Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Vacant Westwood

The endless tale of vacant storefronts in Westwood continues. From the Bruin:

Westwood Village may be able to fill vacant storefronts and bring in new businesses by loosening restrictions on dining and parking requirements. The Westwood Village Improvement Association, a nonprofit organization tasked with improving the state of the Village, submitted amendments to the Westwood Village Specific Plan, the master planning document that outlines zoning regulations. The amendments seek to relax food definitions and parking requirements for current and prospective businesses in Westwood Village. The Los Angeles City Council voted Jan. 30 to approve a motion directing the Department of City Planning to conduct a review of the Westwood Specific Plan and the WVIA’s amendments. The council’s decision was finalized Feb. 1, and the Department of City Planning has 90 days to report back regarding its recommendations for the plan and the WVIA’s amendments. Andrew Thomas, executive director of the association, said the motion signals a significant achievement for the WVIA and the Village...

Full story at

Isn't the real problem that commercial retail rents being demanded are too high? There seems to be a collective failure in Westwood. Empty stores make the overall business location less desirable, reducing demand for space in the face of too-high demands for rents. Filling the spaces through a cooperative and coordinated rent drop would make Westwood more vibrant and attractive. Empty stores produce no revenue. Realistic rents are better than zero revenue. Is zoning really the key issue? Just asking.

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