STIR Architecture was on-hand for the official kick-off of NOHO West, a redevelopment project that will transform the former Laurel Plaza Mall site into a pedestrian-oriented town center with high-quality retail, commercial and residential offerings. On April 6, 2017, the community-focused ceremony included comments from Los Angeles City Council Member Paul Krekorian, Mary Garcia, the former president of the Mid-Town North Hollywood Neighborhood Council as well as the member of the development team. Students from the nearby Laurel Hall Elementary School ASB, led the Pledge of Alliance and participated in a community concrete hand print presentation.
Stephen Logan, vice president of development for Merlone Geier, spoke to his organization’s sensitivity to the needs of the community and the creativity of the project solutions in meeting those needs and desires.
Councilman Krekorian, a strong advocate of the project, referenced the connection to the historical use of the site, reminding the audience that Laurel Plaza and nearby Valley Plaza were among the first successful suburban shopping centers in the 1950’s and 60’s. He said, “The redevelopment of this site has been a top priority and I believe that proposed project is the beginning of a renaissance of the East San Fernando Valley.”
James C. Auld, AIA, partner at STIR Architecture, sees it as an evolved model of mixed-use development. “NOHO West isn’t designed to stand apart. It’s compact development—sustainable, resilient and a good neighbor bringing much needed housing, shopping, entertainment and over two acres of open space to the community,” said Auld.
When fully developed, the project will include four blocks of shopping, restaurants and offices; amenity-rich residential apartments; and a multi-screen movie theater. The existing Macy’s department store is being adapted for creative office use. While the focal point of the project will be a 15,000-square foot open-air central plaza with landscaping, public art, seating, dining patios, and common areas there is also a larger, one acre plus, communal area which is ideal for public events including farmer’s markets, movie nights, food and wine festivals, and live performances. Still further open spaces range a potential dog park to playgrounds, dining patios, public seating and to pedestrian courtyards — which will be available to the community.