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Is West Hollywood’s French Market on the cusp of a big redesign?

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The developer is putting the approvals process on hold for an undetermined amount of time to redesign the project

Renderings courtesy of Faring

Plans to incorporate West Hollywood’s French Market into a new complex with offices and retail space could be changing shape.

On Friday, the city circulated a public notice saying a hearing for the plans have been postponed “to a date uncertain.”

The notice stems from a September 19 meeting, when city planning staff told the West Hollywood planning commission that the developer, Faring, had requested the deferral to redesign the project at Santa Monica Boulevard and Laurel.

It is unclear from city records what elements of the project will be redesigned, but several commissioners had previously expressed concern about the height of the project and the traffic it would produce.

Faring has not responded to requests for comment.

Faring’s vision for the French Market—once a haven and meeting place for LGBTQ activists—is to incorporate it into a four-story project with offices, retail, and a restaurant. As part of the project, Faring was seeking city approval to build 15 feet taller than the site’s zoning would normally allow.

The proposed development’s environmental impact report did include one alternative that would build the project according to the existing code, but that version did not include preserving the French Market—a structure the West Hollywood Preservation Alliance described as a “piece of history.”

When the project went before the city’s historic preservation commission last October, commissioners cast doubt on whether Faring’s plan to build a three-story parking garage underneath the French Market was technically or financially possible. But when it returned to the preservation commission in August for a vote, the commission approved it in a 4-2 vote.

After the October 2018 meeting with the historic preservation commission, Jake Stevens, Faring’s community engagement director, told Curbed that the company looked forward to working with the city to address the commission’s questions and to “make this outstanding project even better.”