A proposal to redevelop The Stinking Rose restaurant with a new hotel are poised for rejection at the January 14 meeting of the Beverly Hills Planning Commission.
Since 2016, local investor Abraham Assil - chief executive officer of Westland Real Estate Group - has sought approvals from the City of Beverly Hills to raze the landmark restaurant at 55 N. La Cienega Boulevard to make way for a new eight-story building containing a 216-room hotel and ground-floor commercial space above a five-level, 358-car subterranean garage.
The project, designed by Gilliland Architecture of Hermosa Beach, is proposed as a roughly 109-foot-tall structure, capped with a rooftop pool and amenity deck.
The proposal from Westland Development Group, which reportedly paid $17 million for the land housing The Stinking Rose, has not been well-received by Beverly Hills officials.
"Various iterations of the proposed project have been submitted to the City since the original application was filed in May of 2016," reads a staff report to the Planning Commission. "Since the original submittal, Planning staff has reviewed and provided numerous correction letters to the applicant on these iterations."
The other versions of the project, according to the staff report, include seven-to-nine-story hotels containing between 169 and 247 guest rooms, as well as an alternate plan consisting of a 10-story building containing 270 apartments.
Either the housing or hotel alternatives would require the approval diescretionary entitlements by the City of Beverly Hills, as new buildings on the property are limited to three stories or 45 feet in height.
The current iteration of the development, which is abutted by low-rise commercial buildings and single-family homes, does not comply with zoning regulations relative to a building height, floor area, and commercial-residential transitional use standards, and would thus require the approval of a general plan amendment and zone change by the Beverly Hills City Council. Two members of that body - Mayor Lester Friedman and Councilmember Lili Bosse - have already informed the project applicant that they do not intend to support those entitlements.
According to the staff report, the scheduled January 14 hearing intended to prevent the additional expenditure of staff hours and resources on the 55 N. La Cienega hotel development. The staff report recommends that the Planning Commission deny the project.
While plans The Stinking Rose property may be in doubt, other hospitality projects remain in the works in other parts of Beverly Hills, including a proposed Cheval Blanc on Rodeo Drive and a series of suites planned within the $2-billion One Beverly Hills complex.
The project site sits directly across the street from the future entrance to Metro's Wilshire/La Cienega Station, which is being built as part of the first phase of Metro's Purple Line extension. Beverly Hills recently launched a new streetscape plan to improve pedestrian access to the subway station.
- Beverly Hills (Urbanize LA)