Real Estate

LA Council Votes on 520-Unit Complex at Historic Sportsmen’s Lodge

LA City Council to decide on replacing historic Sportsmen’s Lodge with 520 apartments, amid mixed community reactions.

By Tal Alexander

4/3, 15:43 EDT

Key Takeaway

  • LA City Council to vote on replacing historic Sportsmen’s Lodge with a 520-apartment complex, including 78 affordable units.
  • The project aims to revitalize Ventura Boulevard, featuring 46,000 sq ft of retail space and a bike path along the Los Angeles River.
  • Despite appeals from Erewhon, Studio City Residents Association, and Unite Here Local 11 to preserve the hotel's history, plans move forward.

A Historic Transformation in Studio City

Midwood Investment & Development is at the forefront of a significant transformation in Studio City, Los Angeles, with plans to replace the iconic Sportsmen’s Lodge with a modern apartment complex. This development, poised to introduce 520 apartments at 12825 Ventura Boulevard, marks a pivotal moment for the Los Angeles City Council, which will decide the project's fate on April 3. The proposal has stirred a mix of emotions, drawing support from housing advocates while facing opposition from those who wish to preserve the historic essence of the 190-room hotel, a site once graced by Hollywood legends and renowned musicians.

The Controversy and Community Response

The Sportsmen’s Lodge, a symbol of Mid-century Modern architecture since its opening in 1962, has witnessed a decline, culminating in its closure during the pandemic. The property, partially revitalized as the Shops at Sportsmen’s Lodge in 2021, now faces a transformative future with The Residences at Sportsmen’s Lodge. This project, designed by Marmol Radziner in collaboration with OLIN, promises luxury living with 78 affordable units for low-income households, alongside commercial spaces and a bike path. However, the development has encountered resistance, notably from Erewhon, the Studio City Residents Association, and Unite Here Local 11, reflecting a broader debate on the balance between development and historical preservation.

The Intersection of Development and History

The proposed demolition of the Sportsmen’s Lodge to make way for a seven-story apartment complex underscores a critical junction in Los Angeles' urban development narrative. This project not only represents a shift towards meeting the city's ambitious housing goals but also raises questions about the preservation of cultural landmarks. The lodge's historical significance, highlighted by its role in the labor movement and its status as a gathering place for Hollywood's elite, juxtaposes the pressing need for affordable housing and revitalization along Ventura Boulevard.

A Vision for Studio City's Future

The debate surrounding The Residences at Sportsmen’s Lodge encapsulates the broader challenges cities face in balancing development with historical preservation. While the loss of the Sportsmen’s Lodge would mark the end of an era, the proposed development promises to inject new life into Studio City, offering a contemporary vision that aligns with Los Angeles' housing objectives. This project, if approved, could serve as a model for integrating modern living spaces with community-oriented commercial offerings, all while navigating the complexities of urban development in historically rich areas.

Management Quotes

  • Kurt Petersen, Co-President of Unite Here Local 11:

    "We continue to believe that … the historic hotel is an important remaining link to that history, and therefore should be preserved."

  • Dave Rand, Lawyer representing Midwood:

    "This will bring one of the most important and catalytic developments to this part of the San Fernando Valley... For years, Ventura Boulevard has been a largely ignored, yet hugely important corridor in the Valley. With this city’s unbelievably ambitious housing goals and obligations, the corner of Coldwater and Ventura Boulevard at this site is the perfect location to bring housing, mixed use and river-appropriate fronted development."