A huge project on Sunset Boulevard won unanimous approval today from the Los Angeles City Council. With the 13-0 vote, the plan to dramatically revamp the iconic Crossroads of the World site and properties around it can move forward.
The development would bring 950 apartments and condos, a 308-room hotel, and 190,000 square feet of commercial space in buildings reaching 26, 30, and 32 stories in height.
A number of local business and property owners spoke in favor of the project at today’s council meeting. The project would bring new hotel rooms and draw people out to “an area with a need for revitalization,” said Nicole Shahenian of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.
Designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill and Rios Clementi Hale Studios, the Crossroads project has gone through a number of changes since it was first proposed in 2015.
The plan has always called for preserving the landmarked 1930s-era cluster of buildings that make up the Crossroads, but originally proposed demolishing the old Hollywood Reporter building. Now a city landmark, the former home of THR will be incorporated into the new development.
The new development, however, will knock down 82 rent-stabilized apartments. Displaced tenants will be offered spots in the new complex in an attempt to offset that loss—the result of a deal between developer Harridge Development Group and City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, who represents the area. (O’Farrell was absent for the vote on the project today.)
Those renters will be offered comparable apartments at their current rent and with rent increases of 3 percent per year, similar to those allowed under rent stabilization. But the Los Angeles Times noted that a member of the Crossroads Tenant Association had said that tenants have so far only received a verbal offer to return and were “anxious to get that promise in writing.”
The Streamline Moderne Crossroads of the World was designed by Robert V. Derrah, and opened in 1936. The style calls for cruise ship-like rounded edges and porthole windows; Derrah actually designed one of the buildings on site in the shape of a ship. The other Crossroads buildings incorporate a variety of architectural elements—stained glass, trompe l’oeil, a lighthouse, and a minaret.
Over the years, the offices have been home to the workspaces of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Alfred Hitchcock, Warren Zevon, and Tim Burton. The Crossroads is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
- L.A. City Council backs Hollywood project with new apartment towers [Los Angeles Times]
- Crossroads of the World redevelopment will knock down 82 rent-controlled apartments [Curbed LA]
- Crossroads of the World development will now preserve landmarked THR building [Curbed LA]
- Preservationists raise concerns about Crossroads of the World redevelopment: ‘We’re headed to Manhattanization of Hollywood’ [Curbed LA]