Plans to tear down a long-vacant former pool hall in Montrose to make way for a 28-unit condominium project won support from the city's Design Review Board on Thursday.
Commissioners voted 3-0 to recommend the development, which now heads to the Planning Commission and the City Council for further review because a zone change is required to build it.
The Mix, located at 2612 Honolulu Ave., has been closed for several years and its lot was recently acquired by Metro Investments for $2.3 million. The group's principal is Commissioner Art Simonian, who abstained from voting on the proposal.
Metro Investments started meeting with residents in the area last year to gather feedback on the project. The final design is four individual structures that are two stories each and no more than 36 feet tall at the highest point, according to planning staff reports.
The driveway entrance will be on Sycamore Avenue, not Honolulu, which some residents said they appreciate because it would keep cars from slowing down and trying to get into the parking lot off of the main Montrose thoroughfare.
Grant Michals, president of the Montrose Verdugo Sparr Heights Homeowners Assn., said he's glad the structure will be landscaped with different varieties of trees along Sycamore and a courtyard for open space as well.
"The park-like setting was extensively discussed at those community discussions so this project is reflective of that," he told commissioners.
Commissioner Sevan Benlian spoke positively about the proposal, saying it's a good fit for the neighborhood and he appreciated the dialogue between the developer and residents.
"I think this should set a precedent that these developers can learn from on how to reach out to the community and working with the community," he said.
Commissioner Vrej Mardian said he likes the way the design consisted of several structures so that the massing of the overall project is broken up.
The only addition he asked to be included was more places to sit in the courtyard along Sycamore, he said.
"The commons space should have more seating," Mardian said. "With lush landscaping and mature trees, I think that'll be a plus. This area needs to be used."
The development will consist of 20 two-bedroom units and eight three-bedroom units. There will also be 67 parking spaces and seven guest parking spaces.
The project site is made up of two different zoning areas, so the developer needs to change the zoning by being granted a precise plan design overlay, which requires approval from the Planning Commission and the City Council in the coming months.
Prior to the Mix, the building was a bar called Lady Jane's, and before that, it was the Three Oaks, a family restaurant.
Arin Mikailian, email@example.com