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The Kress lights up Hollywood

August 6, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
An historic building on Hollywood Boulevard opens with new dreams of becoming the newest nightspot.In 1934, S.H. Kress opened a department store on Hollywood Boulevard. The Art Deco building was turned into the Frederick's of Hollywood World Headquarters 15 years later. On Wednesday, after serious renovation, the building is opening its doors with big scissors and big dreams.

Among the neon lights and flash bulbs, The Kress will light up Hollywood Boulevard once more.

The Kress's new owner considered the building a diamond in the rough. He spent years restoring the building and recreating some of the historic architecture from the 1930s.

"The cost of this project? A little bit south of $30 million ... Three years, $30 million. But, I'm here for the long-term," said Michael Viscuso, CEO, The Kress.

"This is a remarkable investment from an individual who believes in Hollywood and is helping revitalize it," said Eric Garcetti, president of the Los Angeles City Council.

Viscuso is revitalizing in style. The basement of The Kress is a nightclub and the main floor houses a restaurant.

"There's a mezzanine with a sushi bar, private dining room ... When you venture up to the third floor, it's a banquet facility that also doubles as an entertainment venue," said Viscuso.

The Kress's five levels include this rooftop lounge, so you can relax outside after dinner. Or, you can spend your evening on the inside looking out.

"You know, we've seen Hollywood, the industry and Hollywood ... the glamour return here. First it was the Kodak Theatre at Highland. Now it's going to be the W Hotel at Hollywood and Vine. But this is the grand dame of the mid-boulevard," said Garcetti.

Viscuso says this is only the beginning.

"I have acquired the buildings to the west of me ... and that will be the retail end of the second phase of the project. And then I have about an acre of property in the back that I'm looking at building a 15-story boutique hotel," said Viscuso.

 

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