West Hollywood’s City Council rejected the latest proposal for the controversial Centrum Sunset project at its Monday night meeting.
The project at the old Tower Records location at 8801 Sunset Blvd came back before the Council after being . The on the three-story, 47,690 square foot building – the upscale David Barton Gym and the one of the billboards. It also reduced the length of the four-panel video sign.
No tenants have been announced for the building, although developer Sol Barket asked for a last-minute continuance of 60 days, saying he’d just lined up a tenant but couldn’t yet announce the name. The council rejected that request and held the hearing as scheduled.
Later, Barket offered to give the Council final approval over that anchor tenant as a condition of approving the building, saying that was an offer he had never before made. While the Council was concerned that the tenants in the building be quality tenants, that offer wasn’t enough to sway them.
Councilmember John Heilman said the project “isn’t there yet” and that it is an “opportunity that hasn’t really come to fruition.”
Heilman said there was nothing special about the proposed building and if the council was going to ask the neighborhood to put up with the extra traffic generated by project, the benefits should outweigh the impacts. Heilman also said that the overall size of the project was still a challenge as was the video sign.
Mayor Pro Tem Abbe Land had similar problems with the size and video signage saying it felt like a project being built merely to house a video billboard.
“It would be shortsighted to approve this,” Land said. “It’s not the right building for that corner at this time in West Hollywood.”
Mayor Jeff Prang said the project had improved considerably over the last six years, but still had significant problems. Prang too, said it was a building created to house signage, calling it “architecture being driven by outdoor advertising.”
Councilmember John D’Amico liked the design of the building and said he didn’t want to see such an important location go undeveloped. Yet in the end, D’Amico also joined the majority in voting against the project.
The Council voted 4-1 to reject the project, Councilmember John Duran casting the sole vote for it.