A proposed $500 million development of a high-rise office building named The Star to be built on Sunset Boulevard near Gower Street in Hollywood. The 22-story tower will include four levels of landscaped gardens and will include an electric cable car to a rooftop restaurant.
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Developers will file an application with the city of Los Angeles on Thursday to build what they hope will be a visually stunning $500 million high-rise on Sunset Boulevard in the heart of Hollywood called The Star.
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The proposed 22-story glass-skinned office tower will create its own bubble-like world with garden levels open to the elements on the 10th and 17th floors and an enclosed designed roof with a restaurant, all served by an electric cable car that travels up and down the sides of the tower.
It’s the work of MAD Architects, a Chinese architecture firm known for bold designs like the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, under construction near Los Angeles’ Memorial Coliseum, evoking director George Lucas’ Star Wars empire of fantasy.
Architect Ma Yansong called the building’s sinuous shape “very sculptural,” reminiscent of a sunrise “or a sunset,” he said with a laugh. “It’s on Sunset Boulevard.”
The star, he hopes, will become a landmark, “a new form of art in the Hollywood district,” which is already so influential in the arts, he said.
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Its design was inspired by the curved shapes of existing local landmarks, including the Griffith Observatory, the Capitol Records Building, the Hollywood Bowl and the Cinerama Dome, he said. “It establishes a new typology for the office of the future.”
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Hollywood has been one of the region’s strongest office markets, driven by demand from growing entertainment companies like Netflix, which is Hollywood’s largest tenant and has leased other new buildings including the Epic office tower on Sunset Boulevard and the recently completed On Vine complex on Vine Street.
The developers envision the 500,000-square-foot building being leased to one tenant in the entertainment industry, said Edgar Haltian, a land-use attorney representing the Los Angeles limited liability company The Star, which bought the Sunset Boulevard site in 2017. The developers expect the municipal approval process to take about two more years and additional construction.
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The complex of parcels east of Gower Street is now home to a series of low-rise office buildings, including a 1940s-era building formerly occupied by Technicolor, and a parking lot. Netflix is a tenant in the existing buildings.
Star Limited Company is a family partnership led by Maggie Gong Miracle, a Chinese-born investor and real estate agent living in Los Angeles. The financing for the project will be raised in the United States, Haltian said.
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Rendering of a tenant garden on the 17th floor of the proposed Star office building in Hollywood.
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The development of the Star Tower must be approved by the municipality and will require a general plan amendment and a zoning change, said Haltian, a partner at Mayer Brown. The scope of the development will be similar to what was previously approved in nearby Columbia Square, he said, which includes offices and a 20-story apartment tower being built near CBS’s historic former Hollywood headquarters.
Entertainment giant ViacomCBS is a high-profile office tenant in Columbia Square. Across Sunset Boulevard from the Star site is Sunset Gower Studios, a century-old movie studio that was once home to Columbia Pictures and now includes an office building that houses Technicolor. Across the street is also Emerson College, an architecturally noteworthy building where students live and study the arts.
The project to expand production at Television City comes as shortages keep existing soundstages in the area year-round.
Alongside the star will be two less glamorous properties, the Hollywood Palms Inn & Suites motel and a mini-mall next to the restaurateur Roscoe’s House of Chicken & Waffles.
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The pandemic informed the star’s design, Yansong said, with a focus on ventilation, natural light and other features designed to improve the physical, emotional and mental well-being of workers and achieve certification from the International Institute for Health Building.
A high priority is four levels of foliage designed by Salt Landscape Architects designed to “connect people to the healing nature of plants,” said Michelle Freire, a senior associate at the Los Angeles-based firm.
Following Yansong’s vision, the foliage will be most impressive at ground level, with trees, ferns and grasses that will mellow up a slope from Sunset Boulevard to the base of the building, which will be surrounded by greenery.
The garden on the 10th floor will be more fragrant and colorful, with lavender, pink mussel and other soft herbs and plants that will sway in the wind. The 17th-floor garden will be more “sculptural,” Freer said, with plants like agaves and succulents. These two floors will be larger than average in area and height, with enough space for garden paths and seating.
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The terrarium-like roof dome with the restaurant and event space will have vines and “airy, soft plants that play with the light coming through this dome,” Freer said.
The funicular that Xiansong calls a “sky elevator” will have cars that can hold up to 30 people and can open to allow airflow, he said. The building will also have internal elevators.
Office rents in Hollywood have been climbing consistently for the past five years, said Petra Dornin, head of market analysis at Raise Commercial Real Estate. Buildings that have more worker-friendly elements than was common in 20th-century office towers will be the most competitive, said Dornin, who is not involved with Star.
“Given changing employee preferences and employers’ needs to attract and retain gold-standard talent, building new offices will have to be a world apart from what exists now,” she said. “Just as retail has evolved in recent years and become experiential to attract consumers to fantastic locations, so too must new office design.” We recognize that our success as an organization depends on the success of our individual team members.
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The mission of the Los Angeles Convention and Tourism Board (LA Tourism) is to improve the quality of life for all Angelenos through the economic and community benefits of tourism. Los Angeles Tourism, representing over 1,000 local tourism-related businesses, is a non-profit organization responsible for promoting the City of Angels as one of the world’s top travel destinations. Through its brands’ global marketing and sales efforts, Los Angeles Tourism works to inspire visitors to immerse themselves in the kinds of unplanned moments and meaningful experiences that can only happen in Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau is an equal employment opportunity employer. We pride ourselves on welcoming applicants from all backgrounds regardless of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, age, physical or mental disability, medical condition, pregnancy, gender identity, marital status, military or military status or any other basis protected by applicable federal, state or local laws.
Los Angeles Tourism continues to prioritize the health and safety of our workforce. Consistent with this commitment, and in light of the growing body of evidence that vaccines remain the most effective protection against the spread of COVID-19, we require our staff members to be fully vaccinated as a condition of employment. For individuals with medical conditions or sincerely held religious beliefs that prevent vaccination, the Company will consider requests for reasonable accommodation in accordance with our policies and applicable law.
Based on the number of inquiries we receive regarding job postings, we regret that we cannot respond to each individual inquiry. Your resume will be carefully checked against the requirements for the position and we will contact you if we choose you to move forward in the interview process. Thank you for your interest in joining the Los Angeles Tourism team!
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Job Summary: The Vice President, Global Tourism Development will oversee travel trade programming strategy to drive visitation and revenue to Los Angeles through global initiatives. These programs include exhibitions, familiarization tours, customer events, communications and other initiatives for the travel trade industry. The Vice President will lead a team of three (3) direct reports in tourism development and develop and identify strategic direction so that the team can effectively and efficiently pursue key tourism opportunities for Los Angeles. Successful candidates must have knowledge of global tourism markets, have previous experience in the international tourism industry or similar industry experience, ability to lead teams in other global markets and strong speaking and presentation skills. This position requires travel and the ability to participate in events during non-working hours (evenings and weekends) as needed.
1. Increase visitation and revenue to Los Angeles through global travel trade initiatives. Collaborate with airlines, tour operators, travel agencies and RTOs to maximize results. – 25%
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