Arts Club project moves forward in West Hollywood

The sleek new building will replace a Hustler brand adult store

Gensler's design for the Arts Club building in West Hollywood (Credit: Gensler architects)
Gensler's design for the Arts Club building in West Hollywood (Credit: Gensler architects)

A West Hollywood intersection is going from porn to posh.

A joint venture of U.K.-based London & Regional Properties and VE Equities are set to raze a Hustler’s adult store on Sunset Boulevard and replace it with a nine-story building anchored by the only U.S. branch of the prestigious Arts Club, a private institution founded in the mid-19th century by Charles Dickens and friends.

The West Hollywood Planning Commission approved the project on Thursday, according to WeHoville.

The project, at the corner of Hilldale Drive, has been in the works since 2015, when the joint venture bought 8920 Sunset Boulevard from Larry Flynt Publications, Hustler’s parent company, for $18.3 million. The project is being led by Arts Club Chairman Gary Landesberg and London & Regional Properties Executive Chairman Richard Livingstone. VE Equities has a minority stake in the venture, according to a representative for Livingstone and Landesberg.

Gensler architect Andy Cohen is designing the roughly 108,000-square-foot building. He presented a sleek new design earlier this week that features a sloped façade facing Sunset Boulevard, seemingly to avoid possible lawsuits over sight lines of nearby billboards, according to WeHoville.

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It’s the second vertically minded project to move forward in the neighborhood this week. The City Council also gave final approval to Faring for its nine-story, 241-room hotel project at 9091 Santa Monica Boulevard, which will incorporate the historic gay nightclub Factory into its design.

The Arts Club will take up 52,500 square feet on the fifth to ninth floors and will include 10 hotel rooms open only to Arts Club members, which is by invite only. Members will also have access to dining rooms, a bar, lounge, and a rooftop pool area. Membership is limited to artists, architects, writers, and other creative types. There will also be creative office space on the third and fourth floors.

The club will also have 7,000 square feet of ground-floor retail and restaurant space and a 2,200-square-foot public art gallery. Parking will take up five levels underground and cars will be parked by an automated system.

The project is expected to go to the West Hollywood City Council for final approval this summer.
[WeHoville] – Dennis Lynch 

Correction: An earlier version of this story listed VE Equities as the sole property owner. It has been updated to reflect London & Regional Properties involvement and VE Equities’ minority interest in the property.