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Movietown Plaza Redevelopment Makes a Comeback

A new developer has stepped in to revive the stalled project.

Developer Avalon Bay Communities has taken over the dormant Movietown Plaza expansion project, Curbed L.A. reported.

The number of units will stay the same, but the units will be smaller and the project will be going from mostly condos to all rentals. Commercial space will be downsized from 32,300 square feet to 26,000 square feet and there'll still be 77 units of affordable senior housing.

Casden Properties, the developer that originated the project and received West Hollywood City Council approval in 2010, planned to build two 10-story towers. Avalon has downsized the project to two seven-story towers.

Just prior to groundbreaking last year Casden became embroiled in a partnership dispute, and most of its projects were made availble for sale to other developers.

The strip mall that currently occupies the Movietown site on Santa Monica Boulevard between Fuller Avenue and Poinsettia Place is mostly vacant except for Trader Joe's and a couple of other businesses.

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Matt Baume November 27, 2012 at 07:40 PM
Nice to see this finally moving forward, but when are we going to get bike lanes on that part of SMB? You could cut out a bunch of car trips and reduce congestion by making it safe & comfortable to ride a bike, but right now it's pretty scary over there.
George November 27, 2012 at 07:53 PM
Oh no! Here we go again with the big development of a small dence area. NO more BIG development on this small, cramped area with a narrow street. Hopefully the folks will protest like they have done so well after the Plumber park fiasco. We need need new decision maker over at the West Hollywood city hall. Come early next year will any luck some new ones will be able to hault all the BIG development?
Weho Over Developed November 27, 2012 at 09:42 PM
no.
lapate November 28, 2012 at 12:50 AM
Finally!! Let's get this thing going already!! I can't even believe it won't break ground until 2014..Let's start this YESTERDAY!!
Rudolf Martin November 28, 2012 at 05:05 PM
considering the city's lack of a vision or comprehensive plan for the future of traffic this kind of project will only contribute further to increasing gridlock in this bottleneck section of SMB. yes, bike lanes, bus lanes, anything! there IS no plan to accommodate the additional 600 car trips. that is irresponsible. we need some leadership from the city on how to address this issue. anyone?
David November 28, 2012 at 05:08 PM
I just called Casden Properties in Beverly Hills and the person I talked with said that they're no longer involved with this project. What gives?
Rudolf Martin November 28, 2012 at 05:09 PM
btw, for the lack of having an actual reporter covering city hall (james mills was not hired) the patch is now reporting on what others report? interesting strategy...
Insider November 28, 2012 at 05:14 PM
Given the horrible traffic already on SMB, I do my best to avoid the stretch between La Brea and Fairfax. When you factor in the additional traffic the new developments at the old Carl's Jr. location, plus the old Jon's Market location, it's going to be a nightmare around there.
Lynn Russell November 28, 2012 at 07:03 PM
But Rudolph, isn't it easier to have someone else do your thinking for you? Second, third and forth hand information is what many folks choose to rely on. It allows for useless fisticuffs of words and one never has to become invested in a solution. All they need to do is show up and complain about the outcome.
RTL November 28, 2012 at 09:39 PM
A building of this size in that area is just insane. Has anyone noticed the parking nightmare and gridlock next to a similar monster building around La Brea and Hollywood Blvd.? A smaller scale version of this would be okay set back away from street some w/ green space. But this many units is just plain dumb close to the Carl's Jr. project. More buses, traffic, sirens, etc. If anyone wants Weho to turn into NYC I suggest trying to sleep in Midtown NYC. It's almost impossible. This area is getting louder and more congested. Leave that for Hollywood. Weho has always been a haven and is slowly becoming a loud mess. Also, does anyone know if the Trader Joes will stay in that area? I've read somewhere that they will move to the front of the new building when construction is complete. I'm all for progress and new development. But I think 3 or 4 stories is more than enough (7 is still too much for this area both in scale to surrounding buildings and the traffic impact).
Ali November 29, 2012 at 01:05 AM
Try reading the story... Avalon Bay Communities is now the Developer of the project.
Ali November 29, 2012 at 01:11 AM
I agree with RTL. This area is getting louder and louder and SM Blvd is already in a state of constant gridlock. This project will just add to the gridlock. The noise will increase also. We have to do something about the helicopters..both LASD and LAPD. Because we are on the border, we get the noise from both departments. Also, crime is on the rise. After living in eastern WeHo for 34 years, I wish I could get out. Finances and health problems prevent that.
Chris Bray December 02, 2012 at 07:51 PM
Good thing all the other tenants were forced out long before the project will be able to go forward -- we would have been stuck with their services and their tax revenue. Much better to spend years looking at empty storefronts.
me December 02, 2012 at 09:36 PM
don't forget the major development "the lot" (old warner bros studio at santa monica/formosa) is planning.....an office tower, restaurant facing SMB and more....the city council doesn't give a crap about the east side, nor the city center!!!!.....that's why i believe, sadly, that we need to have council members from each part of the city.....it's crazy that this is necessary, but they only care about the west end and their goal of keeping up with beverly hills
90069 December 03, 2012 at 05:21 PM
It is a shame that the developers has reduced the size from 10 stories to 7 stories. I cannot join in the knee-jerk NIMBYism that most commentators are caught up in. WeHo needs housing supply! The price of a new apartments here are sky high because the lack of density and development available. I wish we had a pink line subway but we cannot woo mass transit here unless it is feasible and we have the density and demand to accomodate. This is not Culver City, this is not La Puente, West Hollywood is in the urban core of Los Angeles (according to a recent USC study on the matter)!
me December 03, 2012 at 06:14 PM
maybe we need a weho football stadium and a convention center too then!!!!!.....who gets to define too much???
Rudolf Martin December 03, 2012 at 06:23 PM
90069, pointing out the lack of a comprehensive traffic plan is hardly NIMBYism. nobody likes gridlock and there is NO plan. and by what measure are prices of new apartments in weho 'sky high'?? and where are they the highest? and do you suggest lowering prices on the east side by adding apartment towers and gridlock and making areas less desirable to live in? i guess that could work. so by your logic we should add housing projects to the zip codes where prices are highest to bring them down? then how about 90069? i do agree on your subway point though: by creating complete gridlock we will make a subway line more "feasible". too bad it will then take another 30+ years to approve and build.
Ali December 03, 2012 at 08:24 PM
If you had read the article, the number of units remains the same. So, it doesn't matter how tall the buildings are. And I agree with Rudolph, this isn't NIMBYism, traffic on this side of town is a disaster and there is no plan to mitigate it. WeHo doesn't need housing supply. There is plenty for those that can afford $2000 for a 1 bedroom apartment. What we need is more affordable housing for the lower income, and elderly residents of WeHo. The original residents of the east side, more and more, are being forced out of WeHo because they can no longer afford to live here. Buildings are being torn down so condos can go up. More and more. The whole character of the east side is being lost to massive projects. The City tried to destroy our park by putting underground parking in the middle of the park. 90069, I don't know why you think the price of new apartments are sky high because of lack of density. They are sky high because they are building luxury apartments. They are trying to price out the common person. It has nothing to do with density. PS I bet you never come to the east side.
RTL December 03, 2012 at 08:30 PM
There isn't a "pink line" because SMB sits on an earthquake fault. Of course one could say all of CA does, but according to the environmental/safety reports there are more risks of building a subway on SMB via Weho. Do you really want Weho to turn into Westwood highrise central? Or, very loud and congested Hollywood or Midtown NYC? I sure don't want it. And I think many owners of property here that have made this a permanent home don't want that either. There isn't enough space to accommodate the traffic that comes w/ 10 story buildings....Sorry, but it just isn't there. SMB is impossible to get through at certain hours and especially w/o a subway it can't continue like this anymore.

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