A controversial project which calls for redeveloping a 1950s apartment complex in Hollywood has cleared a key hurdle. 

In a unanimous vote yesterday, the Los Angeles City Planning Commission approved Champion Real Estate Company's 6220 Yucca Street development, which would rise one block east of Hollywood's Capitol Records Building.  The project, slated for the southeast corner of Yucca and Argyle Avenue, calls for the construction of a 30-story tower containing 269 apartments, 7,700 square feet of ground-floor commercial space, and a 414-car garage.

The design by Togawa Smith Martin has undergone several iterations since the project was first announced in 2014.  Originally proposed as a 21-story, 277-unit apartment building, a revised plan announced one year later calls for a height to 32 stories, while also adding a hotel to the project.  A second revision, unveiled in 2017, cut the building's proposed height back to 20 stories.  Its final alteration was revealed earlier this year, when Champion cuts plans for a hotel, but increased the building height to 30 stories.

Over the same time period, the developer has made several changes in response to criticism over the potential displacement of residents at the property's existing apartment complex, which is subject to the City of Los Angeles' rent stabilization ordinance (RSO).  In 2017, Champion announced intentions to provide a right-of-return to current tenants, while also subjecting the newly built apartments within the project to RSO - though the new apartments would be priced according to current market conditions.  As of 2020, plans call for 252 new RSO units, with the remaining 17 apartments to be deed-restricted affordable housing at the very low-income level.

Those concessions failed to appease three separate appellants, each of whom urged the Planning Commission to reject the project's vesting tentative tract map.  Two of the appellants - the Los Angeles Tenants Union and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation - argued that the project would accelerate gentrification and displacement in the community and alleged errors and oversights the environmental study conducted for the development.  The third appellant, J.H. McQuinston, focused his efforts on questions of earthquake safety due to the nearby Hollywood fault line.

A staff response dismissed the arguments made by the appellants, and stated that the project's environmental impact report was in full compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act.

Commissioners agreed with the staff assessment, while also voting to support the zone change, density bonus, and other discretionary entitlements sought for the project.

In addition, a condition of approval was placed upon the project which requires Champion - or a successor developer - to guarantee right of return to existing tenants at the same rent, plus increases as allowed under RSO.  Additionally, the developer would be required to pay the difference in rent for returning tenants at a comporable unit for the duration of construction.

The 6220 Yucca tower is the latest in a series of high-rise developments near the Hollywood/Vine Metro station, following the neighboring Kimpton Everly hotel and the Argyle House apartments.  The Hollywood Center development, slated for parking lots flanking the Capitol Records Building, could see the construction of four additional towers containing housing and commercial space.