Monday, August 18, 2014

Perpetually Stalled Hollywood Office Building Getting Active

Image credit: Loopnet.

Over three years after Molly's Burgers served its final customers, one of Hollywood's most polarizing projects is poised to emerge unscathed from development hell.  1601 Vine Street, a mid-rise office tower first proposed in 2006, is miraculously on pace to break ground before the end of this calendar year.  Last week, demolition permits were pulled for the pair of drab commercial structures that currently occupy the project site.  This follows construction permits for the new office building, which have been in the works since earlier this summer.

The eight-story, glass-clad structure will contain 112,000 square feet of creative office space, a 2,000 square foot ground-level commercial stall, and a five-level, 194-vehicle underground parking garage.  The Gensler-designed building will stand approximately 130 feet tall, adhering to Hollywood's historic (but non-binding) height limit.

The turning point for 1601 Vine Street came last year, when the locally-based J.H. Snyder Company took over development of project.  Although a bureaucratic hiccup towards the end of 2013 delayed a previously scheduled Spring groundbreaking, the city and the developer worked quickly to put their ducks in a row.  Snyder told Bloomberg earlier this year that he expects to break ground on the speculative development sometime in September.

Resurgent demand for Class-A office space in Hollywood has also helped turn the tide for the long-delayed proposal.  The neighborhood's amenities and name recognition have proven alluring to prospective tenants, some of whom have relocated from prestigious addresses outside the submarket.  Earlier this year, the Oprah Winfrey Network ditched its former Miracle Mile headquarters to lease three floors of West Hollywood's Formosa South.  Two blocks east of 1601 Vine Street, high-end coworking space NeueHouse recently leased 93,000 square feet of the not-yet-complete Columbia Square development.

This uptick in office demand comes on the heels of equally robust residential and hotel development throughout the Hollywood submarket.  Mixed-use complexes from developers including Camden Property Trust, Clarett West, and CIM Group will create more than 1,000 housing units on nearby properties over the next several years.  To the west along Selma Avenue, an infusion of EB-5 capital finally allowed developer Five Chairs to break ground on the highly anticipated Dream Hollywood Hotel this past March.  A smaller boutique hotel is also planned for a property located a half-block south on Cahuenga Boulevard.

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