LeFrak Organization looks to fast-track Hollywood mixed-use project

Firm wants to limit CEQA-based challenges with “leadership” designation

Feb.February 11, 2019 12:00 PM
LeFrak Organization”s Richard LeFrak and a rendering of the Hollywood project

The LeFrak Organization is restarting a 15-story mixed-use project in Hollywood with a plan in place to limit challenges to its environmental review.

The New York-based developer has submitted the project for designation as an environmental leadership development project. The program limits legal challenges under the California Environmental Quality Act if it meets certain environmental and sustainability standards, according to Urbanize.

LeFrak first proposed the project, at 6436 W. Hollywood Boulevard, in 2016, but saw little activity. It’s planned with 260 rental units and 17,800 square feet of commercial space on its lower floors.

The program is for projects over $100 million and it limits any challenge under CEQA, the state environmental law, to nine months. CEQA requires that state and local governments properly identify how development projects impact local environments and propose mitigation efforts, if necessary, to reduce impact.

The law is frequently used as the basis for legal challenges against development projects. Critics of CEQA argue that anti-development forces “weaponize” the law to delay projects until they’re financially unfeasible or to otherwise pressure developers to capitulate to whatever demands they have. There have been numerous efforts on various levels of government to reduce the impact of the law.

A similar “leadership” certification is also available to fast track projects. The L.A. Clippers last month applied for the designation for its proposed 18,000-seat stadium in Inglewood.

LeFrak acquired the site in 2007 for $5.85 million. There is a 6,000-square-foot Class C office building there currently. The firm expects to open the project in 2023. [Urbanize] — Dennis Lynch

Related Articles

Governor Gavin Newsom and Senator Nancy Skinner (Credit: Getty Images and iStock)

Developers rejoice: Newest state law aims to boost housing production

Assemblyman David Chiu and Gov. Gavin Newsom (Credit: Wikipedia and iStock)

California passes landmark rent control law

The former Omega Cinema Props warehouse on Santa Monica Boulevard and the Hollywood Forever Cemetery (Credit: Google Maps, Hollywood Forever)

Warehouse complex will get new life next to Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Holland Partner Group CEO Clyde Holland and a rendering of the Hollywood project

Holland Partner Group’s Hollywood apartment project faces labor union challenge

1723 N Wilcox Avenue (Credit: Google Maps)

Hollywood hotel construction craze: Developer abandons apartment project for hotel instead

A rendering of the proposed hotel project on Whitley Street (Credit: Daryoush Safai)

Reservations: Hollywood hotel project faces appeal from rent control tenants

AIDS Healthcare Foundation CEO Michael Weinstein and the Amoeba Music store (Credit: Getty Images and Wikipedia)

Amoeba Music owner says landmarking effort by nonprofits is ploy to prevent resi development

Ron Galperin and an overview of LA (Credit: iStock)

LA owns thousands of properties, many of them vacant. LA’s controller has an idea to spur development