Friday, May 2, 2014


How many times have you encountered this typical LA situation: there's a beautiful lot, fantastic views, great location, but impossible to build on.

That was exactly the situation for an investor and his lot in the Hollywood Hills. The property had a stunning city view, it was adjacent to a beautiful lake, a fantastic location at an affordable asking price. It had it all.

So what was the problem?

The property was on the top of a steep slope, impossible to get to. To build at the street level wasn't an option, you lose the view. There were existing plans available for the street level construction, but nobody wanted to build at that level and miss that view. Building a drive way to the top was out of question because of the steep slope. The investor had already given up on the deal when the architect called us to the site to figure out some engineering solution. You know the old saying: If there is a will, and a good structural engineer, there is a way.

The solution? Build the garage at street level, then build a stairway on grade to get to and from the top on foot.

But who wants to walk up and down a slope that's the equivalent of six stories all the time?

Oh, well, in that case take the elevator. A six-story high one from street level. The one with a bridge to get to the house.

But what about the height restrictions of the hillside ordinance?

Simple. If you don't connect the elevator and the bridge to the main building of the house, you can be exempt of the very strict height limitations.

A little imagination gets another great project off the ground!

Re-posted from our newsletter originally sent on 4/25/2013