Staff Reporter

Hollywood's rising star just got brighter.

Regent Properties is expected to announce this week that it will build a 500,000-square-foot "urban village" office/retail project at the northwest corner of Sunset Boulevard and Vine Street.

The project by Beverly Hills-based Regent marks the third major revitalization effort in the works for the faded movie capital.

Regent's plans call for a 200,000-square-foot entertainment/retail center and a 300,000-square-foot mixed-use office and restaurant project. The developer also plans to build a 1,000-space parking garage and is in discussions to reopen the Doolittle Theater on Vine Street.

Regent's project joins TrizecHahn Corp.'s proposed $360 million entertainment-retail project near Mann's Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard and Pacific Theatres' $70 million redevelopment of its Cinerama Dome property directly across the street from the Regent site.

Between the Cinerama Dome and Regent proposals, the intersection of Sunset and Vine is slated to get more than $150 million of new development.

Unlike those more entertainment-oriented proposals, Regent's $70 million project is aimed at serving local residents' broader retail needs.

The developer is already negotiating with several anchor tenants such as apparel stores and bookstore chains as well as a movie theater operator, said Doug Brown, a co-partner at Regent. No lease contracts have been signed yet, but Brown said "the interest from prominent retailers is incredible."

"Hollywood is a void. It's under-retailed, and it's a natural retail market," said Brown, adding that residents of Hancock Park, Larchmont Village and Los Feliz have to drive to the San Fernando Valley "just to buy a Garth Brooks CD."

Home Depot was one of the first major retailers to locate in Hollywood when it opened its store near the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Western Avenue about a year ago, according to Leron Gubler, president of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.

The three-acre Regent site currently contains a smattering of parking lots, a mini-mall, offices and the fire-scarred TAV Celebrity Building, which years ago housed ABC's first radio studio, and then in the 1970s hosted "The Merv Griffin Show."

A fire gutted the inside of the 1930s Streamline Moderne-style building two years ago, and it has been sitting vacant ever since. Much of the facade, including the frieze panels depicting film scenes, remain intact.

"What can't be saved from the historic building will be worked into the new project's design," said Jeff Dinkins, co-partner at Regent.


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