While a lot of attention has been centered lately on the Millennium project in Hollywood, another project has been proposed that would dramatically alter the Hollywood skyline near the iconic Hollywood Palladium.
The project is known as the Palladium Residences and is proposed by the Miami and New York-based developer Crescent Heights LLC. It would incorporate two towers — each 28 stories tall — that would be constructed over retail space in the parking lots that currently surround the Palladium. The Palladium would be preserved, and the developer plans to have the venue designated as a historic structure if the project is approved, according to Steven Afriat, of Afriat Consulting group, which is representing the developer.
He said there are major differences between the proposed Palladium project and the Millennium project, which was approved Wednesday by the Los Angeles City Council. The Palladium project will be largely residential and located near public transportation hubs, potentially reducing traffic problems in the surrounding area. The retail space will also be “community serving” uses such as restaurants and markets where residents of the towers could shop without having to drive vehicles to an off-site location.
“An important distinction is that it is not destination retail,” Afriat said. “Neighborhood serving retail actually reduces car trips. If I am living at the Palladium Residences and work [nearby], I don’t have to get in my car to get my prescription filled and get my dry cleaning. I don’t have to get in my car.”
Aaron Green, vice president of Afriat Consulting Group, stated that the specific retail uses had not yet been established. The plan is in the early stages, and the developer has not finalized whether the project would be exclusively retail with 731 residential units — or a mix of retail and hotel space — which would likely result in 598 residential units and up to 250 hotel rooms. Approximately 13,000 square feet of retail space is planned. The towers would be slightly taller than the nearby House of Blues building, which is 22 stories, and the Sunset Vine Tower, which is 20 stories tall.
Afriat stressed that the Palladium, built in 1940, is an important part of the local community, and there are no plans to demolish or alter the venue. Concert promoter Live Nation currently manages and operates the Palladium, and has a long-term lease for the venue.
Tony Arranaga, a spokesman for City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, 13th District, said the councilman had no comment on the project because it is in the early stages and he is still getting up to speed on the plan. He said O’Farrell would continue to monitor the project it as it moves forward.
However, some Hollywood residents, such as Emma Riordan, expressed opposition to the plan.
“What we really need are more ugly oversized buildings near the Palladium … adding to the traffic and chaos here?” she said. “Do people here really want another Manhattan?”
Resident Bill Miller added that new developments, such as the Palladium Residences, will have long-term negative impacts on the community.
“It’s another developer nightmare,” Miller said. “[By] allowing developers to do what they want … no communities will be able to protect their neighborhoods.”
Afriat said the developer has previously met with neighborhood council representatives, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and other local entities to notify them about the plans, and has received positive feedback. He said the developer plans to continue the meetings throughout the approval process. A public scoping meeting, environmental impact report and public comment period will be held prior to an evaluation by the city’s planning commission, and later the city council.
“We began the process early on. Our intent was not to surprise people,” Afriat said. “We are reaching out now in anticipation of a scoping meeting, and will continue to. We will talk to anyone. We don’t want to shy away from talking about this project.”
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