Sportsmen's Lodge in Studio City to be demolished to make way for new apartments and more shops

Councilmembers voted 13-1 Thursday in support of the project, which would replace the hotel with apartments and commercial space.

Carlos Granda Image
Thursday, April 4, 2024
Sportsmen's Lodge to be demolished to make way for apartments, shops
Councilmembers voted 13-1 Thursday in support of the project, which would replace the hotel with apartments and commercial space.

STUDIO CITY, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The Los Angeles City Council approved plans for a mixed-use project that's expected to bring a big change to the Sportsmen's Lodge hotel in Studio City.

Councilmembers voted 13-1 Thursday in support of the project, which would replace the hotel with apartments and commercial space. The council ultimately denied appeals filed by the Studio City Residents Association, a high-end grocery store, Erewhon, which is next to the project site, and Unite Here Local 11, a union that represents hotel workers.

The matter was approved without discussion.

The proposed apartment building would include 520 residential units along with shops and restaurants.

"We want to move this project forward, an opportunity for the skilled and trained workers within this beautiful city and county to be able to work here locally," said Jonathan Duran with the Western States Regional Council of Carpenters during Thursday's council meeting.

Midwood Investment Development is spearheading the development. The company issued a statement Thursday, which says in part, "This new development will provide much-needed housing, including 78 affordable housing residences. We are looking forward to delivering this mixed-use offering to the community."

The project is intended as a complement to the Shops at Sportsmen's Lodge on Coldwater Canyon Avenue. The retail complex was built on the site of the hotel's former conference room, and includes 94,000 square feet of rentable space.

Some residents in the area, however, have great concerns that the new building will overwhelm the area.

"It's going to be outsized compared to every single other thing here on the boulevard," said Studio City resident Pam Friedman.

The new building would be 94 feet high, taller than any other building in the area. Construction would also involve moving 430,000 cubic yards of dirt. Residents told ABC7 that would mean more truck traffic and congestion along Ventura Boulevard and Coldwater Canyon.

"Already, we are seeing a big influx in traffic, and a big influx in offside parking for the shopping center over there," said Friedman.

"I'm not against development, I'm against bad development, and this does not meet the needs of our neighborhood," said resident Adele Slaughter, who described the whole idea as putting Mid-Wilshire in the middle of Studio City.

In March, the Council's Planning, Land Use and Management Committee heard from Midwood and opponents of the project.

Dave Rand, attorney for Midwood, previously said the project would bring "one of the most important and catalytic developments to this part of the San Fernando Valley,'' the Daily News reported.

The project is backed by the Valley Industry Commerce Association and The Valley Economic Alliance.

"Midwood has been an integral part of the Studio City fabric since the 1960s. Their commitment to invest hundreds of millions of dollars into this project without seeking public funds for its affordable housing component is not only commendable but a testament to their dedication to our community's growth and well-being,'' Stuart Waldman, president of VICA, said in a statement issued in March, following PLUM's action.

"We urge the community and city leaders to support the Residences at Sportsmen's Lodge. This project represents a step forward in our collective vision for a more vibrant, inclusive and dynamic Studio City,'' Waldman added.

The 1960s hotel is also well known for its connections to Hollywood, which legendary stars Clark Gable, Humphrey Bogart, John Wayne and Katharine Hepburn often frequented.

With the council's approval, Midwood has said it is expected to complete the project in 2027.

City News Service, Inc. contributed to this report.