The historic Sportsmen’s Lodge hotel could be demolished for a 520-unit apartment complex

(Marmol Radziner)

The historic Sportsmen’s Lodge hotel could be demolished for a 520-unit apartment complex

Homepage News, LA Politics

Jenna Peterson

April 3, 2024

Studio City’s historic Sportsmen’s Lodge could be demolished to make way for a 520-unit residential complex and mixed-use development if the Los Angeles City Council approves the project



Supporters of the development say it would provide much-needed affordable housing

allow enable

employees move closer to their work.

Opponents say the developers haven’t given enough consideration to the project


and that it would erase an important piece of history.

The Sportsmen’s Lodge hotel closed permanently when the

coronavirus (COVID-19

pandemic started. The only active part of the property now is the neighboring Shops at Sportsmen’s Lodge, which opened in 2021 with retailers including

supermarket chain

Erewhon and the sustainable clothing and shoe store Allbirds. The

Lodges lodges

event center was demolished to make room for the shops.

Developers have long had designs for the nearly nine-acre property at Ventura Boulevard and Coldwater Canyon Avenue. Best Buy was looking for a superstore in the 1990s. Richard Weintraub, who owned the land at the time, had plans to renovate and reopen the lodge in 2009 as Sportsmens Landing, with a boutique shopping center and modern restaurants. Legal issues with the hotel lease prevented this project from coming to fruition.

In addition to the 520 apartments, 78 of which would be reserved for low-income tenants, the project would include 42,000 square feet of commercial space. The design also includes a bike and pedestrian path along the LA River.

Erewhon, the residents of Studio City

Association Assn.

and Unite Here Local 11, which represents hotel workers, appealed to the City Council’s Planning and Land Use Management Committee to halt the project, which was approved by the City Planning Commission in July.

At a meeting earlier this month, the commission rejected the appeals and sent the proposal to the full City Council for a vote on Wednesday.

This will bring one of the most significant and catalytic developments in this part of the San Fernando Valley, Dave Rand, an attorney representing developer Midwood Investment & Development, said at the meeting. For years, Ventura Boulevard has been a largely ignored, yet hugely important corridor in the Valley. With this city’s incredibly ambitious housing goals and commitments, this location’s corner of Coldwater and Ventura Boulevard is the perfect location for residential, mixed-use and riverfront development.

The property, which became popular in the 1930s for its trout fishing and bait and tackle shop, was first owned by actors Noah and Wallace Beery.

In 1946, the events center and restaurant opened, followed by the 190-room hotel in 1962. In its heyday, Sportsmen’s Lodge was a meeting place for movie studios and many locals knew it as a popular venue for weddings, bar mitzvahs, New Year’s parties. parties and more.

In recent years, most hotel guests were tourists visiting nearby Universal Studios, but that dried up during the pandemic and the hotel has since closed. In 2020, the hotel was a Project Roomkey location, housing people experiencing homelessness to reduce the spread of the virus.

In 1964 the

Lodge lodge

became the first union hotel in the San Fernando Valley and was one of the first union hotels in Los Angeles. The organizing drive was led by Bill Robertson, a leader in the Los Angeles labor movement.

We continue to believe that… the historic hotel is an important remaining link in that history, and should therefore be preserved, Unite Here Local 11

Co-chairman co-chairman

Kurt Petersen said in a written statement.

A representative for Erewhon did not respond to a request for comment.

Midwood Investment & Development, which bought the property in 2017, south of Erewhon, in 2022,

it reportedly accuses

failure to pay rent and excessive use of the mall’s parking lot for its employees.

Erewhon countered, claiming that Midwood wrongfully prohibited Erewhon employees from using the parking lot and that Midwood “encouraged” Erewhon to rent space in the proposed shopping center.

Amy Minteer, an attorney for the Studio City Residents

Association Assn.,

said the association does not want to end the Sportsmen’s Lodge project, but wants to reduce its height and reduce construction


Across the LA River,

The Harvard-Westlake School is

building on an athletics campus

on a former golf course. the Harvard-Westlake River Park Project will create an athletics and recreational facility for the Harvard-Westlake School and local residents.

The cumulative


of both projects are a major problem, Minteer says, not only about air quality and construction noise


the loss of



The Sportsmen’s Lodge residential portion will remove 10 trees and the Harvard-Westlake project will remove 240 trees. During the construction of the shops in Sportsmen’s Lodge, 90 trees had already disappeared.

The Residents Association does not want a project to happen, says Minteer. They just want to see this project reviewed to mitigate the impact on the community and more closely align with existing neighborhood standards.

The residential building will be 37 meters high, while the tallest building in the area is 17.5 meters high.

It’s just way out of proportion to everything else in the area, Minteer said.

Rand, the developer’s attorney, said the project has received a density bonus to increase its height above the usual 30 feet, which can only be denied if there is a quantifiable and identifiable risk to health and human safety.

Crispin Carrasco, who lives near the proposed project and is a member of the Western States Regional Council of Carpenters, said the council supports the development because Midwood has said it will work with contractors who hire local carpenters.

Stella Stahl, communications director for Councilmember Nithya Raman’s office, said Raman has not yet taken an official position on the project.

Mashel Majid, Raman’s deputy chief of staff, said this during the committee meeting


The development will not be significant

influence impact

the area and that Raman’s office is “dedicated to supporting housing projects.” But Majid expressed disappointment that the historic hotel would be demolished.

“Unfortunately, because this project is on private property and dictated by state laws that protect the ability to build housing on this site, the city cannot require the hotel to remain standing,” she said.


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