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Beverly Hills Weekly
Beverly Hills, California
February 3, 2000     Beverly Hills Weekly
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February 3, 2000

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aroundtown New Hotel Slated for Wilshire & Palm Residents praise developers attempts,to cooperate with neighborhood. By Michele Lu The empty lot on the south side of Wilshire between Maple and Palm drives, which has been vacant for over 10 years, may finally be developed. Developers of the proposed Hel Bel Jardin made their first presentation to the Planning Commission last week. The meeting was held to allow the Planning Commission and the general public to hear a detailed the entrance driveway. The applicants were given a one-hour time limit for their presentation. "We were hoping to be able to go into more detail," Steven Crowe, the project developer, said. "We will continue to try to work with the city staff and the Planning Commission to address any concerns they have about the project." lltWhen a high quality hotel moves in, the adjacent properties all go up in value. Everyone benefits. || -- Joseph nIDm, former 8edy Hills Mayor description of the project. The proposed Hotel Bel Jardin is a 133 room luxury, residential hotel with an interior garden courtyard and subter- ranean valet parking for 171 cars. The project architect is Bruce Bailey of Gin Wong Associates, the architectural firm that designed the Los Angeles Four Seasons, the MGM and the Hilton head- quarters in Beverly Hills. Some of the concerns voiced by the commissioners were related to taxi and limousine traffic, problems with the load- ing dock, with parking and the design of Former Mayor Joseph Tilem, who now serves as the legal advisor of the project, says that the Planning Commission was receptive to the concept and gave con- structive suggestions as to how to improve the project. "When a high quality hotel moves in, the adjacent properties all go up in value. Everyone benefits. I think it's going to enhance the neighborhood. It will finally put the site to use. The site has been vacant for over 10 years. It will replace an eyesore with a high quality hotel," Tilem said. A decade ago, the lot was the one-time site of the Hillcrest Motors. While an EIR of the project is being pre- pared, the applicants say that the next step in the process is to meet with people in the neighbor- hood and get their feed- back. Frances Shloss, a res- ident of Maple drive since 1956, says that a hotel is the least intru- sive of all possible uses to build at the site. "This is a difficult city because the residential borders on the commercial. Something has to be built there. As far as I'm con- cerned, it's fine because it's the least amount of traffic," Shloss said. At the presentation to the Planning Commission, Shloss did suggest restrict- ed loading dock hours so that it did not coincide with the early morning and late afternoon service hours at the Lexus deal- ership. According to Steven Crowe, he felt that restricting the loading dock hours is a good solution."It seems very feasible to me," Crowe said. .Ust'srmaramot,asoahatmt Howard Schultz, vice president of the Beverly Hills South Side Neighborhood Association, was contacted by the project developers and given preliminary plans for him to review. "In the past, the neighborhood associa- tions have been accused of being against any development. We are really only against projects that do not conform to code. This particular project does meet the code requirements. I'm speaking as an individual, and very frankly, I think it's pretty good. I'm pleased they asked for comments from us," Schultz said. • • Ryors • • business cards • • letterhead • • advertisements • • magazine layout • • web design • 2; 304470; 3; or email: Stocks and Investments Dow Jonesl Nasdaql Stocks, Bonds, and Mutual Fundsl Join our Stocks and Inveslment class and learn more about investingl Tuesday and Thursday, 3:45-6:15 pm Beverly Hills High School Legal Careers Learn the pradical side of law for everyday lifel Conlracts, small business agreements, parking tickets and other civil and criminal matters wig be coveu. Sludy the legal termi- nolagy and skills needed for high paying entry-level positions as court personnel, legal secretaries and law office support positions Monday and Wednesday, 6:30- 9:00pm Beverly Hills High School Call 310.551.51 O0 x8292 for more info 4 • Beverly Hills Weekly