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City Council Rejects Centrum Sunset Again

The project proposed for the old Tower Records location comes back to the Council without its most controversial component, a David Barton gym, but the Council has other issues with the building and denies it.

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.

Truth for the People August 22, 2012 at 10:57 AM
If they paid more money to West Hollywood city council like Jerome Nash did to convert El Mirador Apt. then it would have passed. Remember CASH is what is need to buy oops influence those not good ol'boys in city hall.
Wesley McDowell August 22, 2012 at 05:12 PM
As a resident of Palm, south of Sunset, I can just imagine how much more traffic we will have with this project since the already screwed up intersection at Palm/Holloway/Sunset will be overloaded with cars going into this site. This building does look pretty good in the drawings. Don't they all? Even so, I have to agree that the Heilman/Land team is at it again. Sunset is so congested so much of the time and they seem to have little interest in mitigating but a lot of interest in extracting "donations" to their projects. Let's just wait and see how much this developer or Nash or those hotels on Sunset donate to The Trevor Project, among others. As the saying goes, follow the money!
West Hollywood Central August 22, 2012 at 10:58 PM
I don't know enough about this project to know if it's good or bad. It doesn't LOOK overly big. But regardless, I'm really confused as to why this isn't sailing through the City Council? They love this kind of stuff; it looks modern and different, and most importantly it is DEVELOPMENT! Have they not hired the right consultants or not made the right contributions? Who have they pissed off? Seriously...what is going on????
Jerome Cleary August 23, 2012 at 02:33 AM
Jon, yes I live right adjacent to the proposed project that got denied and I based all of of my reasons, though you call them silly based on the city's actual traffic study. Are you telling us that you have never seen the bad gridlock in this area during the day and night? My friend was not from out of town she was from West LA. So Jon, tell us all which section of town do you live in West Hollywood?
jimmy August 23, 2012 at 02:49 AM
John Duran voted for this project cause he likes urban billboard blight from out of town developers. I think the site is gorgeous as is. I'm sure all the Russian residents on the East side are all breathing a sigh of relief, knowing that this development has been stopped. All the Section Eighters will be happy too. This is going to bring the city together.

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