Developer claims council requirement will kill Tropico apartment project

Following a demand by the City Council last month to decrease the size of the proposed Tropico apartment project by 25%, the developer said Tuesday that such a reduction would kill it.

Michael Genthe, developer Mill Creek’s managing director, said five studio and one-bedroom apartments were combined to create five new three-bedroom units, bringing the unit count down from 225 to 220. The 367 parking spaces in a six-story parking structure remains 132 spaces short of city requirements, a city report stated, and the council would need to approve of this exemption.

Genthe said reducing the project further would put the entire deal on the 2.25-acre lot in jeopardy.

“We’re on the edge,” he said.

Though the City Council was scheduled to vote on the project at 435 Los Feliz Road Tuesday, Councilman Ara Najarian accused city staff of gaming the fact that Councilwoman Laura Friedman was absent due to her observance of Passover. Najarian and Friedman have previously voiced their wariness about the project’s density.

Mayor Zareh Sinanyan agreed to postpone the vote until next Tuesday.

Consultants from Keyser Marston and Associates, hired by the city to examine Mill Creek’s books, agreed with this assessment, stating in the city report that the developer could not lose a quarter of the project’s density and remain economically feasible.

Najarian asked whether a Keyser Marston associate could stop by the next meeting to answer some questions. City Manager Scott Ochoa said the representative might not be able to go into many details because the financial dealings of Tropico are not tied to the city.

“Ultimately, it’s a private deal,” he said.


Follow Arin Mikailian on Twitter: @ArinMikailian.


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