Jul 28, 2014
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Commonwealth Building Demolition Delayed

The historic 1960s-era building in the NoHo Arts District is scheduled to be replaced with a modern mixed-use development.

Commonwealth Building Demolition Delayed Commonwealth Building Demolition Delayed Commonwealth Building Demolition Delayed Commonwealth Building Demolition Delayed

Back in April Patch reported on the on Lankershim Boulevard in the NoHo Arts District. The 1960s-era high-rise had been set to be replaced with a modern mixed-use development, but now those plans are on hold.

The groundbreaking for the new development was scheduled for "Summer 2011," but an official with Chandler Partners, the owners of the Commonwealth Building, said those plans are delayed, as is the demolition. 

The official did not give the reasons for the delay and asked not to be identified because the person most directly involved in the project is on vacation, but simply said the company is "going through the process and there was not much more news to report."

The building, located at 5077 Lankershim Blvd., was built in 1961 and was one of the first high-rise structures in the San Fernando Valley, according to the Los Angeles Conservancy. It currently is home to a Citibank branch location.

Chandler collaborated with the Los Angeles Conservancy on a two-year study of the feasibility of continuing to use the building as office space, but ultimately decided to tear the building down.

The Los Angeles Conservancy submitted the building to the Cultural Heritage Commission for consideration as a historic monument, which would have ceased the demolition. But despite the fact that the Los Angeles Conservancy calls the building "one of the finest mid-twentieth-century office buildings in the San Fernando Valley," the commission denied the application in 2007.

Richard Hilton of the Museum of the San Fernando Valley stopped by the Patch booth at the National Night Out celebration in North Hollywood Park on Aug. 2 and chatted about the building. Hilton leads the museum's , which frequently includes the structure.

Hilton, who strongly supports preserving the building, said the main reason the Cultural Heritage Commission turned down the preservation application was because while the outside of the building has been preserved in its original form, most of the inside had been completely remodeled throughout the years. But Hilton expressed hope that the building might still be saved.

Chandler Partners plans to replace the building with a contemporary five-story, 136-unit apartment complex with 14,000 square feet of retail on the ground floor, according to plans posted on the company's Web site.

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