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Wednesday, Feb 8, 2023

Lease Woes Stall Reynolds’ Museum

Lease Woes Stall Reynolds’ Museum

By DEBORAH BELGUM

Staff Reporter

The developer of Hollywood & Highland, seeking to shake the stalled Hollywood Motion Picture Collection museum from its 18,000-square-foot lease, has sued the project’s organizers.

TrizecHahn Hollywood LLC claims that the museum, a project of actress Debbie Reynolds and her family, has breached its June 2001 lease. In a lawsuit filed July 23 in Los Angeles Superior Court, the developer is asking for $2 million in damages and court costs. (Since the project was built, TrizecHahn has changed its name to Trizec Properties.)

Lee Wagman, president of the Trizec Retail and Entertainment Group, said his company was still negotiating with Reynolds and her family about moving into space in the complex that was supposed to have housed a TV studio overlooking the Hollywood sign.

“We have an alternative proposal out to Debbie Reynolds,” Wagman said. “We hope they can get their business plan together. I really like the concept and the people. I hope they can do it.”

He said the lawsuit was filed because Trizec has another tenant interested in taking over the lease reserved for the museum. Terms of the lease were not available.

Todd Fisher, Reynolds’ son and the principal organizer of the museum, confirmed the effort to relocate within the massive complex, “but the negotiations have been difficult.”

He said the museum’s initial financial backer backed out before Sept. 11, but it has since come up with new financing. Fisher said he hopes to sign a 10-year lease with two five-year renewal options, the length of the lease in dispute.

The suit is a marked departure from last year’s good cheer, when a well-publicized press conference at Hollywood & Highland featured Reynolds, her daughter Carrie Fisher and Todd Fisher, touted the move by the Hollywood Motion Picture Collection museum. The museum was to move to 18,000 square feet.

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