We met recently with Dan Abrams in his offices on Abbot Kinney Boulevard about his plans to develop a boutique hotel on the Street. Dan owns the block long parcel bordered by Broadway and Westminster Avenue.
Dan, his architect David Hertz from Studio of Environmental Architecture and his co developer, Rethink have conducted three community meetings so far to share their vision of the project.
According to what he told us, Dan has already submitted preliminary plans to the city for a 4-story 42+’ high hotel development between Westminster and Broadway. We have not seen the plans.
We feel strongly that this is a development that demands our community’s full attention.
The current height limit on Abbot Kinney is 30′. There is a variance of up to 35′ if the building’s design includes a variable roofline. This is not the case with Dan’s proposed hotel.
We suggested to Dan that most Venetians would welcome his hotel, if it were designed to fit comfortably in the existing neighborhood. We feel that a precedent-setting 42+’ high structure does not do that. We’ve seen this before with the proposed development of the Rey Hotel, which was ultimately abandoned, as no agreement could be reached with the city or the community.
Other items of the development include:
-92 Rooms on 4 floors
-A hotel restaurant at 1031 AKB
-Automated Parking off Electric one level below ground. Amount of spaces was not discussed
-Hotel Courtyard and Spa
Also, very important with solutions unknown at this time:
-Provisions for delivery trucks and their impact on the surrounding residential streets.
Dan and his team stress the positive aspects of their efforts, such as building “green,” providing jobs in the community, and the advantage of a new community-gathering place. Although this is admirable, it does not alleviate our concerns about over- building, congestion and more parking problems. We must keep this in mind.
We offered our thoughts that perhaps a smaller boutique hotel that fits right into the current building codes would be a better solution, coupled with a definite plan for the extra traffic of delivery trucks. We don’t know whether the development team will give serious consideration to our suggestions– but we are hopeful!
We believe there are a number of pluses that this hotel could bring to all. Having a nice place in the community filled with guests and their associated spending power is a benefit. The restaurant and spa will immediately bring more life to the street with increased foot traffic to the quieter end of Abbot Kinney. And with the lighting for the hotel and restaurant will come improved security, too.
We will keep you informed of this project’s progress as it proceeds. We hope you will care enough to make your opinions known as it passes through the various agencies.
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