Despite some residents' concerns about increased traffic and truck deliveries, the controversial Walgreens development, set for the southwest corner of Santa Monica and Crescent Heights boulevards, got final approval Thursday from the West Hollywood Planning Commission.
The mixed-use project includes 13,276 square feet of retail space for a Walgreens drug store and another 2,138 square feet for other retail stores, plus a rooftop “Sky Park” that can be used for receptions, parties and events.
The largely vacant Crescent Square strip mall that currently sits on the block between Crescent Heights and Havenhurst Avenue will be demolished for the project that also has 20 residential units, four of which will be low-income housing.
The project has been a source of controversy since it was first proposed in 2006 and called for 48 residential units. Pacific Development Partners pared down the scale of the project, first to 28 units, then to the current 20, in an attempt to quell concerns of residents living nearby.
While the majority of public speakers at Thursday’s meeting were in favor of the project, a few were still not satisfied. Residents living adjacent to the project worried about truck deliveries and increased traffic.
To address those concerns, the commission limited delivery hours to 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and stipulated that no left turns onto Crescent Heights or Havenhurst could be made between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.
The commission also said that any events on the rooftop Sky Park had to end by 10 p.m. on weeknights, 11 p.m. on weekends.
The restrictions did not satisfy Commissioner Lauren Meister, who cast the sole vote against the project. She told Weho Patch she did not think there was enough attention given to the Havenhurst Avenue side of the project.
Noting the narrowness of Havenhurst (30 feet wide), Meister said, “I had concerns about the delivery trucks entering on Havenhurst into the alley and the close proximity of the loading area to the residential neighborhood.”
After the vote, Ron Recht, manager of Pacific Development Partners, told Patch he was happy with the vote.
“We are absolutely thrilled and we’re happy that the community seems to now [embrace] the project,” Recht said. “We got our approval and I think we’re going to build a project that’s going to clearly stand the test of time.”
Project consultant Steve Afriat added, “We want to thank the Planning Commission. They spent a lot of time on this. They deliberated and their few comments made it a better project, and we appreciate that.”