A staff report to the Los Angeles City Planning Commission unveils a new look for a proposed mixed-use development across the street from Sony Pictures Studios.

Slated to replace an auto repair garage at Washington Boulevard and Motor Avenue, the project calls for the construction of a seven-story building featuring 139 studio, one-, and two-bedroom apartments - with 14 deed-restricted extremely low-income units - above approximately 2,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space and parking for 140 vehicles.

Kevin Tsai Architecture is designing the contemporary mixed-use project, which would have a U-shaped footprint above its podium level.  The form of the building, as well as upper floor setbacks, would be used to provide amenity spaces for residents.

The City Planning Commission, at its meeting on August 27, is scheduled to hear an appeal of the project approvals submitted by Amy Standring and Lee Wallman, who own abutting properties.  The appellants make a broad array of claims in seeking to block construction of the apartment complex, arguing the project is too large, that it should be subject to additional environmental review, and that it will block views of the water tower at Sony Pictures Studios.

A staff response finds that the appeal has no merit, and states that the existing determination letter issued by the Planning Department should be upheld by the Commission.

City records list the project applicant as Washington Motor, LP, an affiliate of Guo Rui Group, a Hong Kong-based real estate development firm.  The company's prior Los Angeles area ventures include a smaller mixed-use apartment complex in Santa Monica.

Los Angeles County Assessor records indicate that Guo Rui Group acquired the Washington-Motor site in 2018 from Bastion Development Group for approximately $13.6 million.  Bastion had previously entitled the site for a slightly smaller development which also called for the construction of multifamily housing and ground-floor commercial uses.