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Hollywood's Great Revitalization: So What's Happening Now?

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If the real estate boom saw a long list of projects proposed for Hollywood, things are a little quieter now in the neighborhood, at least in terms of actual construction. The Hollywood branch of the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), the city agency that partners with developers on projects the group thinks are key to revitalizing an area, just published its quarterly report, listing the status of 26 Hollywood projects. The most interesting tidbits: Developer NCA/Commonfund (same developer behind the Palladium renovation), now wants to build a hotel at Argyle and Selma (originally they'd proposed residential units), the Old Spaghetti Factory project proposed by Portland-based Gerding Edlen is being held up by a lawsuit, and 8252 Sunset, site of a rental building and future commercial space will continue to look chewed up in the short term. Overall, most developers are postponing actual building because of financing difficulties, according Franco Pacelli, Senior Real Estate Development at the CRA. In terms of what they're building? Projects that are being talked about are offices, hotels, and affordable housing. “No one is talking about doing condos,” he says. After the jump, a list of what's still going forward.

More: On Wednesday, we stopped by the Hollywood offices of the CRA and went over a map of projects with their staff. The list below is just some of their bigger projects. Download the whole list off their web site. And it’s worth remembering that the CRA only partners with some developers: So their list of 26 is just a partial list of all the new Hollywood projects.

In some instances, we’ve updated the info on the map. All the info below come from the map and CRA staffers. In some cases, the renderings may be outdated.

Moving Forward (“moving forward” classified as at the very least the developer is doing paper work, putting in a call to the CRA, doing design schemes. (Stalling, maybe, in some cases? Probably.) But according to the CRA, these projects show signs of life:

[Architect: Johnson Fain]

1. Columbia Square: A $850 million mixed-use condo/hotel/office development slated for the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Gower Street. Moving through the entitlement process, and the developer hopes to start construction in 2010. More about the project. (Apollo Capital) UPDATE: The draft environmental impact report (EIR) was released yesterday and is now on the city's planning department web site.

2. Vine Tower: An 8-story office structure that'll rise at Vine and Selma. Developer is preparing draft environmental report and hopes to starts construction in 2010. More about the project. (1601 Vine LLC)

[ Image via]
3. Millennium Hollywood: Mixed-use campus on Capitol Records campus that’ll hold retail, office, housing, hotel and more. Developer doing public outreach. (Millennium Partners)

4. Cosmo Alley Project: Completing feasibility study (CRA and Bureau of Street Services). More about the sweet alley project.

5. 5960 Sunset Boulevard: Totally missed this one: Boston-based Emerson College has purchased a Sunset Blvd parcel from Tribune and has hired architect Thom Maybe to design a mixed-use building with housing, student classrooms and more. It'll serve as West Coast satellite building for the college. Developer has been doing community outreach. More about the project here. (Emerson College)

6. Hollywood Park: Freeway cap dream! Friends of the Hollywood Cap Park, the non-profit behind the project, is in the process of getting funding to do EIR. More background about the project here.

7. Academy of Museum of Motion Pictures: Proposed Oscar Museum at Fountain and Vine, designed by French architect Christian de Portzamparc. Currently in negotiations with the CRA on a DDA and proceeding with entitlements. Going through multiple design phases. More background here.

8. 1800 Argyle: A condo project at Yucca* and Argyle is now being repositioned as a hotel by developers. According to the CRA, the city planning department approved the project in March 2009. (NCA Green)

Projects That Are Definitely On Hold:

9. Metropolitan Hotel: While the residential portion of the building at 5825 Sunset Blvd (a conversion to rental) is done, the commercial phase of the project is on hold because of the economy, according to CRA staff. A leasing agent for the building confirmed the commercial part is on hold; DS Ventures didn't return calls. More about the building here. Originally, 40,000 square feet of office space was planned. You can see how it looks today. (DS Ventures)

10. Old Spaghetti Factory project: A 23-story residential tower with 301 for-sale condominiums, office, and park. Temporarily on hold because of lawsuit brought by a local homeowner. (!) Posting more on that lawsuit soon. Gerding Edlen opted not to comment on the lawsuit.More on proposed project. And more renderings here. (Gerding Edlen)

Some more interesting bits from the visit: Tumbleweeds going through the CRA offices? Not so much. "I am busier than I was a year and half ago," says Pacelli. "Projects are more complicated now because the developers need more non-traditional sources of funding and projects need to be changed."

And here's more of the view from the CRA: "There are two reasons for the slowdown," says Pacelli. "The credit market--they can’t get funding. Secondly, the market isn’t there. Developers are waiting it out. There’s no rush to get it built....Once you start, you can’t stop, so developers want more clarity in the economy."

The next growth corridors, according to the CRA: Following development around the transit stops like Sunset and Vine, future growth corridors are considered to be Hollywood Boulevard and Sunset Boulevards (respectively) from Gower to the Freeways.