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    HomeNewsFaring's French Market Development Project is Dead

    Faring’s French Market Development Project is Dead

    At the regular West Hollywood City Council meeting on Monday, February 5, 2024, it was revealed that developer Faring’s French Market Development Project is a complete bust due to expired entitlements. During council comments, Councilmember Lauren Meister bluntly called the project, “dead.”

    An update on major commercial and mixed-use development projects in the City of West Hollywood, city staff revealed that the entitlements and building plan check on the proposed three-story, 49’-6” tall, 69,293 square foot multi-use commercial building with 146 parking spaces in a subterranean structure had expired, and that no further extensions were available.

    As part of the planning phase, entitlements on The French Market Development were approved on December 5, 2019, through Planning Commission Resolution No. PC 19-1342. A one-year extension of the entitlements was granted in December 2022. The project entitlements expired on December 5, 2023.

    The building plan check expired on May 29, 2023.

    The ambitious project included rehabilitation, adaptive reuse, and modifications to the existing potential cultural resource on the French Market site. The approved project was commercial-only and did not include any housing units.

    According to Jennifer Alkire, current and historic preservation planning manager, Faring is working on getting a tenant in the French Market building, and they plan to proceed with the rehabilitation of the space. “We’re hopeful that will come in soon,” she said. “They’ve been in talks with us for the last few months.”

    Councilmember Meister pointed out that the developer cut down 2 trees in the parking lot as part of the development. She said she wanted staff to work with the developer to bring trees back into the space.

    The French Market closed on July 12, 2015.Faring hosted a groundbreaking ceremony in February 2022.

    Groundbreaking of French Market Development Project – WEHO TIMES

    History has it that The French Market was originally constructed in 1936 on then-Route 66 and operated as a Fitzsimmons Grocery Store, an outlet of the small Los Angeles-based supermarket chain. The building had many incarnations. It was sold and expanded in 1972 to real estate developer Jay and Lynda Hartman who turned it into a restaurant. They added a mezzanine in the back and turned into the Louisiana Purchase.

    Years later restaurateur Tom Simms bought the building and launched his French Market eatery. Simms’ restaurant in turn supplied a steady stream of customers for the small businesses that surrounded it on three sides, such as Dorothy’s Surrender gift shop and Baby Jane, a movie memorabilia shop that sold autographed photos, costumes and even “celebrity earthquake ruins.”

    Jake Stevens, the vice president at Faring, confirmed that a restaurant of sorts will return to the space and that Faring will invest in rehabilitating the building as promised. He would only confirm that a restaurant was returning to the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Laurel Avenue. He had no comment regarding the return of the retail and office spaces that were part of the French Market experience.

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    Paulo Murillo
    Paulo Murillohttps://wehotimes.com
    Paulo Murillo is Editor in Chief and Publisher of WEHO TIMES. He brings over 20 years of experience as a columnist, reporter, and photo journalist. Murillo began his professional writing career as the author of “Love Ya, Mean It,” an irreverent and sometimes controversial West Hollywood lifestyle column for FAB! newspaper. His work has appeared in numerous print and online publications, which include the “Hot Topic” column in Frontiers magazine, where he covered breaking news and local events in West Hollywood. He can be reached at [email protected]

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    BloodshotEyedGuy
    BloodshotEyedGuy
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    2 months ago

    Well, ya know, WeHo, you can’t magically bring back good, safe times and fun, nice, respectful residents so soon after ripping the city apart and destroying these once iconic local venues. The French Market was like something out of a wonderful movie, where you could relax, socialize, cruise, and just feel safe in a bubble of acceptance and community that you wont find elsewhere, not even at the former Big Gay Starbucks. French Market was the crown jewel of gay WeHo. I honestly feel bad for new generations of gay folks who will never know what it was like to… Read more »

    Last edited 2 months ago by BloodshotEyedGuy
    Jimmy palmieri
    Jimmy palmieri
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    2 months ago

    Damn…..I was looking forward to onion soup and gossip!!!!!

    Greg wertser
    Greg wertser
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    2 months ago

    Who is going to rent the space? Nobody can afford $20 minimum wages! All our businesses are closing.

    Weho artist
    Weho artist
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    Reply to  Greg wertser
    2 months ago

    Please name one business that closed because of the minimum wage. It’s $19.06 btw

    P S
    P S
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    Reply to  Weho artist
    2 months ago

    “After delays and extreme changes to the cost of doing business over the last couple of years, especially in West Hollywood, it is a real bummer, to say the least, that we had to make the difficult decision to suspend operations at Charcoal Sunset.”

    mikey d
    mikey d
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    Reply to  Weho artist
    2 months ago

    The two restaurants at Santa Monica and Flores. IHOP.

    BloodshotEyedGuy
    BloodshotEyedGuy
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    Reply to  Weho artist
    2 months ago

    Do you want that reality in a list by alphabetical order or by order of importance? I can provide it but it would be a waste of my precious time unless you will actually pull your head out of the sand to read it.

    Kevin
    Kevin
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    Reply to  Greg wertser
    2 months ago

    A restauranteur with a good business plan and sufficient capital. I count at least 16 new restaurants opening in weho since the new minimum wage.

    Business Owner
    Business Owner
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    Reply to  Greg wertser
    2 months ago

    The current city councils policies have destroyed the businesses in this city. the city is full of for lease signs. 50 percent of remaining business are in process closing down. This city was once vibrant full of life it is not safe, businesses are closing left right centre.

    P S
    P S
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    2 months ago

    Not a surprise. These deadbeat developers do nothing except make big donations to the campaigns of certain members of WeHo city council. What’s next the Melrose Triangle ditch?

    TomSmart
    TomSmart
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    2 months ago

    Corner of Santa Monica and LaJolla???? A “restaurant of sorts”….what does that even mean???

    Enough!
    Enough!
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    2 months ago

    With the French Market project dead and the Robertson Lane project sitting stagnant and an eyesore, this developer will find it very hard in the future to get any community support for any future projects that he might propose.

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