We are concerned long time Venice residents who no longer want to watch what we treasure about our community melt away. Our aim is to lead the conversation clarifying, informing, and uniting us in the preservation of our unique community.
We hope you will find interesting new thoughts here as we ImagineVenice together.
Marian Crostic Elaine Spierer
You can buy a mattress on Abbot Kinney!
What can we expect now that the owner of more than 50 years has sold 1349 Abbot Kinney? Beverly Hills investor group led by Michael Shabani has purchased the building which houses our iconic Hal’s, Euphoria, Just Tantau, Minnie T’s and Casa Linda.
Has Abbot Kinney peaked? The rumor mill is working over time spinning the next episode of who is joining the street and who is being pushed out. Are we going the way of Santa Monica’s Main Street and Montana Avenue? Are we irrelevant–no longer the ‘coolest block in America?’ Is that what we have become with a mattress store opening on the Street and replacing our unique Altered Space?
The corporate invasion of the Street has been massive. Long-term landlords are choosing chain store tenants even when quality individual shops are looking to establish roots on our street. Long-term tenants who made the Street what it has become have been pushed out because of rent increases that only the corporate world can afford. These new owners are looking for “the address.”
Abbot Kinney Blvd. is “the address,” or should we say was “the address?”
Before long these big-rent corporate shops will be screaming for a huge parking structure like they have at the Grove and in Beverly Hills. What other mall fixtures will they be demanding? Valet attendants in front of every store?
We throw out the words ‘one-of-a-kind’ this and that but we actually were that ‘one-of-a-kind’ and we felt it and we lived it – readers, get ready to kiss it goodbye. We are becoming one of them.
Yes, more changes!
1616 Abbot Kinney Blvd
1504 Abbot Kinney Blvd
1327 Abbot Kinney Blvd
1305 Abbot Kinney Blvd
Another Scheme To Overbuild And Under Park
Someone tapped Arnold Schwarzenegger on the shoulder and reminded him that
he owns 812 Main Street, the gateway to Abbot Kinney Boulevard. Schwarzenegger and his powerful team of expediters and facilitators have begun their push to obtain
exemptions and exceptions to build an almost 18,000 square foot office building and a 2100 square foot restaurant.
They intend to get approval from the city by using one of those amazing calculations where plain air is turned into ‘credits’ for non-existent parking spaces. They are going for almost 40 phantom parking spaces! Nikola Hlady of the Elizabeth Peterson Group, the project representative, said that of the nearly 40 spaces which will not be provided, only 9 require city approval. That approval will be based upon receiving a credit for a “shared parking model” which is a calculation amongst the different use needs of the property determined by a parking consultant group.
Under the current building codes 18 additional spaces would now be required for the gym. According to Hlady, these spaces will be an automatic credit against the parking required for this new project. Additionally, the ‘bicycle ordinance’ will also credit the project with 9 parking spaces. The bottom line is that if this office building and restaurant were to be built new today, the parking requirement is 92 spaces.
The solution to the parking deficit is for the owner to build less office space and provide the parking the community needs and the city requires. The owner is not dealing with a hardship situation.
We agree that anything Schwarzenegger does to the building whether it’s maintenance or a rehab will improve the neighborhood aesthetics. The question that has to be asked is what will be the collateral damage with this scheme to add huge footage to an existing structure without providing the needed parking spaces.
Will the city approve a project of this size with only 56 parking spaces? Or will the city, knowing this neighborhood’s parking and congestion problems insist this huge building project provide the required and urgently needed 92 spaces?