A proposed development which would bring housing and retail to a vacant lot across the street from the Laugh Factory in Hollywood has beaten back seven appeals at the Los Angeles City Planning Commission.

The project, planned by Los Angeles-based development firm Massachi, is slated for a property formerly developed with a gas station at 7979 Sunset Boulevard. Plans approved in late 2023 by the City of Los Angeles would permit the construction of a new seven-story building featuring 41 studio, one-, and two-bedroom apartments above approximately 4,459 square feet of ground-floor commercial space and parking for 29 vehicles.

View looking north from Sunset BoulevardTighe Architecture

Project entitlements include density bonus incentives, allowing for a larger structure than would otherwise be permitted by zoning rules. In exchange, Massachi would be required to set aside four of the new apartments for rent by very low-income households.

Tighe Architecture is designing 7979 Sunset, which is called Sunset/Laurel in plans for its cross streets. Renderings depict the apartment complex as a contemporary podium-type incorporating a rooftop pool and amenity deck.

The seven appellants are all identified as residents of a neighboring apartment building to the north or employees of the Laugh Factory - in some cases, both. They also include Jamie Masada, the owner of both the comedy club and the neighboring apartment building.

View looking northwest from Sunset BoulevardTighe Architecture

In urging the Commission to overturn the approval of the project, the appellants argued that the project is out of scale with the surrounding neighborhood, and will worsen traffic and parking congestion. Several speakers pointed to the planned location of the garage entrance along Laurel Avenue as a sticking point, and argued that the intersection of Sunset and Laurel has proven prone to traffic collisions. Likewise, they argued that the project had not been the subject of sufficient community outreach or noticing by the city.

A staff response pointed out that the building's height and reduced setbacks were permitted by density bonus law, and noted that the project falls within an AB 2097 zone, which prohibits the imposition of a minimum parking requirement (although the project had voluntarily provided 29 spaces). The staff report recommended denial of the appeal.

7979 Sunset BoulevardGoogle Maps

The proposed project would be the latest in a recent series of mixed-use developments on infill sites along the surrounding stretch of Sunset Boulevard, including a 62-unit complex from Jade Enterprises which is now under construction a short distance east at Fairfax Avenue. A 75-unit development is also proposed to replace a bank branch at 7800 Sunset.

Massachi, in addition to the new project on Sunset Boulevard, is also planning 115 apartments at 8025 Santa Monica Boulevard in the City of West Hollywood.

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