Reimagined Viper Room’s developer scores $60M loan

Project will bring a five-star hotel, condos to Sunset Strip in WeHo

Cottonwood’s Mark Green and Silver Creek's Franck Ruimy with 8850 Sunset Blvd
Cottonwood’s Mark Green and Silver Creek's Franck Ruimy with 8850 Sunset Blvd (8850 Sunset Blvd , LinkedIn, Stan Hope Capitol, Getty)

Silver Creek, the developer behind the West Hollywood mixed-use project that includes a reincarnated Viper Room, has scored a $62 million loan from Cottonwood Group.

Cottonwood, an L.A.-based real estate investment firm, announced the deal Tuesday.

In a statement Mark Green, the firm’s chief investment officer, said the company was pleased to finance “such a historical Hollywood landmark.” A representative for Silver Creek did not respond to a request for comment.

Silver Creek’s project, called 8850 Sunset Boulevard, amounts to a high-profile transformation of a beloved section of the Sunset Strip. Along with the planned Viper Room revamp, plans include a five-star hotel, a couple dozen luxury condos, restaurants and retail space. Construction is slated to begin next year, and the developers have floated a 2025 completion date.

The Viper Room first opened in 1993, with Johnny Depp as a part owner, and quickly became an iconic West Hollywood venue both because of its legendary rock shows — Tom Petty, The Strokes, Johnny Cash — and status as a hangout for certain Hollywood stars. In its first year, it was also the site where the actor River Phoenix died of an overdose.

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The mostly black, cave-like club has changed ownership multiple times; Silver Creek, which is based in Phoenix but also has offices in Beverly Hills and New York, bought the site through an LLC for $80 million in 2018. The seller was an entity called 5th Gear.

In order to build, the developer will first demolish the iconic space, along with other surrounding stores, effectively ending one chapter of American rock lore. For its mixed-use project, Silver Creek earlier proposed a more unconventional, futuristic design, from Morphosis Architects, where a kind of massive claw-shaped structure connected near the roof of another building, creating a kind of multi-story window.

After pushback, this year the firm unveiled another, more conventional design, from Miami-based Arquitectonica, with a glass-heavy facade, balconies, LED panels and drought-tolerant landscaping. The new Viper Room, on the ground floor, will have a much more modern vibe, with a tall glass entrance, larger concert stage and auditorium, memorabilia hall and a recording studio.

Earlier this year Tommy Black, the club’s general manager, told the website LAist he was excited the famous venue, which shut down for much of the pandemic, will get “a new lease on life.”

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