Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Local News Briefs


March 17, 2014

No Booze for Palihouse

40 or so local residents attended the Santa Monica Planning Commission meeting on Wednesday night to oppose Palihouse Santa Monica's application for a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) to sell alcoholic beverages. They did not leave disappointed, as the Commission voted 7 to zero to deny the Palihouse application.

The old hotel turned boarding house, removed enough tenants 3 years ago to convert the building into a luxury hotel They sought to provide hotel guests alcohol through "mini bars."

The Palihouse Santa Monica, formerly The Embassy Hotel and Apartments, was purchased by Avi Brosh and partner Lighthouse Investments in December 2012. Neighbors to the hotel have maintained a vocal opposition since the hotel's renovation, led by neighbor and attorney Laura Wilson

"The applicant has no standing to apply for a alcohol license because the Hotel Exemption is illegal. The Exemption was acquire via illegal use, and deception after the RCB's denial of a Hotel Exemption in 1980," said Wilson.

According to its website, the Palihouse brand is "[e]stablished with the conviction that neighborhoods, unique experiences and inspiring places are integral to a life well-traveled, the Palihouse brand has been designed so savvy guests can explore the people and places they visit 'authentically' - with style, sophistication and individuality."

Court Revives Luxury Apartment Row

A California appeals court on Tuesday revived a Santa Monica property owner's lawsuit claiming that real estate investor Isen Investments Inc. and others spread vicious rumors in an attempt to buy luxury co-op apartments at a discount.

The panel ruled Tuesday that plaintiff Omar Spahi and his family, who own various units in the 317-unit luxury residential cooperative building Ocean Towers, should be allowed to pursue their case against real estate investor Richard Stone and Isen Investments, reversing the trial court's decision to toss claims that Stone and Isen exploited Spahi's financial troubles and defamed him by calling him, among other things, a "crook" and a "swindler," in an effort to scare off tenants and buyers and purchase the family's properties at lower prices.


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