By MORRIS NEWMAN
Hollywood's decade-long attempt to stage a comeback appears to be gaining momentum, in historic preservation and renovated office buildings.
While government efforts by the Los Angeles Redevelopment Agency and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority have helped clear the path, the big energy on Hollywood Boulevard is coming from private enterprise.
The centerpiece of the revival is a $145 million shopping and entertainment project at Hollywood and Highland, located above the Metro Rail station currently under construction. The developer, a partnership of San Diego-based TrizecHahn Centers, promises specialty-retail, restaurants, and a 12-screen multiplex theater operated by Mann Theatres.
The train station will eventually provide "a natural tourist linkage" between Universal Studios Tour and Hollywood, according to David Malmuth, senior vice president of TrizecHahn.
"We can start imagining a tourist itinerary in which visitors will spend half a day strolling the streets of Hollywood and then shooting over to Universal and spending time there, as well," he said.
The designers of the TrizecHahn project are providing extra wide sidewalks in front of the fanciful project. "A little congestion on the sidewalk would make Hollywood Boulevard more of a vibrant place," said Malmuth. Another natural gathering place is a giant staircase, which offers a view of the Hollywood sign.
Approved by the City Council in early April, the developer has entered a 180-day period of negotiation with public agencies to work out the details. Construction dates have not been announced.
Other notable projects in Hollywood include:
- The Hollywood Spectacular, a movie theater that would go into what is currently a parking lot immediately west of the Chinese Theater.
Announced last month by Los Angeles City Councilwoman Jackie Goldberg, the theater design is notable for a row of free-standing, 40-foot letters that spell "Hollywood."
The developer, Hollywood Orangeland LLC, plans to start work on the $20 million, 47,000-square-foot project in July. Completion is expected eight months later.
- A 225,000-square-foot retail and entertainment complex is proposed at Sunset Boulevard and Vine Street, to be developed by Regent Properties Inc. of Beverly Hills. The project is being redesigned to gain the support of both the community and redevelopment agency. No construction date has been set.
"We're looking at themed restaurants, outdoor cafes and neighboring-serving retail. The center will have a high level of social amenities, and will serve as a neighborhood center and regional attraction," said Larry Kosmont, a real estate consultant to the project.
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