Los Angeles’ Planning Commission gave the necessary approvals on March 11 so that Bundy Village and Medical Park project could go forward.
Controversy over the 11.5 acre Bundy Village and Medical Park project has been raging for many months because Westside residents and businesses are concerned that this project would bring additional traffic congestion to an already-congested area, and negatively impact traffic in the surrounding residential neighborhoods.
Stonehenge Holdings Incorporated is proposing to build a mixed-use project which would be located at 1901, 1925, and 1933 South Bundy and 12333 Olympic Boulevard in the City of Los Angeles. The project would consist of medical facilities, retail/commercial space, and market-rate and affordable senior housing residential units. About 40 percent of the project would be open and green space.
The project’s Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) calculates that the project would create more than 20,000 additional daily car trips in the area. It also notes that 15 out of 25 intersections within or bordering on the City of Santa Monica will suffer significant traffic impacts from the project. Among them are the intersections of Olympic Boulevard with 20th Street, Cloverfield Boulevard, 26th Street, Stewart Street, Centinela Avenue, and the intersection of Pico Boulevard with Colverfield Boulevard, the I-10 Off-Ramp, Centinela Avenue, and 23rd Street. The others are Colorado/Stewart Street, Centinela Avenue/I-10 Westbound On-Off-Ramps, Centinela Avenue/I-10 Eastbound Ramp, Ocean Park Boulevard/23rd Street and Ocean Park Boulevard/Centinela Avenue.
The approval was given after the 30-day continuance the developer was given to meet with the various community stakeholders and address their concerns about the project. Brandon Stephenson of Cerrell Associates who represents the developer told the Mirror that those meetings resulted in the removal of the retail component in Building C at the northwest portion of the project. This will mean that the building will now be all residential and be three stories shorter because it will no longer contain three levels of above-grade parking. The other changes that resulted was that the project was made more pedestrian friendly, and more “inter-connected with current and future mass transit.”
Despite these modifications strong opposition to the project was still expressed by the many in community before the approval vote. Peter Brown, who spoke on behalf of Kilroy Realty, stated that the “overwhelming impacts on residents and businesses due to the size of the project and its resulting traffic impacts will threaten the vitality of the existing businesses and the growth of high-paying jobs on the Westside.”
The Chair of the Brentwood Community Council, Raymond Klein, stated (as did other community stakeholders) that the developer “refused to meet with the community” during the 30-day continuance. Others were concerned that the Commission was going to a vote on a project without knowing all its parameters.
The Commission’s approval reflected their belief that the project’s traffic could be mitigated by their Traffic Demand Management Plan, because the project’s open space is substantial and well defined, is near a future light rail train station, will create badly needed jobs in construction and in the medical field, and because the project contains a good balance of mixed uses.
Michael Lombardi, the President of Stonebridge Holdings Inc., issued a statement after the approval which said, “In the months ahead, we look forward to continuing our meaningful discussions with community stakeholders and receiving final approval, so Bundy Village and Medical Park can deliver high-quality healthcare, senior housing, and permanent jobs – all of which are needed in West Los Angeles.”
The next step for the project will be for it to be reviewed by the Los Angeles Planning and Management Committee. If they approve the project it will then move on to the Los Angeles City Council for their review.
Mirror Contributing Writerhannah@smmirror.com