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Millennium Hollywood developers eye Capitol Records territory

March 29, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Developers are pushing a plan to build two towers in Hollywood that would offer plenty of shopping, dining venues and tourist attractions.

The Millennium Hollywood is a development with really high aspirations. The plan would be made up of two towers, one of which would reach 50 stories.

"We're planning right now office space, a hotel, sports club, retail and residential," said Mario Palumbo.

Palumbo is one of the New York-based developers behind the project. He says all that would fit on less than 5 acres that is mostly parking lots right now.

But while the two towers would have a relatively small footprint, they would cast quite the shadow over one of L.A.'s most iconic landmarks: The Capitol Records Building.

"Bad idea," said Shadow Hill resident Belinda Merritt. "This is an Icon. It's not only an icon for the music industry; it's an icon for Hollywood."

The proposed towers would be closer in height to the L.A. Live Tower in downtown, which stretches 54 stories high.

While that may be fine for downtown, L.A. mayoral candidate and City Councilman Eric Garcetti says it's not fine for Hollywood.

Garcetti is concerned that the project is too tall for Hollywood. To put that into perspective, the relatively new, 2-year-old W Hotel is just 15 stories tall.

"Those buildings would have been twice the height of the tallest building in Hollywood today," Garcetti said. "Sometimes folks will come in from another city and say, 'OK, we're going to build a Manhattan-sized tower here in L.A.' L.A. isn't Manhattan."

Some people, though, like the idea of a more Manhattan look and feel to L.A.

"I think new buildings might bring more attention to the Capitol Records Building," said Johnny Smith of Hollywood.

Millennium's developers say the $664 million project would be a boom to Hollywood, creating thousands of construction jobs and nearly 6,000 permanent jobs, along with improving the area.

"This is a world-class architectural landmark, the Capitol Records Building. And right now it's surrounded by parking lots," said Palumbo. "I think it deserves better neighbors."

Garcetti says he wants to see the Millennium Hollywood move forward, but only if the towers are limited to 20 to 30 stories high.

The L.A. City Planning Commission has approved the project, but it still has to get the approval of the City Council before construction can begin.


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