|Image via the WLANC|
While Pico Boulevard east of Sepulveda is an inviting, walkable street flush with retail options, it's a different story on the opposite side of the 405. Highlights on this stretch of Pico include the loading dock of the West LA Best Buy (which greets the street like the back end of a DVD player) and the Fantasy Island strip club (a venerable Westside landmark with googie signage and a lighthouse). As luck would have it, some positive changes could be on the way. Last month, the West LA Neighborhood Council's Planning and Land Use Management Committee took a look at a proposal for a residential development just east of the intersection of Pico and Barrington Avenue. Developer Hampstead Health, LLC would like to demolish a pair of commercial structures to build a 71-unit apartment building, rising five-stories at 11652 Pico Boulevard. Units would range from studios to two-bedrooms, including some live/work accommodations. The project would feature just under 8,000 square feet of open space, as well as a two-level underground parking garage. While attitudes at the meeting were generally receptive towards the project, multiple committee members expressed concern about the proposal's lack of ground floor retail space. Surprisingly, no attendees voiced opposition due to traffic or increased residential density. Perhaps development averse West LA is finally getting its act together in preparation for the coming of the Expo Line. An overall timeline for the Hampstead Health project remains unclear, as the developer has yet to submit their project to the Department of City Planning.