The West Hollywood City Council approved two projects on Melrose Avenue as well as a zoning amendment allowing each to go taller at its Monday night meeting.
The project at 8711 Melrose Avenue (at San Vicente Boulevard) is a three-story, 23,000 square foot building designed for retail and wholesale design showroom space.
The project at with 130 parking spaces on two underground levels. That building will primarily house wholesale home furnishings showrooms. Restoration Hardware is set to be its main tenant.
As part of the city’s new General Plan, the Council has created an Avenues Bonus overlay zone allowing buildings to go taller if they meet certain criteria. Since both buildings were requesting to go higher, the Council had to first approve that height bonus in order for the two projects presented to be approved.
The Council approved the bonus on a 4-1 vote with Councilmember John D’Amico voting against it. D’Amico said he wanted to assure each project has a specific and distinct public benefit before getting the bonus.
With the bonus overlay in place, the 8711 Melrose project easily received unanimous approval.
However, the 8564-8590 Melrose project proved more controversial. Area residents have opposed the project as too massive since at 35 feet, it will be significantly taller than the surrounding buildings. Residents also expressed concerns about the traffic impact on the surrounding neighborhood.
Questions were also raised about the stability of Restoration Hardware since its chairman, Gary Friedman, recently stepped down amid charges of having an inappropriate relationship with a 26-year-old female employee.
Nonetheless, the Council approved the 8564 Melrose project on a 3-2 vote. D’Amico and Mayor Jeff Prang voted against it.