By now, most people in L.A. have undoubtedly taken the day off from work just to process the news that Shake Shack really is coming to the West Coast. So grab a hot chocolate and a cozy blanket, and let's take a look at where the publicly-traded burger property will land.
The West Hollywood address is listed as 8520 Santa Monica Boulevard, a freestanding building on the southeast corner of Santa Monica and West Knoll Drive, a block west of La Cienega. The yellow awnings are a dead giveaway to the location’s chicken-y past as a Koo Koo Roo, which over the years have fallen away in favor of, in some cases, other big burger chains like Fuddruckers.
According to this former real estate listing, the building itself is just a touch over 4,000 sq. ft., but sits on a lot that’s over 22,500 sq. ft. Yes, that means a sizable parking lot, though likely not enough to hold the droves of Shake Shack fans eager to descend on the destination.
The standalone structure was built in 1996, and priced at $2,458 per sq. ft. ($439 for the lot), or nearly $10 million all told. Technically, zoning allows for a structure of up to three stories to be built on the property, but with the relatively new former Koo Koo Roo building already in place its unlikely that Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group will bother completely knocking down the old to make way for something even more massive.
Really, it’s all of that parking and foot traffic that could end up being an issue for this West Hollywood Shake Shack. The City of West Hollywood has had a rough go of it with pedestrians over the past few years (most recently when one was killed trying to cross the wide, speedy boulevard last summer). The LA Times has reported that since 2011, nearly 50 pedestrian vs. auto collisions have plagued Santa Monica Blvd. in WeHo, which sees some 45,000 cars a day. Add in the already abysmal street parking options (heavy permitting on residential streets, a loss of safe metered parking in and around the intersection with La Cienega) and you’ve got a recipe for a real burger fiasco, on par with the perpetual drive-thru line that leaks out from the Hollywood In-N-Out onto Sunset Boulevard.
Danny Meyer himself was in Los Angeles as recently as June of last year, according to his Instagram, eating his way through places like Sqirl, Eggslut, and Chi Spacca. It’s entirely possible that he was also scouting a few potential Shake Shack locations at the same time, which means this West Hollywood development would have been right under the city’s nose the whole time.
Shake Shack West Hollywood
8520 Santa Monica Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA