541 S Spring - Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council

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541 S Spring - Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council
Jose Elias
ZA 2016-1681-CUB
Env. Case No.: ENV-2016-1682-CE
5/13/2016
CONDITIONAL USE - ATTACHMENT – 1
“Don Francisco”
541 S. Spring Street, #124-126
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Representative:
Elizabeth Peterson Group, Inc.
400 S. Main Street, Suite 808
Los Angeles, CA 90013
T: 213-620-1904
F: 213-620-1587
[email protected]
Applicant/Owner:
DF Roasters, LP
2700 Fruitland Avenue
Vernon, CA 90058
T: 323-582-0671
[email protected]
REQUEST(S):
Pursuant to the Los Angeles Municipal Code, section 12.24-W,1; the applicant requests a new
conditional use to permit the on-site sales, service, and consumption of beer and wine only in conjunction
with a 2,126 SF restaurant having 34 interior seats with an additional 10 seats on 246 SF of covered
outdoor dining having hours of operation from 6:00am to 2:00am, daily.
BACKGROUND:
Brothers Jose Maria and Ramon Gavina journeyed from their native home in Spain to southern Cuba
where they took up the craft of coffee production in the late 1800s. Since that time, the art of making
coffee has been passed down from generation to generation. After migrating to Los Angeles, the sons and
daughter decided to continue the family business by founding F. Gavina & Sons, Inc. in 1967. While their
focus has shifted over the years from cultivation to coffee roasting, and wholesale distribution, the end
goal has remained the same – creating fine coffee – and doing it the right way from bean to cup. The
company owns Gavina Gourmet Coffee, Don Francisco’s Coffee, and Café La Llave Espresso. Now, they
turn to opening their first brick and mortar concept here in Los Angeles celebrating the communality of
sitting down to a cup of coffee and the sharing of meals. They will be serving coffee along with breakfast,
lunch, and dinner and are requesting the ability to serve beer and wine alongside.
The subject site for this Conditional Use Permit request is one of the ground floor interior unit spaces in
the Spring Arcade Building, which is a designated Historic-Cultural Monument by the City of Los
Angeles (LA-137). The subject tenant will occupy just over 2,000 square feet within the twelve-story
building. The building itself is located with frontages on Spring Street and Broadway between W. 5th
Street and W. 6th Street with a street-level full-length arcade. It has a General Plan Land Use designation
of Regional Center Commercial. Recognized by the California Office of Historic Preservation, the
building is located within the Broadway Theater and Entertainment District and zoned as [Q] C5-4DCDO-SN, being subject to the Q-conditions of Ordinance No. 180871 and D-limitations of Ordinance No.
164307.
Surrounding uses in the area consist of mixed-use commercial and residential lofts with multiple surface
parking lots situated in the immediate area. Ground floor uses surrounding the Spring Arcade Building
are dedicated for similar retail use, which include coffee shops, restaurants, boutiques, and small markets.
Historic Features
1
The Spring Arcade Building (LA-137) was originally constructed in 1924 as the Mercantile Arcade
Building replacing Mercantile Place, a then Los Angeles landmark for nearly 40 years. The new building
was designed by McDonald and Couchot, who drew their inspiration from the Burlington Arcade in
London. The original layout included 61 shops and 350 offices in two 12-story towers, one facing Spring
Street and one facing Broadway. Its architectural detailing consist of a curved skylight running between
the two buildings and Spanish Renaissance entryways with a Beaux-Arts exterior.
Recent Changes
In 2013, a Master Conditional Use Permit (ZA 2013-1068-MCUP) was issued for the sales and
dispensing of beer and wine and a full-line of alcohol for on-site consumption in conjunction with one
existing and six new venues on the ground floors of the Spring Street Arcade Building and the Thom
McCan Building. The Spring Arcade building with its wide range of shops and eateries has become
increasingly more popular, drawing many visitors and downtown residents to the area. . It has served the
area as a retail mall for many years and features office spaces on the second and third floors with 143
residential units above. The ground floor currently is home to Green Grotto, Guisados, Garcons de Café,
Gelataria Uli, and Crepes Sans Frontieres with slated openings for Downtown Donuts, Clayton’s Public
House (full-service restaurant), and another sushi full-service restaurant. The building has hosted several
well-loved community-minded events including Oktoberfest and the monthly Shopwalk DTLA Pop Up
Marketplace.
GENERAL CONDITIONAL USE FINDINGS:
i. That the project will enhance the built environment in the surrounding neighborhood or will
perform a function or provide a service that is essential or beneficial to the community, city, or
region.
The proposed project will enhance the built environment and will contribute a service that is unique and
beneficial in the surrounding community. First, the approval of this conditional use will enhance the built
environment through furthering the revitalization efforts already in progress on site as it will fill yet
another vacant retail spot within the arcade. Drawing more foot traffic into the retail arcade will not only
provide more eyes on the street and benefit public safety but will boost the economic viability of the
existing tenant spaces. The proposed project will perform a function that is beneficial to the community.
There are 143 residential units directly above the subject site that will directly benefit from having this
coffee shop and restaurant conveniently located on the ground floor. The area is seeing a rapidly growing
residential, visitor, and tourist base and the need for hospitality-oriented businesses is correspondingly
increasing. The project will turn a dark and blighted tenant space into a light, bright and populated space –
therefore boosting the continuity of the arcade wall and creating a stronger sense of place.
ii. That the project's location, size, height, operations and other significant features will be
compatible with and will not adversely affect or further degrade adjacent properties, the
surrounding neighborhood, or the public health, welfare, and safety.
The project is located in the Historic Core of Los Angeles, which is designated as a Regional Center. The
request for beer and wine sales in conjunction with this bona-fide restaurant is compatible with this
designation and is a typical amenity offered to downtown restaurant goers. The applicant will be serving a
full menu of food including breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as some of their esteemed coffees. The
project is sited in an existing 12-story building and within an existing tenant space – there will be no new
floor area added. As such, the project conforms to its D-Limitation and its height, size, and bulk will
remain compatible with the other Arcade tenants and the surrounding buildings. The applicant is not
requesting live entertainment and due to the small size of the space, the project is not anticipated to cause
undue noise externalities. The space is removed from the sidewalk and has its own entrance completely
2
separate from the entrance to the residential lobby. There is outdoor seating proposed but it is within the
arcade on private property and is compatible with what other tenant spaces already offer. There is no
parking available on-site but there are a plethora of surface lots and street parking in the area. Many
patrons are also anticipated to be arriving by foot, bicycle and public transit being in the popular locale of
the Historic Core. All in all, the proposed scope of work for a change of use from vacant retail to
restaurant/café with beer and wine sales will not be injurious to surrounding properties, is compatible with
the type of development in the area and will benefit public health, welfare and safety.
iii. That the project substantially conforms with the purpose, intent and provisions of the General
Plan, the applicable community plan, and any applicable specific plan.
The project is located within the Spring Arcade Building, and is zoned [Q]C5-4D-CDO-SN, which allows
for commercial uses including restaurant uses. The proposed sale of wine and beer only in conjunction
with this restaurant is therefore in accordance with the site’s zoning designation.
Further, the project is located within the Central City Community Plan Area, which is designated in the
General Plan Framework as the “Downtown Center”. The Spring Arcade Complex is indeed consistent
with many of the policies and objectives of the Plan, including:




Policy 2-1.2:1 To maintain a safe, clean, attractive, and lively environment.
Policy 2-2.2: To encourage pedestrian-oriented and visitor serving uses during the evening hours.
Program: Develop a plan and otherwise facilitate the development of night-time entertainment
uses, such as night clubs, bars, comedy clubs, dance clubs, restaurants and theaters in the vacant
portions of the historic buildings on Broadway and in the Broadway National Register Historic
District which will rehabilitate the structures, revitalize the district and foster a 24-hour
downtown.
Policy 2-4.1: Promote night life activity by encouraging restaurants, pubs, night clubs, small
theaters, and other specialty uses to reinforce existing pockets of activity.
Through re-activating this vacant retail space in the Historic Spring Arcade Building with a
neighborhood-serving restaurant that will directly serve the 143 residential units above along with the mix
of employees and visitors in the area, the proposed project substantially conforms with the vision set forth
in the General Plan and Community Plan to create a mixed-use, safe 24-hour downtown environment for
visitors, employees and residents.
ADDITIONAL FINDINGS
a. Explain how the proposed use will not adversely affect the welfare of the pertinent community.
The proposed use will not adversely affect the welfare of the pertinent community; instead, it will provide
a beneficial service to the area. The proposed use will fill in a currently vacant spot within the Spring
Arcade and therefore will increase foot traffic into the complex. Therefore, it will not only help
neighboring businesses and boost public safety. The proposed use will be a convenient spot for those
living in the units above to dine, enjoy a glass of wine, or grab a coffee and pastry on the way to work.
With a menu consisting of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options, the proposed use will benefit the vast
number of employees, visitors, and residents of downtown who demand a diverse offering of food and
beverage outlets. The use has its own separate entrance removed from the sidewalk and removed from the
residential lobby and therefore patrons will not have access to the residential floors. The request to serve
beer and wine is typical for restaurants in downtown and is an amenity that many restaurant goers now
command. The proposed sales and service of beer and wine will not cause any undue externalities; as
stated, there will be a full menu of food offered throughout the day and the applicant will ensure the
3
restaurant is responsibly managed. Due to the small size of the project, and no request for live
entertainment, the request is not anticipated to cause undue noise externalities. The proposed use will
benefit the community.
b. Explain how the approval of the application will not result in or contribute to an undue
concentration of such establishments.
No, the approval of this conditional use permit will not result in or contribute to an undue concentration
of such establishments. The Spring Arcade Building is a unique cultural establishment, offering patrons
the likes of Austrian sausages, British pub fare, Mexican braises, Italian gelato, Japanese yakitori & sushi,
and multiple French bistros. The addition of the proposed restaurant will bring another unique dining
option to the Arcade and will be an amenity serving coffee and pastries in the morning along with lunchfare and casual dinner options. The proposed use will be a bona-fide restaurant establishment and will not
operate like a nightclub or bar where alcohol is the primary use. The mode and character of the restaurant
will be casual and inviting, drawing a refined clientele. The intensity of the restaurant is relatively small
occupying just over 2,000 SF of floor area with 44 seats. There will be no live entertainment or dancing.
Being located in the City Center, the number of active ABC licenses is expected to exceed ABC
thresholds. With this in mind, and due to the size, scope and mode of the operations, the approval will not
result in an undue concentration.
c. Explain how the approval of the application will not detrimentally affect nearby residential zones
or uses.
The proposed project is located within the dense commercial region of Downtown Los Angeles. Nearby
residential uses already are immersed in a lively, mixed-use urban environment. The proposed use, which
occupies an interior tenant space in the Spring Arcade Building, will not cause an undue amount of noise
or traffic to the already bustling region. In fact, nearby residential uses will benefit from the added
amenity of a convenient restaurant that is family-friendly and welcoming. The café will also be open in
the morning, benefitting those living above and nearby as they can grab coffee or breakfast to-go or sitdown. The request for beer and wine sales is a well-sought after amenity at restaurants, especially those
located in downtown centers. The building is a mixed-use building with several existing restaurants
serving alcohol on the ground floor. The request for alcohol service will allow the business to compete
with neighboring restaurants and will be an amenity in addition to food service. The request therefore will
not be detrimental to nearby residential uses.
4
[email protected]
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