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Council approves new West Hollywood club

August 17, 2009 7:21:55 AM PDT
After a lengthy meeting, the West Hollywood City Council voted unanimously in favor of SoHo House moving on to the Sunset Strip. But the decision faced plenty of opposition from nearby residents and from the Beverly Hills Mayor.Sunset Boulevard is about to become home to one of the world most exclusive clubs. SoHo House, which is know in London and Manhattan as a member's only elite club, is slated for the top two floors of Luckman Plaza.

But it's not sitting well with many area residents.

"This is not the appropriate location," one local resident said during the city council meeting Monday night.

Concerned residents tried to make their case to the West Hollywood City Council. They're worried SoHo House will be a late night party place, attracting paparazzi and adding to the traffic congestion they say is already a problem with the new Boa Steakhouse at the base of building owned by Mani Brothers.

"The cars screeching, the valet park is terrible, terrible," said Kathleen Heyman.

"I didn't pick to come to loud and crazy area, they created it in my backyard," said Jorge Usatorres

However, supporters of SoHo House, like the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, say the A-list club will bring social, cultural and economic benefits to the city.

"This is excellent for the city of West Hollywood. This enlivens the western end of the Sunset Strip," said Sharon Sandow, President and CEO of the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. "It brings in an internationally known and respected brand. It brings in a creative community into the creative city."

Representatives of SoHo House say they're working to address the residents' concerns, like the noise.

"We're putting up a six-and-half foot glass wall around the perimeter of the building and a landscape buffer to further deflect noise," said Steven Afriat, a representative of SoHo House.

The mayor of Beverly Hills, flanked by two of her own council members, came to the meeting hoping to convince the West Hollywood City Council to rethink the project.

"You can't mitigate the traffic, the noise, the light pollution, the sound pollution and it's too much," said Beverly Hills Mayor Nancy Krasne.

West Hollywood resident Bob White lives near the proposed location and he has a different opinion.

"For God sakes we're in Hollywood. This is a wonderful club for the kind of people who have made this city what it is," said White.

The new SoHo House at 9200 Sunset Boulevard near Doheny will accommodate about 300 members. It's slated to open sometime next spring.

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