L.A. City Council backs 520-unit apartment complex at Sportsmen’s Lodge site

The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday backed a developer’s plans to replace the iconic Sportsmen’s Lodge in Studio City with a 520-unit mixed-use residential development.

The council voted 13-1 to reject an appeal of the project, allowing Midwood Investment & Development to demolish the once-popular event center and hotel located at Ventura Boulevard and Coldwater Canyon Avenue.

In addition to 520 apartments, 78 of which would be reserved for low-income tenants, the development will offer 46,000 square feet of commercial space. A bicycle and pedestrian path along the LA River is also planned.

The Erewhon grocery chain, which operates a store on the site, Studio City Residents Assn. and Unite Here Local 11, which represents hospitality workers, sought to stop the project and filed appeals with the city.

Some opponents argued that the hotel should be preserved. It was one of the first to unionize in the San Fernando Valley and one of the first unionized hotels in Los Angeles. Others were concerned about the project’s 97-foot height, construction noise and environmental impact.

In its heyday, Sportsmen’s Lodge was a meeting place for movie studios and a popular venue for weddings, bar mitzvahs and New Year’s parties. The event center and restaurant opened in 1946 and the hotel in 1962.

The hotel closed permanently during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Supporters of the development argue it will bring housing to that section of Studio City, which is being targeted for a wave of new development. Across the river, the private school Harvard-Westlake plans to build extensive athletic facilities.

City Councilor Hugo Soto-Martinez, a former Unite Here 11 organizer, cast the lone “no” vote. Council President Paul Krekorian was absent from Wednesday’s vote.

Council member Nithya Raman, who represents Studio City, had declined to take a position on the development but voted yes at Wednesday’s meeting.

California Daily Newspapers

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