Two New York-based real estate developers, Millennium Partners and Argent Ventures, have unveiled plans for the Millennium Hollywood Project, a 1 million square foot mixed-use development near Sunset and Vine in Hollywood.
The project, which would be built adjacent to the iconic Capitol Records Building, would include two structures that could be as tall as 585 feet, nearly twice the height of any existing Hollywood tower.
The conceptual plan for the project includes 492 residential units, 200 luxury hotel rooms, office space, restaurant and retail space and 40,000-square feet for a sports club. The developers purchased the Capitol Records Building and nearby parking lots in 2006 and 2007, but have put development projects on hold until now.
A development application has been submitted to the city and work has begun on an environmental impact report.
The developers expect the approval process to take about 18 months, and plan to work with the city, amending the structures’ sizes and uses to best suit the needs of the community.
Development proposals require review and approval by the neighborhood Planning Commission, City Planning Commission, City Council and Mayor’s office. If approved, Millennium Hollywood would take about three years to build.
“What we are asking the city to do is work with us on setting the parameters for a project that works best for everyone involved,” said Michael Gargano of Argent Ventures. “At the end of the day, we think the city and the neighborhood will realize a range of community benefits from this development.”
Los Angeles City Council President Eric Garcetti agrees that community input is significant during the approval process.
“The Argent/Millennium proposal is just starting its city review process,” said Garcetti, who represents the district where Millennium Hollywood would be built. “I also seek recommendations and input from neighborhood stakeholders, and I encourage developers to work with neighborhood organizations to get their input on how to ensure the project will be an asset to the neighborhood.”
There are no meetings or presentations scheduled for neighborhood input at this time. Hollywood residents are divided about the project and the idea of increased commercial development in their neighborhood.
Some see population density as an existing problem in Hollywood that will only be exacerbated by projects like this one.
“It’ll bring more job opportunities, for sure,” said Jordan Lawhorn, who lives close to the proposed development site. “But, we’re already overpopulated in this city, so I wonder if building such a tall, mostly residential building is the right move.”
Others welcome commercial development in the neighborhood. Henry Yanez has lived in Hollywood for five years and would like to see it continue to grow.
“Commercial development is a positive thing for Hollywood,” Yanez said. “It’ll help employment, help people to move into the community and pump money into the local economy. I think that building more multifaceted structures is going to help this community in a lot of ways.”
Some who oppose the project do so because they fear it will outshine the legendary record-shaped Capitol Records Building.
“The Capitol Records Building in Hollywood is an icon,” said Hollywood resident Matt Goodyear. “Anything that takes away from that is an atrocity.”
In 2008, Capitol Records opposed the erection of a 16-story tower adjacent to the building, fearing that noise and vibration during construction would negatively affect Capitol’s unique echo chamber recording studios.
Capitol executives support the Millennium Hollywood project and say they’ve maintained a “good relationship” with the developer.
“They’ve been very good about reaching out to us to discuss their plans,” said Maureen Schultz, senior vice president of Capitol Records. “We’ve been upfront about our concerns during construction, and they have been very receptive to our issues.”
Millennium and Argent said they plan to preserve views of the treasured tower.
“We take our responsibility as steward of this civic treasure very seriously, and that’s why we have spent considerable time and energy crafting this plan for a forward-thinking and vibrant project that is respectful of the Capitol Records Tower and the role it plays in Hollywood," said Phillip Aarons, founding partner at Millennium.