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Work gearing up on 118 apartments at Highland and Franklin

Goodbye parking lot

The three-parcel parking lot near the southeast corner of Franklin and Highland avenues are usually full of cars and tour buses parking overnight or people parking for shows at the Hollywood Bowl, but last week, a tipster wrote Curbed last week to say that the parking lots were cleared out. “[A]ll the buses were gone, no cars were in the lot, and the billboards on the property were dark” as of last Friday, the tipster said. It seemed work was getting underway on something, but it wasn’t clear what the project was.

Permits issued for the property as recently as last week point to pre-construction getting underway for a project once referred to as 1840 Highland, which we last heard from in 2013. It was approved by the planning department that same year. The proposed six-story apartment complex will have 118 residential units with about 200 underground parking spaces on a toadstool-shaped portion of the block bordered by Franklin Place and Highland, Las Palmas, and Franklin avenues.

Since the project was approved in 2013, the last notices about it from the planning department to neighbors would have gone out at that time; the three-year delay between approval and work actually getting started is likely why the project seemed to come out of nowhere for some local residents.

1840 Highland’s developer is listed on paperwork as 1840 Highland Partners, LLC, which is headed up by real estate mogul Jeff Greene. Greene is a billionaire who acquired a fortune shorting subprime mortgages. He’s the owner of the Palazzo di Amore, a gaudy megamansion on 25 acres in Beverly Crest that Greene has been trying to sell for at least two years. (More recently, he put the Palazzo up for rent at $375,000 a month.)

Greene purchased the 1.67-acre Hollywood property in 2000, paying $3.4 million.