The Conga Room, a Miracle Mile hotspot that ended its eight-year run on Wilshire Boulevard in 2006, will reopen at L.A. Live in November.
The Latin music nightspot, owned by a group of investors that includes singer Jennifer Lopez, actor Jimmy Smits and comedian Paul Rodriguez, has a 20-year lease with L.A. Live owner Anschutz Entertainment Group, which is developing the massive project across the street from Staples Center.
Real estate developer Brad Gluckstein, co-founder of the club, said that the new L.A. Live location is an upgrade from the Miracle Mile space. L.A. Live includes the already opened Nokia Theatre, a 6,350-seat concert venue, and will feature a slew of restaurants and shops along with a massive hotel.
"The demographics that we will have downtown run the gamut from Conga Room destination patrons to tourists to sports and music enthusiasts, and people who live downtown," Gluckstein said.
Gluckstein said that construction of the club, which will include a restaurant, multiple bars and a stage for live music, should begin in April. The Conga Room will include a ground-floor lobby entrance on Nokia Plaza and 14,000 square feet of second-floor space. The value of the lease was undisclosed.
Gluckstein described the venue as a "Latin House of Blues" and it will be able to accommodate about 1,100 guests.
The old Conga Room hosted concerts by acts including Celia Cruz and Buena Vista Social Club.
Lights, Condo, Action
Whether accommodating the Budweiser frogs or the reptilian beast in "Cloverfield," the buildings and streets of Los Angeles have long been a stage for film and TV location shoots.
Now, a resurgent downtown has become a popular backdrop for productions, too. Inventive developers and property managers are getting in on the business, finding ways to generate revenue from location shoots at their buildings.
Metro 417 developer Forest City Enterprises Inc.'s apartment property near Pershing Square has been used in several projects, including the films "Blow" and "Primal Fear," and television programs "Fear Factor" and "NYPD Blue."
Because of its eerie basement, which once housed Los Angeles' long-gone Red Line trolley system, film scouts seek out the building when a production calls for dark, creepy scenes, said Renata Simril, an executive at the development company.
While Forest City does not seek out production, there is at least one property management company that defers homeowners' association fee increases by courting Hollywood.
Prime Association Services, which manages the 1100 Wilshire condo building, another Forest City development, reaped nearly $100,000 last year for its residents by renting out the common areas of the property, plus whatever each homeowner was able to negotiate personally for the use of a condo unit.
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