Frank Gehry strips down on Sunset

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A Frank Gehry-designed project on Sunset Boulevard is moving forward, despite neighborhood opposition. The Planning and Land Use Management Committee approved the project on Tuesday after the developer, Townscape Partners, agreed to reduce the height of the tallest building and make other changes.

The project, known as 8150 Sunset, is on the eastern edge of the Sunset Strip, between Havenhurst and Crescent Heights, and next to the Chateau Marmont. The site once housed the famed Garden of Allah hotel, but now a strip mall and a Chase Bank are there.

The proposed five-structure development includes two residential towers, commercial space and a pedestrian plaza with terraced gardens. The tallest tower at 15 stories would be the tallest building to be erected on the Sunset Strip in more than 30 years.

Residents of Hollywood Hills and West Hollywood have voiced their dissent, saying the tallest tower is too tall.

Councilman David Ryu, who represents the area, said last week that he would not vote in favor of the project unless it was downsized. He was under pressure from his district. Lawn signs in the neighborhood say “Councilman Ryu STOP 1850 Sunset!”

The developer Townscape Partners agreed at the last minute to cut the height of one of the towers from 234 feet, or 15 stories, to 178 feet – putting its height in line with other buildings in the area. It also agreed to a decrease in the number of units, from 249 to 229, but to increase the number that would be designated for low-income tenants to 38, from 28.

Townscape also agreed to increase the number of parking spaces and affordable housing units in the project, build wider sidewalks and pay for traffic control officers.

The LA City Council is expected to approve the project next week.

The planning committee delayed a vote on whether to preserve Lytton Savings, a 1960 bank building on the site designed by architect Kurt Meyer.

There are still some opposed to the design. One West Hollywood resident told the LA Times it looks like a blowfish overdosing on LSD.

Photo: A rendering of a proposed development at 8150 Sunset Boulevard, designed by architect Frank Gehry. (Visualhouse)