The Abbot Kinney Hotel (Now Venice Place Project)
Where Are We Now?
A hotel in Venice on Abbot Kinney. This could have been a true landmark development. It could have been neighborhood friendly and a real enhancement to the community now and in the future.
Soon, we can expect that the new permutation of the old program will be up for review and consideration at the Venice Neighborhood Council and the LUPC. And, shortly thereafter, the Zoning Administrator will be holding a hearing on the project. Residents will have an opportunity to voice their views and listen to other views before the ZA, both for or against this project.
Perception by many is that the new design with its separated buildings does nothing to reduce or eliminate its former built-in problems. Primarily, the negative effects on the Oakwood community and increased traffic and truck congestion will be neighborhood changing. Many worry about the likely deleterious effects in the safety arena as all of its trucks will be loading and unloading at the curb on Broadway creating new risks for the school children who use Broadway as their main route to Westminster School.
There is nothing wrong with the idea of a hotel on Abbot Kinney. The problem with this project is that it will exacerbate the already congested area with its idling trucks waiting to load and unload at the Broadway curb. Have you ever seen a trash truck pick up at a curb? Can you imagine the huge Budweiser truck easily making a delivery at the curb?
The developer chose not to allocate land to take all these trucks off the street and direct their exit back to Abbot Kinney and thereby keeping them from using the Oakwood community’s residential streets as an alternate exit route. The use of streets to load and unload was done in 1940. We know better now. When you have lots of land and can easily dedicate some of it to solve this problem, you should use it. Yes, this land won’t be revenue-generating land but what it would generate would be a huge amount of appreciation and goodwill from the community.
It is very important to understand that the traffic assessment made for this project does not reflect actual realities on the ground. The Department of Transportation (DOT) uses ‘tables’ and ‘schedules’ and outdated historical data. It concentrates all of its deliberations on ‘signalizing’ and pays little attention to intersections which are not ‘signalized.’ It made no actual real-time study of the traffic action at all the intersections and residential streets near this huge project nor did it review the impact on already heavily used 4th which is the most direct route to the Santa Monica Freeway. While this is the way DOT ‘assesses’ traffic, to believe it is reflective of the realities in Venice is foolish.
An opportunity for greatness has been lost.