Venice hotel project gets final approval after 10 years in pipeline

"Los Angeles is broken in terms of development,” says developer

REthink Development's Steven Edwards; renderings of The Venice Place project (Getty, Linkedin, The Venice Place project)
REthink Development's Steven Edwards; renderings of The Venice Place project (Getty, Linkedin, The Venice Place project)

It took a decade, but a boutique mixed-use hotel project located on L.A.’s famous Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice has finally secured all its required approvals and is headed toward construction. 

“Honestly, if it was on almost any other street in Los Angeles it wouldn’t be worth it,” said Steven Edwards, the developer and founder of the firm REthink Development, referring to the project’s long timeline. “This one’s worth it.” 

The block-long Venice Place Project is located at 1021-1033 and 1047-1051 Abbot Kinney Boulevard and will include multiple components, with a 78-room hotel, four apartments, about 3,000 square feet of retail space and 2,000 square feet of office space.   

Plans also call for a new restaurant, which will join two more restaurants at the property — the existing Felix Trattoria and the soon to open ATLA Venice — “to try to create a little foodie mecca in Venice,” Edwards said. 

The team is currently in talks with potential hotel operators and hopes to begin construction next year and open in 2026, he added. 

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That timeline, which could still be pushed back further by construction delays, would add up to about 13 years from the original application to the site’s actual opening. Edwards and the property owner, Dan Abrams, first proposed a version of the project in 2013. 

But that proposal drew objections from neighbors who worried about traffic congestion, and the plans subsequently went through years of revisions, community meetings, public hearings and environmental reviews. The City of Los Angeles ended up granting its signoff in 2020, and the California Coastal Commission finally gave its greenlight in December. The property is located on the western side of Abbot Kinney Boulevard, about a half mile inland from the Venice Boardwalk.

“Los Angeles is broken in terms of development,” Edwards said. 

He added that Measure ULA, the city’s steep new transfer tax on most property deals over $5 million, has now put up yet another development hurdle. “All the developers I know are not touching L.A. anymore until they figure this stuff out,” he explained.   

But Edwards is still bullish on the city, and particularly Venice, as a destination and commercial market. The project aims to mesh with the neighborhood’s laid-back vibe, with features that include a skateboard and surfboard checkout, rooftop garden and large central courtyard. 

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