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Weho Walgreens Project Back for Planning Commission Approval

A proposed commercial and residential project that has been bogged down in the West Hollywood City Planning Department returns for a final vote.

There is likely to be a lot of excitement at tonight's Planning Commission meeting. Just about the only item on the agenda is a public hearing for the controversial West Hollywood Walgreens project.

Developer Pacific Development Partners first applied for a three-story, modernist mixed-use building to replace the forlorn stripmall at Santa Monica Boulevard and Crescent Heights in 2007.

Neighbors complained of ensuing traffic problems and uncovered issues of toxicity, which led to a city-mandated Environmental Impact Report (EIR) in 2009. The result, Curbed LA reported, was a downsizing of the development from a total of 52,000 square feet to 36,000, and from 28 units to 20, with a two-unit freestanding housing structure on nearby Hayvenhurst.

The Planning Commission will hear one last time from the community at its regular meeting at 6:30 p.m. in Council Chambers (streaming live on WehoTV), then decide whether or not to certify a final EIR in order to approve the project. Those in opposition are counting on an appeal.

"If they approve this project, that's it; unless the decision is appealed," the Walgreens=Overdevelopment blog announced on Jan. 12. "Walgreens could get a green light to start demolition and start building in less than two weeks!"

The project is scheduled to begin in January 2013, at which point all commercial structures and associated surface parking lots on the almost one-acre site will be demolished, and replaced with 15,414 square feet of specialty retail stores, including Walgreens, and an 86-space subterranean garage.

The Stop Walgreens in West Hollywood Facebook page is encouraging residents—whether for or against the project—to attend the meeting.

"We encourage those who are for the Walgreens going in, as well as those against Walgreens going in on SMB and Crescent Heights, to attend and speak at the Planning Commission this Thursday. The Commission should hear all the various opinions in the community so they can make a decision that hopefully reflects what the community wants."

Stay up to date on West Hollywood news and events, by following @WehoPatch and “like” on Facebook.

joninla February 04, 2012 at 04:26 AM
I am not sure about a "german family" owning Trader Joes. Back in the day (30+ years ago) I used to go to summer camp with the daughter of the owners of Trader Joe's. They lived in San Marino and were (as people go) very nice and as far as I can remember, American with a French sounding last name.
joninla February 04, 2012 at 05:26 AM
Redevelopment Information (for anyone interested) Not sure if or which of WeHo's pending and recently begun projects are affected by the State Wide scrapping of Redevelopment Agency. http://la.curbed.com/archives/2012/02/the_3_people_overseeing_las_redevelopment_agency_and_other_things_to_know_on_redevelopment_death_day.php http://www.dailynews.com/news/ci_19863893
Chloe Ross February 04, 2012 at 07:47 AM
Joninla - TraderJoe's is owned by the Albrecht family weho also owns Aldi's. They are very wealthy German family. Joe Couloumbe sold his interest in the company over 30 years ago. You may not be sure - but I am.
Paul February 04, 2012 at 10:08 AM
I hate the building high rises in already narrow pathways. Keep the existing building already there, clean em up, paint etc..... and put in Walgreens. Save money and improve that filthy corner.
joninla February 05, 2012 at 03:36 AM
Thanks for the long overdue update for my info. I had forgotten the "Couloumbe" family name, but it was their daughter that I went to summer camp with and they were nice people. I had no idea it was sold (especially since some numskull at on local Trader Joe's told me 'oh yeah ... same family still owns it' a couple years ago. Thanks Chloe! :)

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