Jamison has new plans for old Westlake Theatre

The multi-family developer will restore the landmark moviehouse

Jamison’s CEO Jaime Lee, with Westlake Theatre (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Jamison’s CEO Jaime Lee, with Westlake Theatre (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Koreatown’s most prominent landlord is making a play in MacArthur Park.

Jamison paid $2 million to acquire the historic Westlake Theatre at 634 Alvarado Street. The sale is expected to close next Thursday, Curbed reported.

The seller was CRA/LA, previously known as the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles.

Jamison plans to restore the landmarked building, but there are few details about what it would become.

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Recently, the family-run firm has been converting some of its portfolio that includes 18 million square feet of space into multifamily buildings. The bulk of those are in Koreatown, where Jamison has emerged as a dominant force in development.

Some of the company’s many adaptive reuse projects in the pipeline include a 109-unit apartment building at 3921 Wilshire Boulevard, and a 206-unit project at 3540 Wilshire.

Jamison is also rehabilitating older properties into high-end creative offices, as seen with the Harbor Building at 4201 Wilshire Boulevard. Its renovation helped it land tenants eOne and Concept Arts.

Built in 1926, the theater was listed for sale along with four adjacent properties in 2016. The listing fetched no buyers, and CRA/LA listed the theater as a single property in July. Jamison, through an entity called 634 Alvarado, was the third-highest bidder.

Earlier this week, Jamison’s founder Dr. David Lee made headlines for allegedly threatening to use an AR-15 assault weapon to keep protesters off the site of his latest project. His firm is planning a 500-unit mixed-use tower at 3700 Wilshire Boulevard, home to Liberty Park. LAPD is investigating the incident.  [Curbed] — Natalie Hoberman