Among all the clamor for Airbnbs in Venice, developer Dan Abrams is still trying to bring a hotel to super-fancy shopping boulevard Abbot Kinney. But he's changed things up a little: the Venice Place Project still includes what'll be called the AK Hotel, but is now a whole mixed-use shopping complex interwoven with public space. Angry neighbors called the project's last iteration "monolithic" and said it was too large for the 'hood, so new renderings reflect an attempt to make the complex (which will take up more or less the whole block, save two small buildings) feel less like a hulking mass, says Lincoln and Rose.
The Venice Place Project would have three buildings centered around a 4,000-square-foot central courtyard; the hotel would be spread across the project (with 84 guest rooms on the second and third floors), and the ground-floor would hold restaurants and shops, including a fancy spa, as well as the hotel lobby.
Meanwhile, the design has been made less imposing mostly on two fronts—there's now a tree-lined sidewalk space at the rear of the project, along Electric Avenue, and public paths through the project at every corner that lead into the courtyard. The three-building complex would have underground parking for 166 cars and 72 bikes.
First proposed in 2013, the hotel project made enemies quickly. Venice has a solid record of defeating hotels on Abbot Kinney, successfully mobilizing against the planned Ray Hotel in the aughts. Complaints against Abrams's plan have centered on parking and the traffic that would be generated by the new hotel, and it's hard to imagine that this latest reworking will be any more likable than the last on that front. Still, all that protest came before the huge Airbnb rush in Venice—a recent report found that 12.5 percent of all rental units in the neighborhood are now being used as hotel rooms. Besides distorting the rental market, Airbnbs focus extra noise and cars in residential neighborhoods, whereas this project would put hotel rooms in a commercial area.
The new designs were recently turned into city officials, but no new approvals have been handed out yet.
· The AK Hotel Moves Forward With New Proposed Designs [Lincoln&Rose]
· Fancy Hotel With Day Spa Proposed For Abbot Kinney in Venice [Curbed LA]
· Abbot Kinney Hotel Scales Back But Still Can't Please Neighbors [Curbed LA]
· The Nine Neighborhoods That Make All the Airbnb Money in LA [Curbed LA]