Last year, when the car repair business at the streamline moderne Firestone building at 8th and La Brea suddenly closed, neighbors worried that a developer would swoop in and tear it down. But new owners Conroy Commercial said at the time that they were definitely interested in preserving the structure, a Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monument, and that they were searching for a new tenant, most likely a restaurant or showroom, that could best take advantage of the large, dramatic space.
Since last fall, however, the building has remained vacant, and not much has changed, except for a large wall erected around the building to keep out transients and trash, and an apparently temporary use as a garage for tour buses.
Now, however, it looks like the owners have decided to take a slightly different approach with the property. On January 5, an application was submitted to the city by Conroy Commercial’s Brad Conroy, requesting a conditional use permit to allow a full line of alcohol sales at the property, along with other modifications to turn it into “a multiple restaurant venue market hall and microbrewery.”
The application specifies proposed hours of 7 a.m. to 12 a.m. Sunday through Wednesday, and 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Thursday through Saturday. It says the 12,724 square foot space “will include approximately 3,493 square feet of restaurant and microbrewery operations, 1,680 square feet of retail and 1,057 square feet of support areas, including trash, restrooms and electrical.” There will also be 6,494 square feet of common seating area, with 182 seats. Of those, 154 seats would be either interior to the structure or among 84 covered patio seats and 28 sidewalk patio dining.
Several residents of the property’s Sycamore Square neighborhood, queried by the Buzz this morning, said they are cautiously optimistic about the proposal (a restaurant or similar use has long been urged by many people both from and outside the neighborhood)…but they are also concerned about parking and other details and conditions, which have not yet been specified. (It’s worth noting that the building’s driveway/parking area has long been leased by other neighborhood restaurants for valet parking space…so its future occupation by a new restaurant and shops could significantly affect parking situations and agreements for other neighborhood restaurants, as well as the surrounding communities.)
Neither Conroy Commercial nor its project representative have responded so far to queries for more information, but we will update the story as details become available.