Demolition of the Sportsmen’s Lodge event center in Studio City began last weekend, according to the L.A. Daily News.
“All but the events center driveway walkup has been razed,” the article reported, detailing the rubble, scaffolding and debris dumpsters that now line the property.
The current owner, New York-based real estate firm Midwood Investment and Development, flattened the center to build an upscale outdoor shopping mall on the landmark real estate that has served as a popular gathering place for weddings, bar mitzvahs, business gatherings and other celebrations since the 1930s.
Called the Shops at Sportsmen’s Lodge, the $100 million project will bring 94,000 square feet of retail, dining, fitness and communal space to the grounds at the corner of Coldwater Canyon Avenue and Ventura Boulevard. Anchor tenants Erewhon supermarket and Equinox fitness center will take 11,000 and 30,000 square feet, respectively. In all, the revamped center will house about 23 stores.
The project’s landscaping designs were approved by the city’s Cultural Heritage Commission in November 2018 after years of roadblocks, stipulating that the developers must retain the rustic, natural look and feel of the old Sportsmen’s Lodge campus. To accommodate that request, the new design will feature original redwood trees, pond features and a path to the Los Angeles River. Still, the removal of 90 redwoods last month resulted in backlash from some Studio City residents concerned about the loss of shade and environmental benefits provided by the tree canopy.
The adjacent Sportsmen’s Lodge Hotel is not part of the redevelopment and will remain open during demolition and construction.
Opening of The Shops at Sportsmen’s Lodge is tentatively planned for fall 2020.