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Monday, May 23, 2022

PROJECT—Troubled Project May Get Rebirth At Hollywest Site

Developer Ira Smedra is out and MacFarlane Partners is in at Hollywood’s on again, off again mixed-use Hollywest project.

Sources say that San Francisco-based MacFarlane Partners had taken over the construction site, raising hopes that the project will move beyond its half-finished status.

Hollywest, under construction at Hollywood Boulevard and Western Avenue, has been inching along for more than 10 years because of disputes over design and financing. The $37 million development was designed to provide 100 units of senior housing, to be called Hollyview, built above 120,000 square feet of retail. The retail portion is to be anchored by a Ralphs and a Ross Dress for Less.

Details of the transition were not available. Smedra would not discuss the disposition of the project and MacFarlane officials were unavailable for comment.

But Richard Washington, vice president for project development at Retirement Housing Foundation, the Long Beach-based nonprofit that ultimately would own the housing portion of the development, confirmed the change in management.

The change also was confirmed by a contractor at the site, who said bills he claimed had been unpaid by Smedra’s Hollywest Promenade LLC had been taken care of and contractors now are working for MacFarlane.

Still to be settled is the value of the housing portion of the project.

In exchange for $5.1 million in financing from the Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency, Smedra agreed to sell the residential component to the agency for $13.4 million upon completion of construction. The CRA, in turn, would sell the housing to the Retirement Housing Foundation.

The initial overall project cost was $29 million, but costs have climbed over the course of the last decade, and Smedra reportedly has upped his construction estimate to $37 million.

Donna DeBruhl-Hemer, Hollywood project manager for the redevelopment agency, said the agency plans to vote July 19 on an amendment to an owner participation agreement that would increase the purchase price of the residential portion, though she declined to identify the new price.

Washington said his board also has to vote to up the price it would pay, though he declined to say by how much.

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