The debate over the Sunset Lanai Apartments in West Hollywood isn’t a dispute between “good” preservationists and the “bad” building owner.
Rather, the owners — of which I am one — share the goal of continued rental housing in a distinctive setting. But when basic building systems are at the end of their life cycles, there is tension between a multimillion-dollar renovation and the limited revenue under rent control.
Recognizing that this problem is not unique, the West Hollywood City Council decided to explore financial incentives before designation as a cultural resource. If eventual tear-down and replacement with condominiums is to be averted, such cooperative problem-solving is imperative, as historic designation markedly increases the cost of renovation.
We look forward to working with the city and our tenants.