Rendering: Bittoni Architects
The site of a storied gay bar once owned by Judy Garland and her then-husband Sid Luft could make way for 30 apartments and 1,649 square feet of commercial space in East Hollywood, according to a development application submitted to Los Angeles City Planning this week.
Known as The Red Rouge and later Faultline Bar, the business is reportedly moving to a new location. However, the venue at 4216 Melrose Avenue and a neighboring structure housing a tattoo parlor, CrossFit gym and four apartments could be replaced by a modern mixed-use building.
Alex Amirkhanian, the co-founder of Los Angeles-based Tower Investments Group, is listed as the applicant. Plans call for a five-story building with 30 one-bedroom apartments, with three units set aside for very low income households. A total of 19 vehicle parking spaces would be provided, split between an at-grade and subterranean parking level, in addition to storage for 25 bicycles.
The project’s sole commercial space, envisioned as a cafe in the renderings, is slated to occupy the corner of Melrose and New Hampshire Avenue. The ground floor would also feature a residential lobby with a mailroom, an indoor lounge, and a gym that opens onto a rear yard with synthetic turf, planters and benches.
The building’s podium design creates stepped-back outdoor space on the second floor to be used for common and private balconies. A yoga room with a walkout to the common balcony lends an indoor/outdoor feel and views of tree-lined New Hampshire Avenue. Meantime, the fifth floor boasts a movie room and a roof lounge, complete with a gas fire feature, outdoor kitchen, dining tables and lush greenery.
Rendering: Bittoni Architects
The one-bedroom floorplans range from 526 to 630 square feet and incorporate a linear kitchen, reach-in or walk-in closet, in-suite laundry, and a combination tub and shower. The units facing Melrose Avenue tout spacious balconies, some as large as 298 square feet.
Designed by Bittoni Architects, the building would be characterized by ribbed precast concrete wall panels, board form concrete finish, stainless steel sheet metal, and sand finish plaster in varying colors. The roofline is angled for added visual interest, and dark-trimmed windows are paired with vertical metal picket guardrails in a contrasting white finish.
The storefronts have high ceilings and oversized windows, “which creates transparency into the building and a visual connection for the pedestrian experience,” explains a findings document. “Storefronts along Melrose Avenue are recessed to break up the scale of the building’s facade while creating entry vestibules.”
The project is seeking Tier 3 Transit Oriented Communities (TOC) incentives due to its proximity to the Vermont/Santa Monica subway station on the Metro Red Line, an eight-minute walk away. The neighborhood offers easy access to the Hollywood Freeway and is home to Los Angeles City College, the many bars and restaurants along Virgil Avenue, and independently-owned businesses like Going Underground Records and Hutch Vintage and Handmade.