the private sector," WeHo Community Development Director Stephanie DeWolfe wrote at the time in a memo to the city council. Aside from wanting to have at least some say in a 1.35-million-square-foot project that could rise in their city, which could include a new sheriff's station and city hall, WeHo also hopes any future designs for the spot would incorporate some kind of public transit connection, which Cohen apparently isn't interested in.
· WeHo Council Recommends MTA Not Extend Negotiation Contract with Charles Cohen [Wehoville]
· Here's the Pacific Design Center Megaproject That West Hollywood Wants to Cancel Now [Curbed LA]