Westminster Senior Center will be used for 12-step meetings, not homeless people’s belongings By Gary Walker Three years after plans to store homeless people’s belongings at Venice’s long-shuttered Westminster Senior Center triggered multiple lawsuits against the city and strenuous public debate, city officials have found another use for the park-adjacent building at 1234 Pacific Ave. The nonprofit, all-volunteer Venice Recovery Center will temporarily set up shop there to host Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step meetings, Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin’s office announced last week. The center recently lost its location in a storefront on Lincoln Boulevard, so the...Read More
Targeted by activists and the city, Venice Beach Suites can no longer operate as a short-term rental hotel By Gary Walker A city-designated historic-cultural monument that became a popular short-term vacation rental destination on the Venice Boardwalk is now leasing studio apartments to longer-term tenants, following an L.A. City Attorney’s office crackdown on property owners accused of illegally converting rental housing into Airbnb-style hotels. In a court settlement announced late last month, Venice Beach Suites owner Andy Layman agreed to cease operating and advertising the four-story building south of Westminster Avenue as a short-term rental property or hotel and...Read More
Reese Davidson Community would replace the parking lot at Venice and Pacific with retail shops, a community arts center and 136 units of affordable housing By Gary Walker With 68 apartments for the homeless, 34 apartments for low-income artists, 34 apartments for low-income earners, four apartments for on-site supervisors, a neighborhood arts center, 4,000 square feet of retail or restaurant space and on-site parking, the proposed Reese Davidson Community would transform the 2.65-acre beach parking lot where Venice Boulevard meets Pacific Avenue into Venice’s largest affordable housing complex to date. It is also expected to face heavy push- back...Read More
Protest against national chains on the Venice Boardwalk targets new Starbucks Story by Gary Walker | Photos by Ted Soqui A small but energetic crowd braved the chance of showers on Saturday afternoon to stage a protest outside the new Starbucks coffee shop on the Venice Boardwalk, jeering and at times clashing with patrons who welcomed its arrival. That the S&P 500 coffee company now inhabits the former home of the Venice Beach Freakshow — evicted in 2017 amid widespread protest before Snapchat’s retreat from Venice — is only fueling advocacy efforts to keep national chains off the Venice...Read More
Closures mark the end of an era in Venice and curtail a comeback story in Playa Vista By Joe Piasecki, Jessica Koslow and Gary Walker A Westside cultural institution for more than three decades, Hal’s Bar & Grill anchored the renaissance of Abbot Kinney Boulevard and pioneered a flagship presence in the growing community of Playa Vista. The restaurant, bar and live jazz venue didn’t just roll with the changes, it played a leading role in preserving a sense of local identity among the growing presence of national chain stores. That legacy appears to be a historical one now....Read More
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