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Old February 13th, 2007, 03:40 AM   #1
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HOLLYWOOD | Development News

W Hotel / Condos - Breaking Ground in Mid - Feb 2007



Legacy Apartments



BLVD6200 - Next to Pantages




Camden Apartments - Includes a Whole Foods




Argyle and Yucca



The Hollywood




Sunset & Vine - Rehab, Almost Done




Old KFWB Site



Yucca and Argyle area



Equitable Building Conversion



Broadway Building Conversion



Madrone Hollywood



Madame Tussauds



Hollywood and Vine area Areal pic


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Old February 13th, 2007, 06:00 AM   #2
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Sequel planned at iconic corner
Work begins today on a huge multiuse complex that may revitalize Hollywood and Vine.
By Roger Vincent, Times Staff Writer
February 12, 2007

Construction is set to begin today on a long-awaited $600-million hotel, residential and retail project at the iconic intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street in Hollywood.

The massive development is regarded by planners as a bookend to the glitzy retail and entertainment complex nine blocks away at Hollywood and Highland Avenue, which is the home of the Kodak Theatre and next to Graumann's Chinese.

The new project calls for a 305-room W hotel with 143 adjoining condominiums that would receive hotel services, the first such complex in Los Angeles. Also part of the plan for the southeast corner of the intersection: 375 luxury apartments, restaurants, a nightclub, stores and a spa.

Major development is already underway at two other corners of the famed intersection.

"We'll see a lot of activity up and down Hollywood Boulevard" prompted by the project, predicted one of the developers, Dennis Cavallari, senior vice president of Legacy Partners.

"Everyone is hoping for a renaissance that will make it a pedestrian-oriented retail district," he added.

The project on a site surrounding a Metro Rail subway stop has been planned for about five years.

Some real estate industry observers were skeptical that it would ever happen because they doubted that there would be enough demand among travelers and buyers to support it.

The blocks around the intersection, once at the center of the region's broadcasting industry, had fallen into disrepute by the 1980s.

"Hollywood used to be the last place you would think affluent people would want to reside," said real estate broker John Tronson of Ramsey-Shilling Co. "I think a lot of people had doubts anybody would truly sign up to build a high-end product."

The project is being developed by Legacy Partners of Foster City, Calif., and Gatehouse Capital Corp. of Dallas. Gatehouse President Marty Collins said the Hollywood "brand" had survived the down-and-out decades and still held global appeal that can be capitalized on.

By the time the project is completed in mid-2009, Collins hopes to attract buyers willing to pay from $600,000 to more than $1 million for condos. He expects the hotel to appeal most to business travelers in the fields of entertainment, fashion, art and design.

The builders have applied to the nonprofit U.S. Green Building Council for certification of the project as an environmentally friendly development.

"It's going to be one of the very first full-service" green hotels, Collins said. For potential guests that W is targeting, "the whole idea of going green resonates."

Most of the project will rise on land owned by the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which is encouraging dense development around more than 20 train stations in hopes of limiting traffic congestion and air pollution, said Roger Moliere, chief of real estate management and development for the MTA.

It will also surround the Taft office tower, a landmark completed in 1924 that once housed the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Also remaining on Vine Street will be the one-story Bernard Luggage store completed in 1928. Its owner, Robert Blue, successfully resisted the city's eminent domain proceedings intended to remove his building to make way for the new project.

This project is the largest at an MTA station since the $615-million Hollywood and Highland complex completed in 2001 and is one of the most expensive in the history of the district.

Two other large projects are nearing completion at Hollywood and Vine: Palisades Development Group's $50-million conversion of the former Equitable office building to condominiums and Kor Group's $70-million conversion of the former Broadway department store also to condos.

The Broadway, Equitable and Taft buildings are links to the era when Hollywood and Vine was one of the city's great crossroads. In the 1920s, it was the second-busiest intersection after Wilshire Boulevard and Western Avenue.

It was a gateway to the San Fernando Valley in pre-freeway Los Angeles and a draw for the movie industry from the beginning. Cecil B. DeMille shot "The Squaw Man," Hollywood's first feature film, at the nearby corner of Selma Avenue and Vine in 1914.

Later, radio and then television stations set up operations in the neighborhood and KFWB announcers repeated often that they were broadcasting "from Hollywood and Vine," according to historian Marc Wanamaker. "It was considered the downtown of Hollywood," he said.

Such mass appeal was a distant memory by the 1980s, when parts of the neighborhood fell prey to such activities as drug dealing, prostitution and panhandling.

By the early 1990s, the Community Redevelopment Agency had come up with a plan for improving Hollywood that called for commercial and residential development at the intersection. Changing political administrations, subway construction and real estate downturns kept builders at bay, however.

Finally, a city ordinance that simplified the conversion of commercial buildings to residential use, along with the Hollywood and Highland development and the recent housing boom, spurred developers to action.
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Old February 13th, 2007, 06:07 AM   #3
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A little old but still worth posting again.

NY Times, January 26, 2007


The new Hollywood represents a cross-continent bookend to the transformation of Times Square in New York, with
one key difference: the people who live in Los Angeles, not just the tourists, have found reasons to go there.
Monica Almeida/The New York Times


Hollywood, the Sequel: Less Shabby, More Chic

By JENNIFER STEINHAUER

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 25 — For decades, tourists deposited themselves at one of the most famous intersections in America — Hollywood and Vine — and looked around in puzzlement, wondering what exactly they were supposed to be seeing. The surrounding Hollywood neighborhood had fallen into such miserable disrepair that its main consumers were people seeking drugs or tattoos. Many entertainment companies were long gone. Crime was rampant, incomes were depressed, and people who labored in the industry that gave the neighborhood its fame were nowhere to be found.

But in a few weeks, work will begin on a luxury hotel and a collection of $1 million condominiums at Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street, joining a skyline of condos and trendy new hamburger and sushi outposts rising among the mid-20th-century architecture. That Los Angeles neighborhood, which had been promised a comeback for a good 40 years, seems to have finally achieved it, a cross-continent bookend to the transformation of Times Square in New York, with one key difference: Los Angeles residents, not just tourists, have found reasons to go there and live there.

“Hollywood is a testament to people’s desire to live in places with some sense of history and a sense of place,” said David Malmuth, a developer who brought the Kodak Theater, home to the Academy Awards, to Hollywood and also oversaw the renovation of the New Amsterdam Theater in Times Square.

In the last several years alone, more than $2 billion has been spent on projects in the neighborhood, including mixed-use retail and apartment complexes and new schools and museums. Many urban planning experts see something other than a confluence of low interest rates, a tight housing market and developers with a gleam in their eyes. The Hollywood renaissance represents a potential future of much more of Los Angeles, a sprawling, horizontal city where vertical, dense and at least somewhat walkable neighborhoods with public transportation are increasingly in vogue.


A construction site across from the historic Capitol Records building near Sunset and Vine.

“It is a comeback that shows there is some demand for a more urban way of life,” said Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris, chairwoman of the Department of Urban Planning at the University of California, Los Angeles. “It is a comeback that is based not only on entertainment and commercial spaces, but mixed use and housing, at the same time the city is building its rail service.”

Among the many celebrated neighborhoods of Los Angeles, the 25 square miles of Hollywood have long stood out. Outside of the Walk of Fame, the circular Capitol Records building and other historically sumptuous landmarks, the neighborhood is a richly diverse community of 222,694 people — from the wealthy residents peering out at the world from the hills above Hollywood proper, to the middle- and lower-income inhabitants of the streets below.

Like a great old house, the bones of Hollywood remained mostly untouched in its down years by large-scale development and the more unfortunate inclinations of contemporary urban planners. Yet years of disinvestment in the area, led by the fleeing of the movie studios, took its toll. “It just needed a huge surge of capital investment to bring those buildings back,” said Christi Van Cleve, a partner at Roschen Van Cleve Architects, which has restored several buildings in the neighborhood.

Proponents of the new Hollywood have a data point they love to trot out: in the 1980s, the average stay on Hollywood Boulevard was a depressing 28 minutes, or about the time it can take to find a parking spot in the thriving nearby city of West Hollywood. People slept in the streets, and a drug trade prospered among boarded up historic sites. By the early 1990s, three major projects proposed for the area had fallen apart. Subway construction was just beginning, leaving a sinkhole in the street and traffic nightmares all around. The Los Angeles riots and an economic recession had done little to brighten the hopes of Hollywood, and private equity wanted no part of it.

Then, in 1993, “Jackie Goldberg came along,” said Leron Gubler, president of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, referring to the Los Angeles city councilwoman representing Hollywood at the time who went on to become a state legislator. “She said, ‘Nothing is going to happen here until we address some of the basic problems,’ ” Mr. Gubler said.

The Community Redevelopment Agency, a city-sponsored revitalization effort, had begun to pay for street improvements, fixing up facades on buildings. Next came a police foot patrol paid for largely by the transit authority. In 1995, Ms. Goldberg and the chamber staff decided to create a business improvement district along six blocks on Hollywood Boulevard. The next year, the district was established with $600,000 raised through business owners, who had their trepidations. They had heard the “Hollywood is back” storyline before.

“It was a challenge,” said Mr. Gubler, who at one point nearly stalked the owner of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel to get the last signature on a petition needed to get it all done. The hotel — founded in 1927 by a syndicate of Hollywood stars like Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, and home to the first Academy Awards — had as much at stake as any luminary.

By 1997, thanks to armed guards, crime in the area had dropped over 50 percent. “That is when we began to see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Mr. Gubler said. At the same time, Mr. Malmuth, the developer, took an interest in Hollywood. He and others focused on the corner of Hollywood and Highland, a major intersection ripe for commercial development. Mr. Malmuth joined a development firm that committed to a mixed-use project that would become the home of the Academy Awards ceremony.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which had been sniffing around for new options for the Oscars, embraced the idea of a live theater surrounded by retailers and other tenants. “When I took this into the board of governors, I thought it was going to be a hard sell,” said Bruce Davis, the executive director of the academy. “At that time, Hollywood definitely had a seedy reputation.”


The Hollywood and Highland complex is one of the large
new commercial developments in Hollywood.


The Hollywood and Highland project, first proposed at a cost of $150 million in 1998, came to fruition in 2001 at a cost closer to $600 million. Slowly, a steady stream of interest among other commercial developers followed, and nightlife and restaurants — the dual forces of urban renewal — came too, as did the final piece, new housing. Now cruising east on Hollywood Boulevard toward a sea of glittering lights, the sleazy motels and tattoo parlors begin to give way to Starbucks and a Virgin Megastore, and the hopelessly chic Geisha House, a giant emporium of oyster shooters and sashimi “igloo style,” and the sort of people who spend a good chunk of their week in Pilates classes.

In a nod to the corner’s glamorous past, there will be an 11-story W Hotel at Hollywood and Vine. It was there that the famous Brown Derby Restaurant opened in 1929, and for years remained the watering hole for studio executives and “the talent” streaming out of nearby film studios — more Spago than Spago today. The restaurant fell to seed like much the neighborhood in the 1970s, and closed in 1985. In a depressing coda, most of the building burned in 1987, and it was demolished in 1994. The new project at the intersection, expected to open in 2009, will include the 300-room W Hotel and a 14-story luxury condominium tower. Across the street, a converted office building has sold out its luxury condos, including one to Charlize Theron, said Eric Garcetti, the Los Angeles City Council speaker whose district includes Hollywood.

“People are seeing stars here again,” said Mr. Garcetti, who helped pass an ordinance to increase housing in the area. Developers creating apartment and condo complexes with city money are required to set aside 20 percent of the units for low-income residents, and a few sites offer more, like one along two blocks at Hollywood and Western, in colorful block buildings that look like a Mondrian painting.

But displacement of the residents who stood by Hollywood at its worst — the seamy underbelly of neighborhood renewal — is no doubt happening. “The more they put up big flashy apartments, the more difficult it is to make ends meet,” said Tita Stallings, who has lived in Hollywood for 20 years. “As a low-income single parent, it scares the hell out of me.”

Larry Gross, the executive director of the Coalition for Economic Survival, a tenants’ rights organization, estimates that at least 1,000 units of low-income housing have been lost to development over the last five years. Mr. Garcetti said he has struggled against this tide, requiring developers, for instance, to offer jobs to local residents and pay higher wages, and pushing for more affordable housing. “We don’t want the people who laid the groundwork here to get pushed out,” he said.

The Gap is in Hollywood now, which may just about say it all. And the subway is now open for business, ferrying people in and out of the area and setting the foundation of what may become a new Los Angeles, with fewer cars and more urban living.


Slowly, a steady stream of interest among other commercial developers followed and nightlife and restaurants
— the duel forces of urban renewal — came too, as did the final piece, new housing.



The Geisha House is a new bar and restaurant on Hollywood Boulevard.


Inside the hopelessly chic Geisha House, a giant emporium of oyster shooters and "sashimi-igloo style," and the
requisite sort of people who spend a good chunk of their week in Pilates classes.
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Old February 13th, 2007, 06:10 AM   #4
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A new Hollywood revival
CIM Group has big plans for the Seven Seas building it is buying from Eddie Nash.
By Roger Vincent, Times Staff Writer
February 6, 2007

Efforts to upgrade a key section of the Hollywood shopping and entertainment district, part of a revival that is making the area more attractive to locals and tourists, have taken a major step forward.

CIM Group, the district's largest commercial landlord, said it had agreed to acquire the Seven Seas building, a dilapidated structure that once housed a famous Hollywood Boulevard nightclub. At the request of the city's redevelopment agency, CIM plans to restore the edifice to its 1920s style.

It's the latest example of a wave of investment seeking to improve the formerly blighted neighborhood.

The Seven Seas building "has been a missing piece" in the real estate recovery along Hollywood Boulevard, said Helmi Hisserich, the Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency's regional administrator for Hollywood. "It's a beautiful historic building, but nobody can see its beauty."

The three-story building, across the street from Grauman's Chinese theater, stands out like a broken tooth in the blocks around Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue that have benefited from hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of property improvements in recent years. Further transformation is underway, including new housing, stores and entertainment attractions.

The building's seller, infamous impresario Eddie Nash, agreed to part with the retail and office structure for an undisclosed price.

Nash, who owned the building for almost 50 years, said he finally agreed to sell after a CIM executive "wore me out."

Much of the time Nash owned it, and as far back as the 1930s, the building was the home of Seven Seas, a popular island-themed nightclub that once boasted live floor shows with music and dancers three times a night.

"It was a great hangout during [World War II] for soldiers and sailors on leave from the Pacific, or on the verge of going out," the late Times columnist Jack Smith once wrote. "There was a tin canopy over the bar, and every few minutes an artificial rainstorm would come, drumming on the tin like the rain on the roof of the Pago Pago rooming house in Somerset Maugham's 'Rain.' "

Like many other buildings in Hollywood, this one fell far and hard in the 1980s and 1990s when scores of businesses departed and the neighborhood earned a reputation for being disreputable and even dangerous.

The $650-million Hollywood and Highland retail, hotel and entertainment complex across the street was a financial debacle for its original owners after it opened in 2001. But the project helped spur other improvements nearby, including the creation of a studio next door to the Seven Seas building where ABC television's "Jimmy Kimmel Live" is taped.

Madame Tussauds, the legendary London wax museum, announced last October that it plans to build a flashy $55-million branch next to Grauman's.

With ownership of Nash's building, Hollywood-based CIM hopes to advance its strategy of trying to make the neighborhood appeal to locals and not just tourists, said Shaul Kuba, a principal at CIM who conducted a long campaign to acquire the property.

The company controls 12 office, retail and residential properties in Hollywood, including the Hollywood and Highland complex, the TV Guide building and the Sunset and Vine Tower.

One of the reasons the Hollywood and Highland complex struggled after it opened was that it had too many tourist-oriented businesses, such as fancy boutiques and a duty-free outlet, said Jeff Kreshek, CIM's head of leasing.

CIM is attempting to bring in businesses that would serve the daily needs of people who live and work in Hollywood, such as drugstores and fitness centers, as well as restaurants and boutiques.

CIM's heavy investment in the Seven Seas building may not be profitable in itself, but it could help create the kind of neighborhood that lifts the value of other company assets.

"They have a different way of calculating a return on their investment," the redevelopment agency's Hisserich said. "It's going to have a heavy impact on leasing and who comes into Hollywood as a whole."

Because of its location in a city-designated historic zone, developers who sought to improve the property were required to bring it up to historic standards, and others balked at that prospect, Hisserich said.

CIM agreed to meet federal standards for historic renovation, which are considered especially stringent, she said.

"It will be an example to owners down the boulevard about how to bring new life to these historic buildings," she said.

The property, currently in escrow, is worth about $35 million or more, according to a real estate broker who asked not to be named because he wasn't involved in the deal.

The building is mostly empty, its top two floors of offices boarded up. Ground floor retailers aim for the low end of the tourist market, selling maps to stars' homes, cheap T-shirts and Zippo lighters.

Nash said he wanted to fix up the property, but gave up after vibrations from subway construction damaged the building in the mid-1990s and directions from the redevelopment agency on what could be done with it were unclear.

Nash once operated more than 20 bars and restaurants, including the Starwood, Odyssey, Ali Baba's and the Kit Kat Club. Prosecutors accused him of trafficking drugs out of his clubs and he was suspected of ordering the bludgeoning deaths of four people at a Laurel Canyon drug den in 1981 in a case known as the "Wonderland murders."

In 2001 he pleaded guilty to federal racketeering charges and was sentenced to 37 months in prison, ending his long contest with authorities. At age 77, he now lives in the San Fernando Valley.

The complete historic renovation, valued at as much as $10 million by CIM, could help lure some sought-after retailers who are waiting to see whether Hollywood's turnaround is real, CIM's Kreshek said.

So far, Spanish clothier Zara has agreed to move into the renovated building next year and Swedish clothier H&M is set to open a store next door this September in space formerly occupied by Hamburger Hamlet.



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Old February 13th, 2007, 06:13 AM   #5
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Forever 21 Rollout Barreling Into L.A.

Published: Wednesday, February 07, 2007
By Emili Vesilind
LOS ANGELES — Junior retailer Forever 21 plans to open a 10,480-square-foot XXI store in the Hollywood & Highland shopping center here in mid-2007, pursuing an aggressive rollout in the Los Angeles metro area, where it operates 28 units.

The newest Los Angeles store will be located on a touristy strip of Hollywood Boulevard, within three miles of existing company units at the Beverly Center and The Grove shopping centers. The XXI concept was originally conceived as a larger-format Forever 21 store; most units measure more than 18,000 square feet.

The privately owned company characterized the store as a new retail concept, although it is more revision than reinvention. Forever 21 already operates 17 XXI stores in nine states and Canada, but will now integrate men's wear into its mix of young contemporary apparel.

"Going forward, XXI will feature an expanded accessories section and will add a full men's line," said Larry Meyer, senior vice president of Forever 21. "Store size will increase to help accommodate the increased merchandise."

The Los Angeles retailer helped invent the concept of fast fashion, producing ubertrendy merchandise at lightning speed. It has had to stay nimble to keep pace with a growing pack of competitors, chiefly Hennes & Mauritz and Zara, two European chains that have opened strongly in key U.S. markets. Last year at the Beverly Center, H&M launched a unit across from Forever 21's three-year-old XXI store.

"We welcome [H&M] as a competitor in this market," Meyer said. "We have competed well with them in other markets."

Part of the company's strategy for staying on top has been to diversify its retail base. In recent years, Forever 21 has started a hodgepodge of retail concepts, including Heritage 1981 — pricier casualwear geared to the Abercrombie & Fitch set — a 40,000-square-foot department store-like Forever 21 prototype and For Love 21, an all-accessories concept that added four new doors in 2006.

Growing all the concepts is a priority for the company, which will launch more than 70 stores and expand another 20 in the next few years. "Our focus is on finding locations for our larger concepts and expanding in better malls," Meyer said.

The company, which also is pursuing expansion in smaller, less-saturated markets such as Lynnwood, Wash., and Toledo, Ohio, operates more than 300 locations nationwide, in addition to an estimated 100 Gadzooks stores since acquiring the teen retailer in 2005.
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Old February 13th, 2007, 06:15 AM   #6
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Developers Break Ground on Major Joint Development at Hollywood & Vine Metro Red Line Station
$600 million development to include affordable and luxury housing, a 305-room W Hotel, W Residences, retail and convenient access to mass transit
Metro joined with two large national real estate developers, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and a host of city, agency and community officials today to officially break ground at the world-famous Hollywood and Vine intersection to build one of the largest, most ambitious mixed-use, transit-oriented development projects in Los Angeles.

The $600 million development project will include a 305-room W Hotel, 143 W Residences, 375 luxury rental apartments (including 78 affordable units), approximately 50,000 square feet of retail space and transit plaza improvements at the Hollywood/Vine Metro Red Line Station in Hollywood.

Project developers are Gatehouse Capital Corporation and Legacy Partners. The development is a result of five years of planning, negotiation and collaboration with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles (CRA/LA), Los Angeles City Council and the Hollywood community. “It has been a labor of love and patience, but well worth both the time and money,” stated Marty Collins, president and CEO of Gatehouse Capital.

“This project fulfills many of the goals I’ve identified if we are to realize the ‘City of Our Dreams.’ This development embodies the principles of smart planning and growth. We need to encourage these types of projects to make LA a more livable city for people who work here, for employers staking their futures here and for the families who want to grow here,” said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

”This is the most exciting day in Hollywood since the return of the Oscars to the Kodak Theater,” said City Council President Eric Garcetti. “With glamour on the outside and living-wage jobs and a housing mix to serve Hollywood workers at all levels on the inside, this development will make this once bustling intersection a destination once again, not only for tourists, but for residents too.”

The project will be developed on the entire city block bounded by Hollywood Boulevard to the north, Vine Street to the west, Selma Avenue to the south and Argyle Avenue to the east with the exception of the historic Taft Building located on the northwest corner of the block at the Hollywood and Vine intersection. The Hollywood/Vine Metro Rail Red Line Station is located at the northeastern corner of the project site.

The project is a product of Metro’s Joint Development Program, which works closely with public and private partners to encourage high-quality, transit-oriented development around Metro station sites and along transit corridors. Its goal is to help reduce auto trips and relieve congestion through transit-linked development. To date more than $1 billion has been invested in such programs since 1993.

“Metro has spearheaded yet another high-profile development project on the Metro Red Line, one that will transform the Hollywood/Vine Station into a thriving transit plaza complete with nearby housing, commercial and entertainment centers,” said Gloria Molina, Los Angeles County Supervisor and Metro Board Chair. “Transit-oriented developments like this are now underway throughout Los Angeles County, and will play an increasingly vital role in helping improve regional mobility and quality of life for our residents.”

The Hollywood and Vine project will provide numerous benefits to the community. Among the project’s public benefits are 78 affordable rental apartments; coordination with Worksource Hollywood to implement a first-source hiring program to facilitate the employment of local residents; $30,000 to fund community outreach programs for the Health Insurance Trust Fund; $100,000 to fund job-training programs for the Culinary Institute and $50,000 for Health Care Careers, and a $500,000 endowment to the Hollywood High School for Performing Arts. In addition, the development Joint Venture HEI/GC Hollywood & Vine has signed a neutrality agreement with the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union, Local 11.

“This project delivers a fabulous return on CRA/LA’s investment,” said Cecilia V. Estolano, CRA/LA Chief Executive Officer. “We put in $6 million and the City will get $167 million in tax revenue and $92 million in tax increment, all by 2036. A full $25 million will be set aside for affordable housing,” she added.

“Like Hollywood & Highland accomplished on the west end, this project has served as the catalyst for redevelopment for the eastern gateway of Hollywood,” said Hollywood Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Leron Gubler. “We commend the development team and W Hotels for having the foresight to recognize the potential of this long-ignored intersection. This development sets a new standard by which all new projects will be measured in Hollywood.”

Presale of the W Residences to friends and family only quietly began several months ago and interest has been very strong. “The response was overwhelming with over a thousand buyers interested in 143 residences,” said Jeff Cohen, senior vice president of Gatehouse Capital. “We are confident that the W Hotel will be similarly well received. We have a great team to whom we owe a lot on this project.” Gatehouse has partnered with both HEI Hospitality and Hicks Holdings to provide capital for the project.

As a result of ongoing discussions with city leaders, Legacy Partners agreed to build 100 additional apartments. “Originally, the plans called for 275 apartments. However, given our proximity to the Red Line, Councilman Garcetti convinced us to increase the density of the apartment component,” said Legacy Partners Senior Vice President Dennis Cavallari. “The result is a more vertical, aesthetically pleasing project that helps the city address its chronic housing shortage.”

Construction is expected to take approximately 26 months, with completion targeted for the second quarter 2009.

http://www.mta.net/news_info/press/M....htm#TopOfPage
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Old February 13th, 2007, 06:16 AM   #7
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February 12, 2007 03:00 PM Eastern Time



Developers Break Ground on Major Joint Development at Hollywood & Vine Metro Red Line Station

$600 Million Development to Include Affordable and Luxury Housing, a 305-Room W Hotel, W Residences, Retail and Convenient Access to Mass Transit

HOLLYWOOD, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Two large national real estate developers joined Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and a host of city, agency and community officials today to officially break ground at the world-famous Hollywood and Vine intersection to build one of the largest, most ambitious mixed-use, transit-oriented development projects in Los Angeles.

The $600 million development project will include a 305-room W Hotel, 143 W Residences, 375 luxury rental apartments (including 78 affordable units), approximately 50,000 square feet of retail space and transit plaza improvements at the Hollywood/Vine Metro Red Line Station in Hollywood.

Project developers are Gatehouse Capital Corporation and Legacy Partners. The development is a result of five years of planning, negotiation and collaboration with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles (CRA/LA), Los Angeles City Council and the Hollywood community. “It has been a labor of love and patience, but well worth both the time and money,” stated Marty Collins, president and CEO of Gatehouse Capital.

“This project fulfills many of the goals I’ve identified if we are to realize the ‘City of Our Dreams.’ This development embodies the principles of smart planning and growth. We need to encourage these types of projects to make LA a more livable city for people who work here, for employers staking their futures here and for the families who want to grow here,” said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

”This is the most exciting day in Hollywood since the return of the Oscars to the Kodak Theater,” said City Council President Eric Garcetti. “With glamour on the outside and living-wage jobs and a housing mix to serve Hollywood workers at all levels on the inside, this development will make this once bustling intersection a destination once again, not only for tourists, but for residents too.”

The project will be developed on the entire city block bounded by Hollywood Boulevard to the north, Vine Street to the west, Selma Avenue to the south and Argyle Avenue to the east, with the exception of the historic Taft Building located on the northwest corner of the block at the Hollywood and Vine intersection. The Hollywood/Vine Metro Rail Red Line Station is located at the northeastern corner of the project site.

The project is a product of Metro’s Joint Development Program, which works closely with public and private partners to encourage high-quality, transit-oriented development around Metro station sites and along transit corridors. Its goal is to help reduce auto trips and relieve congestion through transit-linked development. To date more than $1 billion has been invested in such programs since 1993.

“Metro has spearheaded yet another high-profile development project on the Metro Red Line, one that will transform the Hollywood/Vine Station into a thriving transit plaza complete with nearby housing, commercial and entertainment centers,” said Gloria Molina, Los Angeles County Supervisor and Metro Board Chair. “Transit-oriented developments like this are now underway throughout Los Angeles County, and will play an increasingly vital role in helping improve regional mobility and quality of life for our residents.”

The Hollywood and Vine project will provide numerous benefits to the community. Among the project’s public benefits are 78 affordable rental apartments, coordination with Worksource Hollywood to implement a first-source hiring program to facilitate the employment of local residents, $30,000 to fund community outreach programs for the Health Insurance Trust Fund, $100,000 to fund job-training programs for the Culinary Institute and $50,000 for Health Care Careers, and a $500,000 endowment to the Hollywood High School for Performing Arts. In addition, the development Joint Venture HEI/GC Hollywood & Vine has signed a neutrality agreement with the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union, Local 11.

“This project delivers a fabulous return on CRA/LA’s investment,” said Cecilia V. Estolano, CRA/LA Chief Executive Officer. “We put in $6 million and the City will get $167 million in tax revenue and $92 million in tax increment, all by 2036. A full $25 million will be set aside for affordable housing,” she added.

“Like Hollywood & Highland accomplished on the west end, this project has served as the catalyst for redevelopment for the eastern gateway of Hollywood,” said Hollywood Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Leron Gubler. “We commend the development team and W Hotels for having the foresight to recognize the potential of this long-ignored intersection. This development sets a new standard by which all new projects will be measured in Hollywood.”

Presale of the W Residences to friends and family only quietly began several months ago and interest has been very strong. “The response was overwhelming with over a thousand buyers interested in 143 residences,” said Jeff Cohen, senior vice president of Gatehouse Capital. “We are confident that the W Hotel will be similarly well received. We have a great team to whom we owe a lot on this project.” Gatehouse has partnered with both HEI Hospitality and Hicks Holdings to provide capital for the project.

As a result of ongoing discussions with city leaders, Legacy Partners agreed to build 100 additional apartments. “Originally, the plans called for 275 apartments. However, given our proximity to the Red Line, Councilman Garcetti convinced us to increase the density of the apartment component,” said Legacy Partners Senior Vice President Dennis Cavallari. “The result is a more vertical, aesthetically pleasing project that helps the city address its chronic housing shortage.”

Construction is expected to take approximately 26 months, with completion targeted for the second quarter 2009.

About Legacy Partners: Based in Foster City, California, with a regional office in Irvine, California, Legacy Partners has been an industry leader in residential and commercial real estate for more than 35 years, acquiring, developing and managing a portfolio valued in excess of $4 billion. The company’s expertise spans the industry spectrum to include property acquisition, development, financing, marketing, and property and asset management. From Legacy Partners’ roots in Northern California, its portfolio extends to Southern California, Arizona, Colorado, Washington and Texas. Legacy Partners has more than 1,000 employees in six offices throughout the Western United States. For more information, visit www.legacypartners.com.

About HEI Hospitality: HEI Hospitality, headquartered in Norwalk, Connecticut, is a leading hospitality investment firm, which currently owns and operates 25 first-class and full-service hotels throughout the United States under such well-known brand names as Marriott, Sheraton, Westin and Hilton. For more information, please visit www.heihospitality.com.

About Gatehouse Capital Corp.: Gatehouse Capital Corporation, founded in 1995, is a real estate investment and advisory services firm based in Dallas, Texas. The company specializes in mixed-use developments and hotels. Gatehouse utilizes best-of-class institutional partners to design, build and operate its properties. Gatehouse developments include W San Diego, W Silicon Valley, W Dallas Victory Hotel and Residences, W Hollywood Hotel and Residences, Hyatt Regency Resort and Marina in San Diego, the Sydney High hotel and mixed-use development in Milwaukee, and the Joule hotel by Kimpton in Dallas. For more information about Gatehouse, please visit www.gatehousecapital.com.

About W Hotels Worldwide: W Hotels is a global lifestyle brand with 21 properties in the most vibrant cities around the world. Inspiring and indulging its guests with thoughtful, refreshing and stylish experiences, signature restaurants, bars and destination spas, W has become the fastest growing luxury hotel brand in the world. Each hotel offers a unique mix of innovative design, comfort and cultural influences from fashion to music to art and everything in between. W’s first Retreat & Spa, W Maldives, opened in September of 2006 following a highly successful opening of the brand’s first residential property, W Dallas Victory, in June of 2006. W Residences, offering the W lifestyle at home, have been announced for Austin, Las Vegas, Hollywood, South Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Philadelphia, Downtown Atlanta and Hoboken. Internationally, W has announced plans for hotels in Vieques, Barcelona, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Santiago, Athens, Istanbul, Doha, Dubai-Festival City, Dubai-The Palm and Koh Samui. For more information, visit www.whotels.com.
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Old February 13th, 2007, 06:19 AM   #8
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Hollywood's Walk of Fame gets surgery
By Bob Pool, Times Staff Writer

Hollywood -- Maybe they should order up an extra-thick red carpet for this year's Academy Awards ceremony.

Workers are racing to fix a buckling section of the Hollywood Walk of Fame in front of the Kodak Theatre where cracked terrazzo and broken sidewalk stars could be a major Manolo Blahnik hazard for starlets arriving for the Oscars.

The emergency work was under way Thursday as Hollywood announced that it is boosting the price of placement of new stars along the famous boulevard by more than 40 percent in order to pay for future Walk of Fame repairs -- to $25,000 per celebrity.

Hollywood officials believe the buckling is the fault of the Red Line subway, which has a station beneath the Hollywood & Highland shopping center that houses the Kodak Theatre. The subway's tunneling was blamed for the infamous 1994 crumbling of the Walk of Fame that left Tinseltown in turmoil.

But Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials contend that the sun is at fault for the sidewalk buckling. They suggest that damaging "thermo-expansion" occurs when sunlight heats up the black terrazzo.

The repair work, along a 60-foot stretch of the Walk of Fame on the north side of Hollywood Boulevard west of Highland Avenue, is viewed as a test project that could determine once and for all what is causing the buckling.

Its $80,000 cost is being divvied up four ways among the Hollywood Historic Trust, which operates the Walk of Fame, and the city of Los Angeles, the Hollywood & Highland center and the MTA.

About 121 damaged terrazzo squares, plus 16 others with stars in them, are being replaced. Workers are experimenting with a concrete base up to 8 inches thick to hold the new squares in place. The buckling sidewalk's base is about 3 inches thick.

"We wanted it to look good for the Academy Awards" Feb. 25, said Hollywood Honorary Mayor Johnny Grant, who leads the trust.

"We have a problem," said Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky. "It's unsafe and ugly. "You could break an ankle walking there."
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Old February 13th, 2007, 07:50 AM   #9
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Now that we are discussing Hollywood venues. Does anyone know or have any idea what will be done with this eye~soar?

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Old February 13th, 2007, 07:55 AM   #10
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Eyesore? Hardly the case. That's the Hollywood First National Bank. It's beautiful. I think there are plans to convert the building into residential space.
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Old February 13th, 2007, 10:52 AM   #11
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ive always wondered why nothing has been done with that building. It should be condos or a hotel and have a Gameworks, or something like that on the first couple of floors. also, the junk behind it all the way up to the Strip mall past burger king, needs to be leveled and a 10 story mixed use built in its place.
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Old February 13th, 2007, 11:12 AM   #12
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That's one beautiful building! The parking lot directly behind it is slated for a ground up residential as well as directly across the street from that new project. Behind the all of that is "The Hollywood" that is almost finished. I have to go find the link.
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Old February 13th, 2007, 11:25 AM   #13
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That's one beautiful building! The parking lot directly behind it is slated for a ground up residential as well as directly across the street from that new project. Behind the all of that is "The Hollywood" that is almost finished. I have to go find the link.

are you talking about the W site or the first national bank site?
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Old February 13th, 2007, 03:37 PM   #14
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Now that we are discussing Hollywood venues. Does anyone know or have any idea what will be done with this eye~soar?

That building is not an eyesore, its an architecural gem!!! There are rarely any buildings in Hollywood (let alone many places in Los Angeles) with spires. It's a rather gorgeous buidling if they gave it a new paint job, and lit the roof and spire with spotlights....

The last time I noticed any activity in that building was over 6 months ago, I saw people doing some kind of work in the upper floors of the interior of the building, as if they were converting it into lofts/condos. But I haven't seen activity there the last time I walked by which was over 2 weeks ago I only noticed a couple dudes walking out of the building's entrance...Hmm, I should've asked them what was going?
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Old February 13th, 2007, 06:54 PM   #15
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I went inside of the First National building about 2 months ago. A friend was working on some kind of promotional campaign for some company.

Yes, "LASF" I'm talking about First National. The parking lots directly behind it are already scheduled for destruction w/ renderings of the new buildings and everything. The info can be found at the MTA joint transit projects link, I just can't find it for some reason right now. In fact, that link is exhausting in that it takes you to every stop that has some sort of joint project planned, constructed or under construction. Tons along the Red Line and Gold. Not surprisingly the Blue Line and the Green have very little.
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Old February 13th, 2007, 08:05 PM   #16
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I always figure that some kind of production company taking over the building. Where they can film live shows from all floors overlooking Hollywood Boulevard. On the main floor have E entertainment film live shows where you have tourist watching from the huge windows. What's more Hollywood than that. Possibly add huge electric Billboards and add some lighting on the roof to showcast the spier.
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Old February 13th, 2007, 10:12 PM   #17
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I went inside of the First National building about 2 months ago. A friend was working on some kind of promotional campaign for some company.

Yes, "LASF" I'm talking about First National. The parking lots directly behind it are already scheduled for destruction w/ renderings of the new buildings and everything. The info can be found at the MTA joint transit projects link, I just can't find it for some reason right now. In fact, that link is exhausting in that it takes you to every stop that has some sort of joint project planned, constructed or under construction. Tons along the Red Line and Gold. Not surprisingly the Blue Line and the Green have very little.

Good to know, please post them as soon a you find them. i had no idea there were development plans there.

Ferney, i like that idea of E having a studio on the first floor. that would be very fitting.
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Old February 14th, 2007, 12:41 AM   #18
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I think it's safe to say that in Hollywood, covering a building with signage gives the building and the area some new life and is also a great way to hide ugly/dated parts of structures. Just throw a few billboards here and there and boom, you have made a noticeable to difference. It's that easy.
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Old February 14th, 2007, 04:02 AM   #19
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In fact, that link is exhausting in that it takes you to every stop that has some sort of joint project planned, constructed or under construction. Tons along the Red Line and Gold. Not surprisingly the Blue Line and the Green have very little.
I live near the Lakewood station on the Green line and always hoped that some highrise mixed use building would rise near it but then how would you build a big building over the 105 lol.....what do u guys think?......how would something like that be done?
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Old February 14th, 2007, 04:33 AM   #20
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I think that so much housing was razed for the building of the 105 freeway and green line that the MTA won't be doing the same anytime soon for high rise housing. Also, most of the green line is not in the city of LA, and most suburb cities aren't pushing for higher density.
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