Kate Cagle
Daily Press Staff Writer

After nearly a decade of detailed plans that ended up in the dumpster, the fate of the former Jerry’s Liquor on Wilshire Blvd has nearly been sealed.

On Monday, The Architectural Review Board reviewed new plans at 2919 Wilshire Boulevard for a two-story building hosting a variety of restaurants and cafes, complete with 52 underground parking spaces.

The building can house as many as eight different restaurants, according to a staff report by Rather Duong. The ARB asked the applicant to come back with better landscaping plans, but overall liked the design.

A mock-up of plans reveals large, open windows, two stories of outdoor seating and vines that twist along a gated patio. A large, square, bronze deck juts out of the second story, giving the building a modern, modular look.

The massive design firm DLR Group is the architect behind the building.

The signage concept has been designed by Beck & Graboski Design Office, the same firm responsible for the signage at the Santa Monica Public Library and Civic Center parking structure.

“The design is unique as it weaves in and out and use of open railings creates a pedestrian-oriented design,” reads a staff report to the ARB by associate planner Gina Szilak.

“The corner is designed at grade with the sidewalk, and the open railing with vines is a nice way to handle the grade change, providing an open feel. The outdoor dining activates the street on both Wilshire and Stanford elevation(s).”

A listing for the property boasts it is close to half a million people within a 5-mile radius and a daytime population of about 48,000 within one mile. The advertisement says it is an “ideal location for retail, restaurant, or financial institutions.”

If approved, it will mark the end of an eight-year saga over the future of the 1940’s era property. In 2009, a developer planned to put apartments on the site, with a LEED Silver-rated, four story, mixed-use complex with 26 apartments and a grocery store.

Strong opposition developed to the project after a draft Environmental Impact Report found no way to mitigate the traffic impact of an additional 644 daily car trips generated by the proposed apartments and store.

The report found the resulting traffic impact “significant and unavoidable.”

The project resurfaced again in 2012 as a five-story mixed-use property with 83 units. The application for a Development Agreement was eventually withdrawn. The land went up for sale once again.

Jerry’s Liquor remained open despite the murky future.

Last year it even sold a winning Powerball ticket worth $638,000 with five matching numbers (but no powerball). For decades, returning customers went to Sammy for their chosen vice, whether it be booze, cigars, ice cream or caviar. The store is now closed.

In 2016, Cadence Capital Investments bought the property for $10.5 million, or $470 a square foot, according to a report from The Real Deal. An attorney involved in the sale said the liquor store’s expiring lease drove up the price – calling the final bid price “aggressive.”


Kate Cagle

Senior reporter for the Santa Monica Daily Press