Earlier this week, WeHo Times broke news that long-time West Hollywood business Circus of Books would be shuttering its doors. Given how market conditions for retail in general, let alone specialty retail as such, have changed, this should come as no surprise.
So what’s in store for the property?
The building that houses Circus of Books is one of the original mixed-use properties, with small housing units on the upper floors in back. If there were any thoughts of redeveloping the property, then they’d Ave to use the Ellis Act to evict these tenants, which would be costly and unpopular.
Would another retail store move in? Perhaps. But given the length of retail vacancies in new developments in West Hollywood, like 8305 Sunset which has been vacant for months, that might not happen.
With places like Nora, Connie and Ted’s, Laurel Hardware and The Hudson all succeeding nearby, the Center City seems to be a great place to open a restaurant, but there’s a catch: parking.
To open a restaurant at Circus of Books, they’d need to find parking or pay in-lieu fees until the City finally opens District 2 of the Parking Credits Program.
Two years ago, one of the parking reforms proposed by Lauren Meister was to move forward with expanding the parking credits program beyond the first zone. A wildly popular program in Boystown, parking credits allow businesses that wish to expand or intensify use to buy credits against parking in public lots. The Abbey, Bar10 and Micky’s are just a few of the businesses that have taken advantage of the system.
With the completion of the City’s automated parking garage, the time is ripe to open up the second parking credits district and remove some of the burdens on local businesses in the neighborhood.