Construction at BLVD6200 has been well underway for the past four months, but in Hollywood it's not official until there's a groundbreaking celebration.
A group of city, business and community leaders gathered Thursday at the W Hollywood to celebrate the start of construction, a project they see as sign of perserverance and an example of future of development in L.A.
James Nederlander Sr. said he bought the land 33 years ago for theater parking at the Pantages Theatre, now it will be much more than that.
The first phase of the mixed-use $300 million project includes more than 500 apartments throughout four buildings, more than 74,000-square-feet of retail space and more than 1,300 parking spaces.
"Having [the nearby Metro Red Line] transit station and a project like this where people can live and work and play is really what the reimagined L.A. is going to look like," Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said.
"This is a town that invented sprawl, this is the quintessential city that dismantled the public transportation system and built more freeways than anywhere in the world—the best freeways—and then almost immediately, filled them up," said Villaraigosa. "People moved to the perimeter and most work in the city...We are absolutely commited to re-imagining L.A. This is a poster child for that vision—Hollywood is back."
The project, which was eight years in the making, is a development partnership between Clarett West Development and DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners.
"It's a testament that well-designed density, is density that can still be well-received," said Frank Stephan of Clarett West Development.
Kerry Morrison, executive director of the Hollywood Business Improvement District, thanked those leading the project for seeing it through the long development process.
"With the perserverance they have shown, our favorite bird in Hollywood, which is the crane, is returning—there’s one at the Emerson College site—we’re going to have hopefully another one here," Morrison said. "We’re hearing great things about other projects that are coming back to life again Columbia Square, the Spaghetti Factory project. Hollywood is on its way back and it’s a celebration to be here with all of you today. Thank you for having faith and believing in Hollywood."