DANIEL TAUB Staff Reporter
HOLLYWOOD In another effort to improve the business district here, Los Angeles officials are pushing forward a plan to top a planned subway station with a $145 million commercial development including a 12-screen multiplex next to the historic Mann’s Chinese Theater.
The plan by San Diego-based TrizecHahn Centers would also include 135,000 square feet of retail space, 70,000 square feet of restaurants and food courts and a 1,000-seat theater set aside for film premieres.
The plan has already won the support of Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Community Redevelopment Agency staff members. It is scheduled to go before the mayoral-appointed CRA board later this month.
The 12-screen multiplex as well as the premiere theater will be operated by Mann Theatres, owned by a partnership of Time Warner Inc. and Viacom Inc. Mann currently is the planned complex’s only committed tenant.
“Our emphasis is all about entertainment,” said David Malmuth, senior vice president for development at TrizecHahn. “We’re trying to create a place that fulfills the guests’ visions of what they expect when they visit Hollywood.”
The 485,000-square-foot project for the northwest corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue is also backed by City Councilwoman Jackie Goldberg, whose district includes the project area.
“I think it says ‘Hollywood’ in a big way, and I hope we’re able to pull it off,” Goldberg said.
Although other Hollywood developments including the Hollywood Galaxy, a recently built commercial center on Hollywood Boulevard which remains 40 percent unoccupied have faltered, Goldberg and Malmuth both have high hopes for the new, yet-unnamed complex.
They say that its proximity to a new MTA station, its entertainment-and-restaurant focus and its emphasis on Hollywood Boulevard itself will help it succeed.
“This project’s very much about Hollywood Boulevard. So the excitement is very much on the street,” Malmuth said.
But the plan or at least how the plan is perceived has its critics.
“I think that when they say any one project is going to revitalize Hollywood, they don’t understand what the problems are,” said Robert Nudelman, former chairman of the Hollywood Project Area Committee, a group involved in area revitalization during the ’80s.
But Goldberg acknowledges that the project while it could help re-ignite an interest in Hollywood Boulevard is not the answer to Hollywood’s problems.
“No one project is going to change Hollywood not this one either,” Goldberg said.
If the project is approved by the CRA and if it then wins City Council approval TrizecHahn would enter into 180 days of exclusive negotiations with the city to develop the site.
During that time, Malmuth said, TrizecHahn would sign lease agreements with restaurateurs, retail operators and other future tenants.