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Hollywood & Highland Center Sold, Renovations Planned

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Gaw Capital and DJM Acquire Hollywood & Highland

HOLLYWOOD — Hollywood & Highland, the approximately 460,000-square-foot retail and entertainment center in the heart of Hollywood’s tourism and business district, has been sold. The sale does not include the iconic Dolby Theatre.

The seller was CIM Group and the buyers are DJM Capital and GAW Capital Partners. GAW owns the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. The selling price was undisclosed but the parties say it is the largest single-asset retail transaction to take place outside of Manhattan in nearly three years.

“The retail landscape has shifted, consumer tastes have adapted, and ‘New Hollywood’ is constantly redefining itself,” said Stenn Parton, Chief Retail Officer at DJM. “With Hollywood & Highland, we are eager to seize the opportunity to create, in the heart of Los Angeles, an environment where the iconic allure of ‘Old Hollywood’ meets the modern innovation of new media.”

The new owners plan to reimagine the 7.6-acre site over the next 24 to 30 months. Renovations are slated to begin in 2020, with completion expected in 2021. The goal of the improvements will be to upgrade the retail hub, rebranding, upgrading common areas, ramping up entertainment events, optimizing the merchandise mix and “incorporating new concepts and uses to bring excitement to retailers, visitors and other tenants at the property.”

“Our opportunity as the new stewards is to make Hollywood & Highland a 21st century destination—one that offers visitors a piece of Hollywood that is grounded by the needs of the modern consumer,” Parton added. “A fresh design and rebrand bolstered by relevant global brands, top-of-the-line food and beverage experiences, and a state-of-the-art digital concept is merely the beginning of our plans.”

Hollywood & Highland debuted in November 2001 as the result of a public/private partnership. CIM acquired the complex in 2004, which at that time included the retail and entertainment center, the theatre and the adjacent 632-room hotel. CIM sold the hotel in 2012, and in 2013 recapitalized the retail and entertainment center in a new CIM-managed joint venture.

CIM will continue to operate the 180,000-square-foot, 3,400-seat Dolby Theatre, which hosts the annual Academy Awards, for which it inked a 20 year contract in 2012. Concurrently, CIM reached a 20-year agreement with Dolby for the naming rights. Most recently, CIM entered into a programming arrangement with the historic Hollywood Pantages Theatre to bring Broadway shows to the Dolby.

“Following approval of the development of Hollywood & Highland, CIM was among the first private investors to identify the potential in Hollywood, acquiring an office building across the street from the site in 1998,” said Shaul Kuba, Co-Founder and Principal, CIM Group. “Since then, we have actively developed, repositioned, and operated numerous properties of all types throughout Hollywood and we continue to work on our existing portfolio and new opportunities in this market.”

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TikTok Moves into New Gensler-Designed Culver City Offices

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CULVER CITY — TikTok today announced the company is moving into a brand new home… a 120,000-square foot office in Culver City. The move further deepens TikTok’s connection and commitment to the greater Los Angeles area as it continues to grow its U.S. team, including key leaders. 

The new TikTok office spans five floors, which were designed from the ground up to embody TikTok’s fun and joyful personality. Creativity is synonymous with TikTok, so having a space that inspires everyone who walks through the door was a driving force behind the move. The heart of the space is a bright pink staircase that runs through each floor and follows a bespoke mural designed by TikTok’s internal design team.

“Located between the innovative tech companies in Silicon Beach and the streaming content companies at Hayden tract, TikTok truly sits at the intersection of technology and entertainment, physically and figuratively,” said Vanessa Pappas, general manager, TikTok U.S. “While we are a global company, having a permanent office in LA speaks to our commitment to the U.S. market and deepens our bonds with the city, and the talent and companies, that call it home.” 

The new office features a fully open floor plan interspersed with conference rooms, private phone booths, a stadium-style presentation and gathering space, and terraces to support indoor-outdoor work. A TikTok content-creation studio will be completed by the summer of 2020, providing even more opportunities for immersive and entertaining videos from TikTok creators and partners. The office is also dog-friendly, allowing TikTok’s beloved canine creators to visit as well. 

The office was designed in collaboration with global architecture and design firm, Gensler. “The new TikTok LA office is the result of two creative companies out to build a space that was inclusive, collaborative, and fun,” said Chris Mitchell, Design Director, Gensler. “We hope the space gives TikTok’s employees a home to be proud of and a place to inspire more of the entertaining content the app is known for.”

As part of TikTok’s commitment to inspire and encourage a new generation to have a positive impact on the planet, the company selected a LEED Gold-certified building that exceeds California standards. The new office features design and building strategies aimed at energy and water conservation, reducing C02 emissions, and improving indoor environmental quality. 

TikTok continues to be committed to building and growing the app experience for its diverse and growing mix of users, creators, and brands. Last year, the company built out its U.S.-based leadership team with key hires across functions including product, safety, content, music, sales, and operations. TikTok now employs over 400 employees in offices across the U.S., including Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, and New York. TikTok will also continue to invest in supporting both local and national initiatives relevant to its community.

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Endangered West Hollywood Rare Plant Nursery May Survive

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WEST HOLLYWOOD (LAist) — Leon Massoth has owned and operated XOTX Tropico nursery in West Hollywood for over 30 years. A beloved West Hollywood nursery that specializes in rare species has to shut down by the end of the month, but it appears to have found a new home.

Late last year, Leon Massoth was instructed to vacate XOTX Tropico (“exotics”) nursery—a business he started over 30 years ago. The owner of the property it sat on had sold the land.

Massoth was supposed to be out by the end of December, but gave up his security deposit to stay a little longer.

“We’re severely under the gun,” he told […]

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A Slightly Unhinged Investigation Into Lisa Vanderpump Conspiracy Theories

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A Slightly Unhinged Investigation Into Lisa Vanderpump Conspiracy Theories

WEST HOLLYWOOD (Vice) — Something is going on over at Lisa Vanderpump’s famed LA restaurants.

In the last week, the star of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, matriarch of the unswervingly-glossy-skinned narcissists on Vanderpump Rules, and business mogul has dealt with a series of unfortunate events befalling her establishments.

The rule of threes suggests that when weird things strike thrice, let alone all in the same place, it probably means something shady is happening—at least if you buy into conspiracy theories. And in the case of anything Vanderpump-related, it’s much more fun if you do. Let’s dive in!

On January 5, a Ferrari crashed into PUMP, her West Hollywood restaurant/bar known for its kind of gross food and ridiculous cocktail names […]

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