Millennium Partners scuttles $1B plan for highrises in Hollywood

Developer abandons project on parking lots surrounding the Capital Records Building

Millennium Partners Scraps $1B Plan for Towers in Hollywood
Millennium Partners' Philip Aarons with Render of plans for Hollywood Center along Vine Street north of Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles (Shimahara, MP Los Angeles)

Millennium Partners has killed a $1 billion plan to build highrises around the Capitol Records Building in Hollywood, a decade after active earthquake faults were found under the site.

The New York-based investor withdrew its requests for approvals for the four-building Hollywood Center project on parking lots next to Capitol Records and the Pantages Theatre along Vine Street, north of Hollywood Boulevard, Urbanize Los Angeles reported.

The L.A. Planning Department has terminated each entitlement request, ending the development.

Plans for the 4.5-acre Hollywood Center, proposed in 2012, called for two office and residential towers of 35 and 45 stories, which would have become the tallest in Tinseltown. They would be flanked by two 11-story buildings, with underground parking.

The project was to contain 1,005 homes, including 133 set aside as affordable housing for “extremely-low-income” and “very-low-income” seniors in the two smaller buildings.

Millennium bought the parcels of parking lots in 2006 from Capitol Records for an undisclosed price.

But the 1.3-million-square-foot development, once known as the Millennium Project, hit a couple of serious snags.

The first resulted from active earthquake faults found beneath the development site by California Geological Survey, which raised questions about the safety of the project. Consultants hired by the developer said the faults didn’t run below the site.

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The second came after a judge halted the project because an environmental impact report failed to note the state seismic research that “strongly suggest” an active strand of the fault crosses the project site.

Philip Aarons, founding partner of Millennium Partners, didn’t reveal the firm’s plans for the failed project site’s future.

“Sixteen years ago, we spearheaded the effort to save the world-renowned Capitol Records Building by getting this iconic structure declared a City of Los Angeles historic-cultural monument so that future generations could continue to appreciate its timeless beauty,” Aarons said in a statement. 

“Over the last several years we have worked to preserve this architectural treasure by completing a full seismic upgrade of the structure so that the building can return to its critical role within the music industry,” he said. “While we have made the decision for now not to move ahead with our vision to build housing on the surrounding surface parking lots, we remain committed to working to make the Hollywood community a better place to live and work.”

The developer had also faced criticism over its 58-story “leaning” and sinking tower in San Francisco. Last summer, the condominium highrise stood 1 inch straighter after a $100 million fix.

While Millennium Partners may have stepped away from the star-crossed site near Hollywood and Vine, it hasn’t left the neighborhood, according to Urbanize. In late 2022, the developer won approval to build a 15-story office tower at 6450 Sunset Boulevard.

— Dana Bartholomew

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