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Rumblings & Bumblings Responses: A Home on Vine

You ask, we answer, with the aid of your neighbors. In regards to Tuesday's questions:

1) Hollywood: Schwab's closed? Ummm, no. Reader after reader slapped us silly with the news that Schwab's is just going through some remodeling to remake it into a more authentic 30's/40's diner. Schwab's is owned by SBE Entertainment which has a penchant for reinventing it's properties on a regular basis...

As for the vacancy rate at the Sunset + Vine complex, a reader submits this: "The info is 2.5 months old, but it gives you an idea of what is going on there. The data shows 17 vacancies for 300 units - or less than 6% vacancy back in October. Pretty steep rents - especially that 1,759 SF 2 bdrm loft for $4995 per month. Amazing how even with a rent of $5,000 per month, they still play that game of putting 9's and 5's in the number to make us think it's a steal."

And across the street... at the Sunset-Vine Tower, another reader says "Vine tower is coming along, its pending before LA City Council for a few reasons, the case is ... probably three months away from final entitlements. The actual conversion of the building is a done deal but the developer now claims the project does not pencil (don't they all -ed.). They have requested 4 supergraphics on the building (billboards essentially on the side of the building), this 4 exceeds the 2 allowed by code so discretionary exceptions have been requested. The political forces that be and CRA support the discretionary request so it will likely be granted, Planning privately has concerns about granting an exception that really is not necessary or defensible but we can see where the political wind is blowing..."

2) Los Feliz: The reader question about the future of the lovely Barnsdall Shopping Center (pictured above) goes unanswered. Can someone please do something about those ugly corner signs?

3) Mid-Wilshire: In regards to the question about the Getty Oil Building across the street from the Wiltern, a reader emails "First, Upside Investments bought it and tried to turn it into apartments, but it was too big a project for too small a firm.

They then sold the building to Forest City Development, which is going ahead with condos on the site (calling the building Mercury) but not after using the brokers at CBRE to try to sell the entitled building for 90 MILLION!!!! You can see Forest City's web site by going to www.mercuryrising.com (volume control! volume control! someone please get us volume control! -ed.), and I have also attached the original listing, which has some nifty graphics!" (see below)

4) West Hollywood: In regards to the wedge shaped lot at Santa Monica and Doheny, Beverly Hills-adjacent, one of our contributors answers: "I don't know much about this one, but what I do know is that the city (I think) owns it and is sitting on it to possibly make some parking in the future. Of course, they don't really want to do this, so they are now waiting for something better to come along. The boards might have come down because someone was interested in it - maybe they changed their minds?" Is that definitive enough for you, reader? We'll keep checking.

5) Hollywood: What's that phrase about loose lips? Apparently, they've ingrained it into the underlings at Palisades Development Group because they're not spilling anything in our quest to find pricing for the loft units at Hollywood & Vine. However, as promised, the sales team sent out an email last week:

THE LOFTS @ HOLLYWOOD AND VINE
COMMENCEMENT OF RENOVATION Palisades Development Group is pleased to announce that construction is underway on the restoration and reimaging of the historical Equitable building located at the infamous intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street.

We encourage you to visit our website at www.palisadesdevgroup.com to view our updated residential and office condominium floorplans. Our priority sales program is anticipated to begin this summer so please look for upcoming status emails on how to become a Palisades homeowner.

Thank you for your continued interest in The Lofts @ Hollywood and Vine.

Blah, blah, blah. Tell us something we want to know, like pricing you nefarious bastards! A reader adds this, which makes us feel a little better:

Palisades Development is always that way. When they were doing their WeHo projects, they wouldn't discuss prices at all unless you first got on a waitlist, filled out a pre-approval financial statement, and then were invited in to see their model unit at their storefront in Santa Monica. They offer out at one price, give you a deadline to buy, sight unseen save floorplan and cheesy model unit wall, and then offer out again if the units don't sell the first time. Don't know if it will work that way in Hollywood or not, perhaps because the market is not as tight as it was back then and that was central WeHo, not Hollywood. [And that concludes another rousingly successful week of Rumblings & Bumblings. Send your questions for next week, as always to la@curbed.com.]