A vast 1 million-square-foot housing and commercial development to replace the shuttered Fry’s Electronics store in Warner Center is moving forward.
“District at Warner Center” will include 852 multi-family residential units, including 316 live-work units; a hotel with 204 guest rooms and ancillary amenities and services; and about 2,171 square feet of ground floor retail.
Three buildings at 6100 N. Canoga Ave. will have a combined floor area of about 1,163,048 square feet, according to a report filed by Los Angeles city planners.
Last week, the Los Angeles City Planning Commission voted to reject two appeals that sought to prevent construction of the mixed-use development proposed by Kaplan Companies.
The commission rejected two appeals filed by Jeff Bornstein, president of West Valley Alliance for Optimal Living, who argued that the project should be studied further under the California Environmental Quality Act.
Bornstein said he was concerned about the lack of open space for the public.
“We have not enough recreational facilities,” he said. “They are building all these apartments and condominiums, but they’re not providing any local parks.”
He added that developers are “densifying Woodland Hills, but they are not adding publicly available open space.”
The beloved Fry’s Electronics store was known for its design inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland story. Its entrance was decorated as the rabbit hole, and inside the store shoppers enjoyed the towering figures of the Cheshire Cat and the Caterpillar on his mushroom.
The site was purchased in 2020 by Kaplan Companies, a Houston-based real estate development firm, for $42 million.
The project will span across an 8.8-acre site. The 114,057 square foot one-story building formerly occupied by Fry’s will be demolished and replaced by a 1,163,048 square foot mixed-use development. Construction is expected to take place in three phases, and the development is expected to be completed in about four years.
The Los Angeles city planner’s report said, “Various residential units would be rented at different price points providing options to meet the needs of the potential renters.” It’s unclear how many units are going to be affordable, meaning set below market price levels.
“We are always concerned about affordable housing,” said John Walker, president of the Woodland Hills Homeowners Organization.
He said his organization is also concerned about whether there will be “connectivity between that complex and complexes that are intended to be built around it, so that people have access from one location to another.”
The Fry’s is across the street from the former Anthem Blue Cross building which was recently acquired by Rams owner Stan Kroenke for about $175 million. Kroenke plans to demolish the vast parking lot at the former Anthem building and create office space, a gymnasium — and two football fields.