The plan to raze the charming, old-timey Sportsmen's Lodge event center in Studio City and build the $60-million, upscale Sportsmen's Landing shopping center (restaurants, retail, and Equinox gym) was approved by the South Valley Area Planning Commission, says the San Fernando Valley Business Journal. The decision has many locals miffed (there were nine appeals), and is also opposed by the holding company that owns and has owned the adjacent Sportsmen's Lodge Hotel for decades (Weintraub just leases it). Now that the Landing's approved, the holding company's said they're going to try to stop it from getting built.
The lawyer for the Ventura Boulevard Association showed up at the hearing where the project was approved. He spoke against the project, which he said failed to provide adequate parking for all the people who would flood the site. The concern was that once the Landing's 440 parking spots filled up, overflow would eat up parking at the hotel.
Weintraub bought the four acres that encircle the Sportsmen's Lodge Hotel in 2007. (Previous reports said he paid $51 million; the SFVBJ says it was more like $29 million.) Weintraub doesn't own the hotel, but he does have a very long-term lease on it; he got the lease in 2008 and it's not supposed to run out until 2062. However, that might be cut short.
The Ventura Boulevard Association LLC (which represents the New York family which has owned the hotel since the 1960s) is currently suing Weintraub because they claim he didn't have the correct permits or approvals to do that recent $8-million makeover on the newly retro-cool Sportsmen's Lodge Hotel. They're suing to end Weintraub's lease on the hotel.
It's not clear how their opposition will affect the project, if at all, but that might change after the lawsuit is settle. Weintraub is hoping to get started on Sportsmen's Landing by the end of 2015.
· Sportsman's Lodge Project Wins Approval [SFVBJ]
· Sportsmen's Lodge in Studio City to Be Redeveloped Into a Fancy Shopping Center [Curbed LA]
· A Sneak Peek at the Sportsmen's Lodge Hotel's Big Makeover [Curbed LA]