At its May 12th virtual meeting, the Pacific Palisades Design Review Board discussed plans for two buildings that residents will eventually notice.
The 76 Station, at the corner of Sunset and Via de la Paz (adjacent to Gelson’s), will expand its operations with a two-story building on the same footprint as its current building.
The service bay will be eliminated, and the ground floor will be turned into a convenience store. The second floor will be used for offices and storage for the convenience store.
Owner Robert Munakash said, “There will be no wine and beer. It will not be open 24 hours.”
When asked why he’s closing the service bay, he said, “My service is not as good for profitability.”
Munakash said one reason he was taking this action is because of his experience at his second location at PCH and Sunset, where he has a convenience store. “It’s been a game changer.”
Another reason for his decision was because Greg, his service manager, was ready to retire. Munakash added that the other service employees might be hired by the Shell station across the street (which will have the only surviving service bay in the business district).
“We’ll sell oil and washer fluid, but we just won’t do repairs and oil changes,” Munakash said. “I appreciate everyone’s business.”
The building design he presented was deemed “a pleasant looking building — you’re almost there,” by DRB members. They asked him to consider a different second-floor window and to present a landscaping plan.
The changes/design will come back for final approval at the next meeting.
Representatives from The Shade Store, a national chain, presented a dark-grey block building that would replace Robeks Juice (on Antioch across from the Village Green), featuring a patio, landscaping and several windows.
One DRB member commented, “I find [the proposed building] really cold and antithetical to the Palisades.”
Another member said that there is a continuity of the existing building and this design was “an abrupt change.”
The architect, Michael Busch, was asked if the design had been approved by the owner and he assured the DRB that it had been. He said the owner (Trust Commercial Property-Parotti) wants to update the existing building, with a new façade.
The DRB members emphasized that the proposed design is important because “you become the bellwether and others will follow.” They also noted that the building lies between the venerable Village Green and the historical mural painted on the CVS building.
“This building doesn’t really fit in,” a DRB member said. “It’s not the Palisades.”
The members all agreed that although the design had a classical elegant look, it didn’t fit – “It looks like inside a mall. It is a beautiful design, but for someplace else.”
The DRB asked the architect/owner to resubmit and also include a landscape plan.
The next meeting will be held virtually at 6:30 p.m. on June 9.