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City Hearing Provides Latest Look at Revised Portions of Farmers Insurance Project

Latest renderings of the eastern block of the two-block development planned for the former Farmers Insurance property. This drawing shows the corner of Wilshire Blvd. and Muirfield Rd., looking west along Wilshire. This section of the development, as currently outlined, includes ten 3-story single family homes on the northern half of the block, five facing Muirfield and five facing and Mullen Ave., and six single-family homes (as previously planned) along 8th Street between Muirfield and Mullen.


The last time we checked in with the project proposed for the former Farmers Insurance property, along the south side of Wilshire Blvd. between Muirfield Road and Rimpau Blvd., back in 2019, the plans for the new Wilshire Mullen development called for the western block (Block A) of the two-block parcel, to be re-developed with 63 condominiums in the existing Art Deco office building, along with amenities spaces and an additional eight townhomes along the Mullen side of the block (as shown in the left side of the illustration below). And, on the eastern block (Block B, at the right side in the illustration below), there would be 10 duplex homes on the northern half, between Mullen and Muirfield Rd., and six single family homes along the south side of the block, along 8th St., as also shown below.


2019 site and landscaping plan for the two-block Wilshire Mullen development


But as has been the case with a number of things over the last couple of years, the development plans have now downsized at tiny bit.  A city hearing last week on the developers’ most recent request for the project (approving a tract map for the lot divisions on Block B) provided a good chance to catch up with the latest plans and renderings.

First, as shown in the drawings provided at the hearing, the plans for Block A now specify 65 condominiums in the existing former office building…and the space that would have housed the amenity deck and 8 townhomes will instead remain a parking lot, as it is now (there will also be additional underground parking in the existing building, and a number of covenanted parking spaces across Wilshire Blvd.).   And Block B will hold ten 3-story small-lot single-family homes, with the six larger single-family homes remaining along the 8th St. side of the block:


New site plan shown at the August 25, 2022 city hearing.


The more detailed drawing below, which also shows landscaping for Block B,  shows how the 10 single-family homes will be arranged on the northern part of the block, with half facing Mullen and half facing Muirfield Rd….along with the originally-planned six single family homes along 8th Street.



These are the updated views from Wilshire Blvd., Muirfield Road, and Mullen Ave.:



Or, in a closer view from one of the side streets:



Meanwhile, the 8th Street side of the block still looks about the same as it has in previous versions of the plans:




At last week’s hearing, focusing specifically on the Block B tract map application, representatives from the Department of City Planning recommended that the city approve the request.  Deputy Advisory Agency representative Deborah Kahen said the only community input she received on the matter prior to the hearing was a letter from the Windsor Square Association and the Brookside Homeowners Association, asking only that 8th Street not be widened for the project.  Developers’ representative Michael Gonzales said they are not requesting that any of the adjacent streets be widened…but Bureau of Engineering Representative Quyen Pham said 8th street is quite narrow, by city standards, and is not wide enough for two-way traffic and parking on both sides, so that department does recommend widening 8th Street.

In the end, Kahen said she is inclined to approve the project as requested, but will take the matter under advisement before issuing her final determination.

A few days after the meeting, John Welborne, the Windsor Square Association’s Vice President for Planning and Land Use, confirmed to the Buzz that the WSA fully supports the current version of the project (with no objections except for the possible widening of 8th Street, which would also remove several mature street trees).  Welborne said the development will bring much-needed new housing to the neighborhood, and does so in a manner consistent with the Park Mile Specific Plan’s longtime design standards for the area.


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Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller
Elizabeth Fuller was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN but has lived in LA since 1991 - with deep roots in both the Sycamore Square and West Adams Heights-Sugar Hill neighborhoods. She spent 10 years with the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, volunteers at Wilshire Crest Elementary School, and has been writing for the Buzz since 2015.

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