Nine 1920s-era bungalows are going down to make way for a new five-story apartment complex with 88 units on Wilton Place in Larchmont Village, and neighbors are upset not for preservation reasons (the bungalows had not been deemed "historic" and are not in a historic zone), but for perceived traffic concerns. Of course! For one thing, the two entrances to the parking garage are on smaller streets behind the future development, the president of the Larchmont Village Neighborhood Association tells the Larchmont Buzz. Additionally, he says, "This is a substantial development on an overstressed secondary street. There is little in the Larchmont Village area that is this large."
The project, currently called 525 N. Wilton Place, would take up the entire block from Clinton on the north to Maplewood on the south where those nine single-family houses once stood. (One of the nine houses sold to the developers was owned by recently elected Councilmember David Ryu, who took fire for being "too cozy" with developers Frost/Chaddock because of the sale.) The Planning Department application explains that the complex (designed by John G. Reed of Reed Architects) would have four "residential wings" that would appear separate, and a colored stucco exterior.
Traffic aside, the neighborhood council president is also irked that Frost/Chaddock didn't reach out to the community until the project was ready to be submitted for approvals. "They also know from experience that they should be in touch with the local community," he says, in a nod to the intense, protracted battle over three mixed-users that F/C is building around Sunset Junction in Silver Lake.
But a rep for F/C says otherwise. "As soon as we had the nine lots sewn up we talked to Renee Weitzer in the [Council District] 4 office. She told us it's all about the architecture, landscaping and parking. We feel we've put our best foot forward here in addressing all those issues," he notes, pointing out that there is more than required parking and lots of green space. The neighborhood council rep admits F/C has scaled back a bit, but calls the finished product, "not exceptional, and certainly not contextual to the neighborhood."