A proposed $150-million development at the site of a shuttered Montgomery Ward in Panorama City may be trading retail space for more housing, according to an agenda item at next week's meeting of the Los Angeles City Planning Commission.

The ICON at Panorama, when first announced by its developer the Icon Co., called for replacing the former department store at Roscoe Boulevard and Tobias Avenue with 422 apartments and approximately 200,000 square feet of commercial uses.  However, to mitigate traffic impacts at two nearby intersections, the developer has opted to reduce the project's total retail and restaurant space to just 60,000 square feet, while increasing the number of proposed apartments to 623.

Following feedback from the community members and the Planning Department's Urban Design Studio, the project has been redesigned for improved functionality and appearance.  The changes include a new 17,000-square-foot plaza fronting Tobias Avenue, as well as the exchange of a central parking structure for podium garages screened by habitable space.  This includes new townhouse-style residences fronting Cedros Avenue.

The Planning Department's staff report recommends approval for the project, which requires discretionary actions including a zone change.

The ICON at Panorama is expected to be built over approximately two years.

The project site sits across the street from the Panorama Mall, which is slated for an expansion that would bring 130,000 square feet of new retail space, a 2,000-seat theater, and a hotel.