The Sunset Strip is skyrocketing in hotel and general redevelopment, meaning lots of its quirkier tenants (House of Blues, the Hustler store) are dropping out of the picture one by one. The next odd spot potentially in the crosshairs is "semi-iconic cheapo" gift retailer Aahs!. The LA Business Journal reports that the property the gift shop rents was recently sold to a limited liability corporation connected to Sonny Astani, a developer who's got two fancy mixed-use projects in the works in South Park right now (and a handful of others across town).
The LLC paid $11.5 million for the 4,700-square-foot Aahs! building and the 11,000-square-foot lot it sits on, and owns a few storefronts next to the Aahs! shop too, which it bought in January. Considering how much the LLC paid for this recent purchase, experts say mixed-use is in the cards, though no plans or proposals have been submitted to West Hollywood, and no one has given Aahs! notice to move.
But if a mixed-user does materialize, it will fit right in with the many projects in the Strip's future, some of which have already booted long-time Strip fixtures. A flashy mixed-user with housing, a hotel, and retail is set to rise on the site of the House of Blues, which shuttered ahead of schedule to make room for the development. The Hustler store moved out to make way for a prim, no-swearing private club (Gwyneth Paltrow is involved) and maybe a hotel. (That hotel would be one of many.)
The erasure of the "old" Sunset Strip to make way for the new isn't anything anyone seems too sad about. The owner of the Sunset Tower Hotel, Jeff Klein, told the LABJ, "I don't think (the old) Sunset Boulevard needs to be preserved." WeHo's director of community development echoed that, saying, "What we're seeing is the evolution of the next era of the Sunset Strip and that's generally a good thing."
· Shop Buyer Might Have Mixed-Use Plan in Store [LABJ]
· Gwyneth Paltrow Opening Pricey No-Swearing Club on the Strip [Curbed LA]
· Sunset Strip House of Blues Closing Early to Make Way for Big Hotel/Housing/Retail Project [Curbed LA]