City committee shuts down bid to landmark former Silver Lake gas station

Apartment housing is slated to rise in its place

Mitch O'Farrell and the lot
Mitch O'Farrell and the lot

In the battle of NIMBYs vs YIMBYS, the YIMBYs were just handed a small victory.

A Los Angeles City Planning and Land Use committee voted to advance plans to build housing on the site of a former gas station, after a deal was struck with the building’s owner, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Rather than demolishing the former Silver Lake Texaco Service Station, William Hefner, the architect and building owner, will relocate the property along the L.A. River. Hefner partnered with local group River LA to come up with new renderings for the site, which will feature a retro cafe.

Hefner applied for permits to build a 14-unit apartment building in June. Council member Mitch O’Farrell initiated a landmarking process in March to prevent any demolition work.

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Conservationists were up in arms over the historic building, arguing the steel-frame structure was an example of the Streamline Moderne architecture style. But critics argued that the site, which has not been used for decades, is missing key features like signage or fixtures that would deem it worth preserving.

Another individual, car shop owner Koko Bakchajian, even offered to buy and restore the property as the committee deliberated on its decision, Eastsider LA reported.

The City Council still needs to make a final decision on the matter.

Historic-cultural nominations have grown in popularity in recent years as history buffs — and development opponents — turn to the designation to thwart new development. With a Historic-Cultural Nomination in place, preservationist groups can add substantial amounts of money and time to any project, deterring some developers from building altogether. [LAT] – Natalie Hoberman