Interesting Land Use Developments

CBS Television City recently sold to Hackman Capital Partners for $750 million.

We have been following some stories about local developments that could dramatically change our neighborhoods.

First up is the news that CBS has sold their iconic 25-acre Television City for more than $750 million to Hackman Capital Partners, a real estate developer who also owns Culver Studios, in Culver City. Hackman’s 115,000 square-foot Culver Steps in Culver City was recently leased to Amazon, according to the Real Deal.

In June, the Los Angeles City Council approved historic designation for CBS Television City which was nominated last December by the Los Angeles Conservancy as a Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monument.  The designation will protect this historic studio spaces designed by William Pereira and Charles Luckman in 1952 but allows for development of the parking lots pending city approval.  The application was made in advance of a possible sale of the property, which fans of the buildings believed could lead to its demolition and eventual redevelopment.

The LA Times reported:

CBS, in an announcement, also said it would retain office space because its studios’ headquarters for its international operations are on the site.

“The sale of Television City unlocks significant value, increasing CBS’ financial flexibility, including the ability to redeploy capital for strategic growth initiatives such as additional content investment,” said Joseph Ianniello, CBS’ acting chief executive in a statement. “Hackman Capital has demonstrated terrific stewardship of classic properties, including their development of the landmark Culver Studios.”

The Mid-City West Community Council supported the landmark application which allows for development but calls for a review process. That’s some comfort to the residents nearby who always knew the larger parcel was an attractive site for further development.

“At least the developer will have to talk to the community about their plans,” Keith Nakata, Co-Chair of the Mid-City West Community Council’s Land Use Committee told the Buzz. The Council is currently part of a working group lead by CD4 staff and developers of the 5 acre Town and Country parcel at nearby Fairfax and Third Street. There are no restrictions on that parcel and the developer has proposed a 26 story residential tower that is being re-designed.

7951 Beverly Blvd previously identified as a possible site for a temporary homeless shelter is now slated to become a mixed-use apartment complex. (Photo from Google Maps.)

Nearby CBS, a currently vacant commercial building on Beverly Blvd that was reportedly considered a possible site for a temporary homeless shelter in Council District 5 is now slated for redevelopment with a mixed-use apartment complex, according to Urbanize LA: 

The property, located at 7951 Beverly Boulevard, was built in the late 1950s and most recently housed a religious school.  Plans filed yesterday for the site call for razing the structure to make way for a five-story building which would feature 57 apartments – including six affordable units – with 8,411 square feet of basement and ground-floor retail space.

Entitlements are being sought through the Transit Oriented Communities guidelines, with requests for additional height and reductions in required setbacks and side yards in exchange for providing affordable housing.

Google street view of the Largent House designed by Richard Neutra at 49 Hopkins Avenue from 2014
Photo: Screenshot, Google Posted on sfchronicle.com

And finally, we found this really interesting. The City Planning Commission in San Francisco recently required a property owner who illegally demolished a historic 1936 Twin Peaks house designed by a renowned modernist to rebuild an exact replica of the home rather than the much larger structure the property owner had proposed replacing it with, reported the San Francisco Chronicle.

“In a unanimous 5-0 vote late Thursday night, the commission also ordered that the property owner — Ross Johnston, through his 49 Hopkins LLC — include a sidewalk plaque telling the story of the original house designed by architect Richard Neutra, the demolition and the replica.

The commission directive, unprecedented in San Francisco, comes more than a year after the home at 49 Hopkins Ave., known as the Largent House, was almost entirely knocked down. All that remained of the white, two-story redwood-and-concrete-block home was a garage door and frame.

Planning Commissioner Dennis Richards said he hopes the commission’s action in the 49 Hopkins case will send a message to speculators accustomed to ignoring city planning and building laws with few or no repercussions.

“We are tired of seeing this happening in the city and are drawing a line in the sand,” said Richards. “You can have all the rules in the world, but if you don’t enforce them, the rules are worthless.”

Imagine the impact if the City of Los Angeles took such an action for an illegal demolition.

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About Patricia Lombard

Patricia Lombard is the co-editor and publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.

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