Silverlake Growth

When I say growth, I mean the tumor kind.

The Coffee Table on Rowena has lost its lease, and will be replaced by a 64 unit condo/retail space complex unless the project is stopped by residents. Here’s an elevation of the proposed complex. I know there are three different lots involved, but I’m not sure how many residents are going to be displaced by this (though it sounds like more units will be created than destroyed).

Now, I’ll say I have no problem with buiding housing in appropriate spaces. But that stretch of Hyperion Rowena may be ill advised. You can read up on it and judge for yourself. Hyperion Rowena is already a crowded street and the area has been a haven for more affordable housing in the area (because it’s a busy street and close to the freeway). Those days are coming to an end as most of the bungalows and apartments in the area have undergone renovation (which is where your landlord kicks you out, upgrades the place and then you can’t afford to move back in). Hyperion Rowena is not the same as Los Feliz Blvd – it’s just not wide enough to support three story structures like that and the traffic they would bring.

There will be a community meeting on Wednesday, February 22nd for those who would like to come and hear from both sides and voice their opinions.

(Link found via EatingLA)

14 thoughts on “Silverlake Growth”

  1. I agree with all reasons not to replace a modest and well-liked establishment with a giant complex. Parking there is ZERO and traffic is already a nightmare. Is this truly necessary? How far along are these plans, and what are the zoning facts on this area?

    If you care, you’ll attend the meeting and ask these questions. (I can’t make this meeting but will surely attend any future ones.)The good news is that these things are not all Done Deals, and they do have to listen to the community. If you start yelling in time.

    If you just sit at home playing video games, eating cereal out of the box and complaining about it you can’t expect to like the results.

    Local politics: the only real change you will make.

  2. After reading your post i am surprised by your misinformation. First off, the street that the project will be built on is actually Rowena, not Hyperion as you state. Secondly, the Coffee Table has not been completely removed from this spot. Plans indicate that the Coffee Table will have prime commerical space right on the street level, with PLENTY of parking. As part of redevelopment and new development, for that matter, parking requirements are strictly adhered to and will be in place here not only for the occupants of the units that are being built but also for the restuarant space. Please don’t make hasty decisions without complete knowledge of a project and it’s impact on the community. This is a major positive for the area. Yes, there will be a change in the traffic, but people running across the street to park will not have to worry as there will be parking underground at the new building. Attend the community meeting Wednesday the 22nd to learn more and understand the benefits of this project.

  3. To the nameless “native silver lake resident”

    Oops! I had Hyperion on the mind (but I did say that TCT is on Rowena).

    I’m not sure what other “misinformation” I have. It sounds more like you’re engaging in hyperbolistic rhetoric to undercut what I have pretty much stated is an opinion. Parking is a problem on Rowena and it’s not all about The Coffee Table. As the area has grown to include more retail establishments, parking has been an issue as has traffic and concerns about pedestrian safety. This plan sounds as if it will only address the parking for the building in question.

    Could you direct me to the information that indicates all of this? I’m not going to be able to make the meeting but I’d still like to have all the facts about it.

    I believe I urged people to get the whole story at the meeting, not make hasty judgements, so I’m not sure what you’re expressing your displeasure about. It’s obviously a topic that’s going to have advocates on both sides. I’m glad to hear from someone who has investigated this thoroughly.

    As far as I can tell, the loss we’re going to experience with this project is surely going to be our funk … any newly created complex will never have the same hodge-podge feel of the original Coffee Table. I expect the garlic mashed potatoes will remain excellent.

    Do you have information about the affordability of these units? What about the displaced current residents? Are you connected with the complex in any way?

  4. i reviewed this project and talked to the architect, jay vanos.
    the coffee table is in the project with more parking than the city requires. there are other issues that are raised by some of you that
    are important considerations for keeping the neighborhood whole
    and healthy, and they should be discussed but in a creative way.
    there have been other proposals for silverlake-los feliz that were
    mediocre at best and the community spoke up and stopped them.
    i do not believe this falls into that category. something will eventually be built here, this is an opportunity to have something in the neighborhood that is worthy of being there.
    at playa vista in culver city the community stopped development for many years and each new proposal got worse and worse until they built what everyone was affraid would be built. the same type of resistance some years ago led to the disaster on top of the hill in silverlake east of the playground,(former garbath-hathaway estate).
    be more open minded and suggest what could improve the project rather than conclude it is bad for the neighborhood.

    i do not believe it is.

    michael rotondi
    silverlake resident

  5. Thanks for your commentary and input Michael.

    I’m not sure I buy into the argument of accepting things because they might be worse later.

    However, I am happy to hear that the space will be mixed use, as I think that benefits all the residents to have nearby retail/eating establishments and keeps the neighbors in touch with each other.

    I am still concerned about the level of traffic that would be generated by 65 living units plus retail space. The current bungalows there, I think, are fewer units (around 30?).

    Can you direct me to some other information about the project? Does it have a name?

  6. To answer Ruth666, the project is awaiting a tract map hearing date. The developer has submitted a subdivision application. Those opposing the project should write to Mike LoGrande, Los Angeles City Planning Department, Metro Expediting Unit, 200 North Spring Street, Room 721, Los Angeles, CA 90012. visit and sign up to be on the mailing list to be kept informed.

  7. in response to how projects can get worse with resistance… some do and some don’t. this developer is at least willing to listen to the community. he grew up here, and is hoping not to destroy it. if he is chased away by an angry mob, we lose a cooperative developer and another one will swoop in, probably from a heartless place far away. that developer will be in his full rights to maximize his profits without taking any input from the community whatsoever.

    as far as hathaway hill is concerned… yes it is a cold, unapproachable place and most of us have never met anyone who lives there, and it could have been so much better. but, the history of the project shows that it did not get worse with resistance, the project size was actually greatly reduced due to community involvement.

    if you don’t want things to change, find a way to buy them. but don’t be surprised if you too start thinking just a little like a developer once you do.

  8. I think the developer says he is willing to listen to the community but only so he can talk them into his project. (I hear he’s a talker with the ladies..). Fair enough I guess. More fool those that get themselves talked into it. What he might end up destroying is the livelihoods of adjacent businesses during construction of such a large scale project, not to mention the peace of mind of private properties immediately behind and next door. There might not be any bungalows on this site (residential that is) but there are bungalows all around this site. I think what people want is not to chase him away but to get him to scale it down. Since he claims to love Silver Lake that must include the people in it. And with love comes respect, right? He’ll still make his millions. He’s a smart guy..

  9. i’m not talked into this, but i do know that this is ultimately a by-right project, which means he doesn’t have to listen to anyone at all.

  10. No he doesn’t have to listen to anyone, you’re right. But he does need the support of a community for a project of this scale. It will help. Opposition from the community could hinder – see Stop the 40 Unit campaign and Louise’s/Derby projects as examples. Visit for more information.

  11. Hi All,
    I own a house in the 90027 (the flats!)I have lived in the area 21 years.

    We are supposedly one of the more progessive parts of the city, yet we seem to suffer from the same NIMBY-ism (not in my back yard) that our whole city seems to be paralyzed by. The future of Los Angeles depends on greater density…its GOT TO COME! The critical issues to me are
    1) Is it good design?
    2) Is the space being used at its maximam potential….I say build to the reasonable LIMIT.
    3) If its 64 OK…maybe it should be 48…maybe it should be 75. We should all have an open mind.

    We need to get REAL about changing things…we cant keep them the same.We can NEVER be a GREAT city by being afraid and saying no to everything.

    Also…I would argue that these residents will drive LESS than the average Angeleno, because by living here, they can WALK to the market, dry cleaners, video store etc. etc.

  12. I just got a flyer about the upcoming community meeting yesterday, and plan on attending. I’ve lived nearby the “Rowena Corridor” for 2 years now, and have to say, i think that this type of development, and developer, are probably a good thing for the area. The lack of attention and care for mixing residential and commercial over the years, along Rowena, is apparent. I very much do not want increased traffic, or to displace long time residents. However, a mixed use residential and commercial seems like a good fit for that area. I live on Waverly Drive, and can only hope that the developer of the huge empty lot @ Waverly and Glendale (which is apparently going to be developed this year), will be as interested in community feedback as this Rowena area developer seems to be. See you all at the meeting on the 22nd.

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