Ambitious project for The Standard Hotel Nixed

Venetian Islands

Susan Askew
Susan Askew

Ambitious project for The Standard Hotel Nixed:

Owners doing simple renovations instead

It’s been rumored and assumed for months… but now it’s officially on the record. The major renovation planned for the Standard Hotel and Spa on Belle Isle is not happening (rendering above). Instead, the owners are undertaking simple interior renovations, adding some windows, and replacing damaged tiles on the hotel’s entrance.

After many community meetings and a City ordinance change, the hotel’s owners received approval to demolish the east wing and rebuild it into a three-story resilient structure with the same number but larger code-compliant hotel rooms. The structure would have also housed a new garage to alleviate traffic congestion on Island Avenue caused when cars line up for valet and then are driven over the bridge to a garage in Sunset Harbour.
 
Not long after the approvals, the project’s champion – Joseph “Pepe” Tena, CEO of the Ferrado Group – was killed in a helicopter crash outside of Los Angeles along with two other company executives. Ferrado Group holdings include the Standard hotels in New York, Los Angeles, and Miami Beach

At the Design Review Board last week, attorney Monika Entin presented plans for new windows on the north side of the property and asked for a variance with regard to setbacks for a new FPL vault and to build a nine-foot high fence around the vault as well as back of house activities.
 
In her presentation she noted the larger approved project is not moving forward. “They are now doing minor renovations of the interior of property,” she said.  
 
In addition, the owners will replace the tiles on the façade after a number of them fell off. Entin said the fence around the back of house activities would shield neighbors from the day-to-day operational activities.
 
Variances require a 5/7 vote and with only five members in attendance at that point in the meeting due to one absence and an early departure, the application would have required unanimous approval. Despite no objections having been raised by neighbors to the taller fence, DRB member Marvin Weinstein said he could not vote for the nine-foot fence around the back of house until he heard the community supported it. The fence abuts the single-family homes on Farrey Lane.
 
Entin asked for a vote on the fence around the FPL vault at the rear of the property which received unanimous approval and asked the variance on the back of house fence be heard in June when a full Board is present. Weinstein said he was willing to vote for the taller fence if the surrounding property owners send letters or show up to express their support next month.
 
The Board also asked for the proposed new windows on the back of the property be more aligned with existing window openings and be articulated like the existing windows.
 
The full application is here.

UPDATE: The DRB approved the application on June 4, 2019.

 Rendering: Rene Gonzalez & Associates
 

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