Friday, November 7, 2014

Second Mixed-User Headed to La Brea/Willoughby

Over the summer, many Los Angeles preservationists were outraged by the unannounced demolition of the Mole-Richardson Building, a one-story Art Deco structure built in 1930.  Now six months later, a case filing from the Department of City Planning has finally revealed why the 84-year-old building met with such an undignified ending.

According to plans submitted to the city last week, a new residential-retail development will be constructed on the now vacant lot at 900 North La Brea Avenue.  The seven-story complex would contain 169 apartments and slightly over 37,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space.  Fourteen of the building's residential units would be reserved for very-low-income households.

Although the project is still in the earliest stages of the city's approval process, the experiences of a similar development across the street hint at a difficult path ahead.  La Brea Gateway, currently under construction, fought against a zealous neighborhood coalition for close to ten years prior to breaking ground this past Spring.  During that process, the project was gradually whittled down from a seven-story, 219-unit development to a more modest five-story, 179-unit building.

The Mole Richardson Building, Image credit: ASDLA

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