Rendering: PQNK

An “underutilized and overgrown” surface parking lot in Hollywood could be improved with a six-story, mixed-use development featuring 60 apartments and 2,439 square feet of ground-floor retail, according to a new proposal submitted to Los Angeles City Planning. 

Known as 5537 Santa Monica, the project calls for 27 studios, 29 one-bedroom and four two-bedroom apartments, including seven units set aside for extremely low income households. There would be two levels of parking to accommodate 72 vehicles and 60 bicycles. 

This is the third design iteration of the multifamily residence. In December 2018, applicant Bang Ja Kim twice submitted plans to construct a similar six-story structure with different unit counts and parking requirements.

“The Proposed Project was originally in the process of filing under the Transit Oriented Communities (TOC) program, but unfortunately fell under the CRA/LA overrule of the TOC program announced on June 27, 2018,” explains a findings document.

The controversial move by CRA/LA barred developers from leveraging the full scope of the TOC program if they intended to build in select redevelopment areas, including Hollywood. While the project would have previously qualified for Tier 3 incentives, the applicant is now required to request a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) to obtain the proposed 18 percent density bonus over the base level increase of 35 percent.

Designed by Los Angeles-based architectural firm PQNK, the proposed mid-rise building would be characterized by painted plaster, corrugated metal panels, vinyl windows, zinc wall shingles, and painted metal railings and canopies. Private outdoor space would be provided via recessed and projected balconies, while the pedestrian realm would be enlivened with a green wall, planter boxes and prominent signage. 

Onsite amenities would include a first-floor lobby and rec room, as well as a sixth-floor community room and roof deck featuring outdoor lounge seating, dining tables, built-in benches and planter walls.

Steps away from the bustling intersection of Santa Monica Boulevard and Western Avenue, 5537 Santa Monica would offer residents easy access to grocery stores, fast-casual restaurants, and a variety of small businesses.

The Hollywood/Western Metro station is less than a mile away, connecting riders to Downtown Los Angeles and North Hollywood. Nearby attractions include Hollywood Forever Cemetary, Paramount Pictures, and the charming Melrose Hill neighborhood.

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