The controversial NoHo West mega-project in North Hollywood could generate an estimated $25.2 million in annual revenue from 642 market-rate apartments for two wealthy developers. At the same time, L.A. City Hall refuses to give nearby residents, who live in a low-slung, middle-class neighborhood, proper traffic mitigations to ease the development’s heavy impact on their community. What’s going on here?
At a Wednesday night public meeting sponsored by the Laurel Grove Neighborhood Association, Merlone Geier Partners project director Stephen Logan revealed to North Hollywood residents that the apartments at NoHo West would go for $2.75 to $3.00 per square foot — San Francisco-based Merlone Geier and L.A.-based Goldstein Planting Investments are the developers behind the gigantic project at 6150 Laurel Canyon Boulevard.
According to the developers’ own plans, they want to build 642 apartments totaling 701,542 square feet. At $3 per square foot, Merlone Geier and Goldstein Planting stand to make $2.1 million each month from the residential units — and $25.2 million each year. Over a five-year period, the developers would reap a whopping $126.2 million.
Merlone Geier and Goldstein Planting are poised to rake in even more millions by also building 572,000 square feet of retail and office space at NoHo West.
City Councilman Paul Krekorian of District 2, where the proposed NoHo West is located, has told residents that he supports the mega-project, but, so far, he’s done next to nothing to help citizens living near NoHo West secure much-needed traffic mitigations from the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT).
NoHo West, an extremely dense project, will stand on a 24.7-acre lot with 1.2 million square feet of residential, office and retail space, featuring a gym, restaurants and a movie theater. Car traffic in and out of the massive NoHo West complex will undoubtedly impact the surrounding community.
During Wednesday night’s meeting, however, Laurel Grove Neighborhood Association president Diann Corral said LADOT officials have refused to do anything of substance to diminish the serious traffic impacts on the community, except to offer a few small measures such as the re-striping of street intersections.
“The DOT did not adequately address our requests,” Corral told her neighbors.
And Krekorian has not used his immense influence as an L.A. City Council member to get the LADOT to cooperate with Corral and her fellow residents, even though Krekorian supports granting Merlone Geier and Goldstein Planting a very profitable favor in the form of a zone change. The City Council and Mayor Eric Garcetti will ultimately have to approve that.
Corral said, “We’ve got to get the DOT, Krekorian and the Mayor’s Office to listen to us.”
Longtime residents living next to NoHo West will be particularly hard hit by the 642 residential units. Those luxury apartments are crammed into a corner of the 24.7-acre lot that’s directly opposite of quaint single-family homes.
The highly lucrative, yet wildly oversized NoHo West mega-project will be considered by the powerful City Planning Commission on September 22 at 8:30 a.m. at Van Nuys City Hall. Will the planning commissioners step up and bring relief to Corral and her neighbors? L.A. City Hall’s long track record concerning development shows that’s not very likely.
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