A Home For All Seasons – gone.

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1136 Abbot Kinney

A Home For All Seasons – garden and home decor retailer on Abbot Kinney Blvd, has moved to Montana Avenue in Santa Monica.

As with all business closings I find out about – I do some online research to see what new thing will be going in and what old stuff will sadly be torn down. The propery in question is 1136 Abbot Kinney Blvd – and my research lead me to some zoning applications that would mean the restoration of this 1908 cottage and a new restaurant with outdoor seating. The application was denied twice. Increased traffic and parking issues seemed to be what killed it.

The Venice Neighborhood Council website has a great list of properties undergoing changes and the status of the zoning applications. It seems that most proposals are turned down due to parking concerns.

I am not as involved in these things as some of my fellow Venetians, but I’m wondering if anyone has ever proposed a parking structure in the vicinity of Abbot Kinney? It seems a shame that new businesses are being turned away (especially those that want to keep our old buildings and houses intact) because of a lack of parking. If we want Abbot Kinney to be the new It Street, we really need to solve the parking problem. I imagine there is opposition, due to fears that it will somehow damage the appearance and vibe of AKB*. With all of our resident architects and designers, I’m sure a suitable structure could be built. It’s only a matter of time before it needs to happen, right?

Am I way off base?

(*I’m gonna start abbreviating Abbot Kinney Blvd. See if it catches on…)

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3 COMMENTS

  1. I think a little off base. We don’t “want” AK to be the new “it” street as you state above, somehow its just happened as people are always craving something new. The Venice Neighborhood Council wouldn’t want a parking structure either, they are dedicated to preserving the community, the neighborhood and the original esthetic of the area. The growth that has happened already is fairly astounding and pretty out of control. Myself and others who have been in the community for years are being priced out of even living here for the most part because of all these crazily expensive trendy businesses driving up prices and demands, which isn’t the way our artistic community used to base its art and commerce. We aren’t all rich or have trust funds, most artists I know are in fact, not rich. Neither are most architects. Check out this month’s Town & Country mag, there is an interesting article about Venice in there. The people that they interviewed are all rich and rediculous. They hardly exhibit a realistic cross section of our community.

    Other than that, your blog seems pretty well-informed and fun to read, chock full of research and news. Thanks for maintaining/inventing it!

  2. Very good points…that’s what I was hoping for! Feedback to tell me what I’m missing here.

    What I am about to write is just me thinking via writing – hopefully it will be coherent:

    Well I guess my point is that Abbot Kinney is becoming the new IT street whether we like it or not. We can either fight it, or attempt to control it and benefit from it. The Ray Hotel situation is a good example – a hotel is a good idea, but it needs to be a reflection of the neighborhood. There’s got to be a way to improve parking that goes along with preserving Venice’s history and evolution.

    Is there a point where preservation interferes with progress? Are new businesses such a curse? Do we want a neighborhood that thrives financially as well as artistically? Can art and finance support each other? New businesses designed by local architects, furnished by local designers, and embellished by local art? This, of course, gives jobs to our local craftsman and artists. Am I being unrealistic?

    We are all dismayed when we see a long-time business leave Venice – especially when rising rents and not enough revenue are to blame. How do we expect our old stores to withstand the growth spurt if we don’t provide a means for people to shop here (i.e. parking). Rents are gonna go up. What do we do to help out – protest new stuff or find ways to bring more foot-traffic to our shopping areas to help keep the old stuff successful – and in doing so, tap our resources for art, design, and labor?

    Believe me – I don’t want to see Venice become a Santa Monica or (gasp) Beverly Hills. I love my neighbors – the ones who have lived here a long time and the new ones moving in. I think both are essential, but our community can’t favor one over the other. We can’t be all expensive stores and restaurants – because that doesn’t support the whole community. We can’t be all artists and the “not rich” either because our growth requires revenue.

    I don’t know what the answers are, but I appreciate the dialogue. Bret and I started yovenice.com with the hopes that it would become a “for the people, of the people” site. We encourage comments and ideas! Even if the comment is “Keri, you’re an idiot. Stop writing about this topic which you know nothing about.” I can take it. 🙂

    Thank you, my Fellow Venetian, for giving us your insight!