We’re getting a clearer picture of project that could dramatically alter the southeast corner of Third and Fairfax, thanks to details and visuals from the Mid-City West Neighborhood Council’s planning and land use committee.
As proposed, the MVE and Partners-designed project would include 380 residential units and a 26-story tower, and it would rehabilitate some of the retail on the site now while adding more. The project would replace the low-rise Town and Country shopping center that houses a Kmart, a Whole Foods, and a CVS, among others.
Some tenants, like the Whole Foods and CVS, are incorporated into the new project; the Kmart site will give way to the tower.
The plans come from property owner Arba Group and its partners shopping center firm Regency Centers and developer Holland Partner Group.
Arba Group—made up of Ira Smedra and Jacob Wintner—have owned the property for 30 years, but were unable to develop it because of Kmart’s lease for its space, reports the Larchmont Buzz. That lease ended last year, and the store has been occupying renting on a month-to-month basis.
The number of planned units is far fewer than the maximum 800 developers could put on the site, the Buzz reports. But residents who attended a presentation to the neighborhood council on Wednesday were still “stunned by the scale of the project,” and the majority of those who spoke at the meeting were against the project, according to the Buzz.
Neighborhood councilmembers seem optimistic that this preliminary version of the project could, with input from the community, evolve into something that residents could welcome.
“In my time on the council we have tried to work with the community and developers to help see that projects integrate well into the existing neighborhood,” planning and land use committee co-chair Mehmet Berker tells Curbed. “We would hope that any large project in our area would work with us in a similar manner.”
It’s not totally surprising that locals are not enthusiastic about this project. In 2012, the Ross Dress for Less site just east of the Town and Country mall traded hands after the owner, Alan Casden of Casden Properties, tried unsuccessfully for years to get approvals to build a 300-unit mixed-use development on the property.