Save The Derby in the Los Feliz Ledger

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babyblue65bird
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Save The Derby in the Los Feliz Ledger

Postby babyblue65bird » Tue Oct 11, 2005 8:54 am

Friday, September 09, 2005

Los Feliz Ledger September Issue Article


Developer Wants to Demolish Derby Nightclub

By Allison B. Cohen

Representatives of developer Richard Gable of Hillhurst/Los Feliz LLC, are meeting with various community groups proposing the demolition of the Derby nightclub and Louisa’s Trattoria to build a five story mixed use condominimum/retail complex at the site located at the corner of Los Feliz Blvd. and Hillhurst Ave.

Additional plans for the complex include underground parking and retail stores at the street level, possibly a Whole Foods Market.

"It’s our opinion that there is nothing historical about that building," said Steven Afriat, president of Arfiat Consulting Group, a Burbank based political consultancy and public relations firm representing Gable. "But we want to be a good neighbor and realize that there are some in the neighborhood that think it is. We may make concessions, in the light of being a good neighbor."

City Councilmember Tom LaBonge said he opposes a grocery store in that location and hopes the developer will respect the Derby’s long standing history in Los Angeles.

"I hope whoever is proposing to do anything to the Derby should include the historic nature of the building into whatever is proposed," said LaBonge. "I understand they are proposing a Whole Foods market," he said, "but that would overwhelm that location."

But Gable disagrees. "We think the project will be great for this community. It’s hard to make everyone happy. But there is a large group that would love a Whole Foods."

The Greater Griffith Park Neighborhood council has voiced concerns over historic preservation as well improper set-back, traffic and affordability, all of which Gable said he was addressing.

The council is to see revised plans either this month or in October, according to Ron Weinstein, chair of the zoning and historic preservation committee of the council.

The developer will additionally make a presentation this month to the zoning committee of the Los Feliz Improvement Assoc., according to Donna Zenor, LFIA president.

"There has been a huge amount of negative feedback on this," said Zenor. However, the LFIA, she said, has not taken a position pro or con on the development at this time.

The Derby was built in 1928 by Los Feliz resident Cecil B. DeMille and eventually became one of the five Brown Derby’s in Los Angeles where Hollywood moguls and stars gathered from the 1940s to the 1960s. The site was rediscovered in 1996 when it was featured in the movie "Swingers."

At least one group has formed to try and keep The Derby from demolition.

"I was horrified at the prospect of losing such a wonderful historic site and feel that Los Angeles has lost so many of its architectural and cultural gems," said Rebecca Goodman, 38, a founding member of "Save the Derby."

The grassroots group, she said, has hundreds of members, a web site and is currently organizing public meetings to get community input. "This would be a terrible loss for the city," she said.

According to Gable, a historic study was done on the property within the last six months, indicating the Derby does not qualify as an historical site.

But the Los Angeles Conservancy thinks that could possibly change.

"The Derby has no historical status," said Ken Bernstein, director of preservation issues. "But we do believe it has historical signficance and may be eligible for historic status."
Where are we going & what are we doing in this handbasket?

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babyblue65bird
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Postby babyblue65bird » Sat Dec 17, 2011 12:44 am

Where are we going & what are we doing in this handbasket?

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nichols
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Postby nichols » Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:07 pm

The reason it's a Chase Bank and not a multi-story apartment building and supermarket is because ModCom and friends spent several years on this effort:

viewtopic.php?t=3737

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babyblue65bird
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Postby babyblue65bird » Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:50 pm

I remember, because I was there! With Rebecca and the Friends of The Derby. That town hall meeting was something else, and I like to think my little speech in front of the city commission helped with the historical designation.
Where are we going & what are we doing in this handbasket?


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