Town & Country is on PLBRA agenda

| January 3, 2019 | 0 Comments
MAP shows the area of the Town & Country project. The original Town and Country shopping center was built in the 1950s, then remodeled substantially in the 1960s.

Representatives of Town & Country — who originally proposed a 26-story residential tower on Third St. east of Fairfax Ave. — will be keynote speakers at the Park La Brea Residents Association (PLBRA) annual meeting.

Developer Tom Warren, executive managing director for the Holland Partner Group, and property owner John Nahas, of Regency Centers, are expected to address the PLBRA at the meeting. It will take place Sun., Jan. 13 beginning at noon in the Park La Brea Community Theater located at the Activity Center.

  There has been a change to what previously was proposed to the Mid City West Community Council (MCWCC) last spring, which included 380 units in a tower on the site, currently occupied by KMart. There were also multiple parking floors for about 1,400 cars.

Downsizing came about after community backlash from nearby residents and representatives from Hancock Park Elementary School, who claimed that the project design, with the tower, was out of character with the surrounding area, explained developer spokesperson Dagny Akeyson.

“It is now planned as a mid-rise with a focus on open space, community gathering options, more landscaping and greenery, and community-serving retail,” Akeyson said.

Several community meetings have taken place so far, along with three “working group” meetings, with Councilman David Ryu’s office in preparation for drafting an environmental impact report.

“Our goal is to facilitate a conversation between the developer and community stakeholders that is productive and positive, leading to real solutions and options,” said Estevan Jose Montemayor, deputy chief of staff for Councilman Ryu.

“The hope is that we’ll get consensus on a site design that improves the property, provides community benefits, and minimizes impacts, especially to Hancock Park Elementary School, during construction and after. This conversation isn’t meant to bypass the public process but to parallel it, and we expect the outcomes from the working group to help inform the public review and comment and vice versa.” 

ORIGINAL PROPOSAL for the residential project to replace KMart included a 26-story tower, as seen in this rendering from Holland Partner Group.

Concerns raised by the community at a Planning and Land Use Committee meeting of the MCWCC in August included the impact on safety and privacy the project would have on Hancock Park Elementary School, which is within feet of the proposed development.

Residents also suggested adding more green space and replacing the single tower with several smaller buildings to create a pedestrian-friendly urban village instead of just a shopping mall. 

Mid City West Planning and Land Use Committee members offered suggestions to improve transportation options and reduce traffic.

The design by MVE and Partners would replace the low-rise Town and Country Shopping Center that now houses a KMart, Whole Foods, CVS and other retail.

The Whole Foods and CVS would be incorporated within the new project.

The project at the five-acre site has been on hold pending conclusion of a 30-year Kmart lease that ended last year.

Preservation of Andre’s Italian Restaurant, which opened at the site in 1963, is also being considered in the new design, said Akeyson.

A public hearing on the revised project is expected sometime this year.

Board election

 Also at the upcoming Jan. 13 PLBRA meeting, an election for PLBRA board members will take place.

Reports on the Association’s accomplishments, future directions and financial status will also be given, said Col. Donald Harris, USA (Ret.), secretary / treasurer of PLBRA.

Park La Brea houses 4,255 apartment units between Third and Sixth streets and Cochran and Fairfax avenues.

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Category: Real Estate

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