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The West Hollywood City Council on Tuesday night approved the Sunset Time project, a large mixed-use development that could replace the House of Blues, and bring in between $1.7 and $2.2 million in tax revenues for the city.
The developer, Combined Properties, Ltd., has been working with city staff on the project for the last few years, and the council voted 4-1 in favor, with Councilmember Lindsey Horvath dissenting.
“This project has a lot to offer,” Councilwoman Abbe Land said. But she also expressed concern about giving approval to the developer, since other projects with billboard components have been approved but the property sits undeveloped for years because the project “is still hoping to be financed”, Land added.
The project is planned at 8418 to 8432 Sunset Blvd. and includes a 149-room hotel, 40 condominiums, 27 affordable housing units, and approximately 35,000 square feet of retail and entertainment space.
Included in the project is a seven-story wrap-around digital billboard.
Councilmember Jeffrey Prang said the project had “an aggressive amount of signage and design.”
“We don’t have another example of signage of this scale anywhere else on the Sunset Strip,” Prang said.
The plan calls for the House of Blues to be razed and moved to a smaller venue at the site. City planners said the project would be phased in over at least 10 years, and the House of Blues would likely not be forced to move anytime soon. The House of Blues currently has a lease for the site through 2012, with options to lease through 2025.
One resident said the music venue is a “jewel that lost its luster.”
Most of the two-dozen residents at the meeting spoke out in favor of the project. One called it a landmark, and another called it “hotspot on the social grid.”
Councilmember John Duran acknowledged that the electronic signs make Sunset Strip unique and that the city should “capitalize on it”.
But for one resident who lives right across from the project site, she said “the idea of that monstrous building is a nightmare for me. This will be three years of traffic, dust and construction”.
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