Issue: Spring 2012

Looking for Hollywood in all the Right Places

Whether you've just arrived, are upgrading, downsizing, or relocating, the rental market in Hollywood offers something for everyone.  The past few years have seen a 100% increase as hundreds of new apartments have been built.  While you might assume that (1) it’s a buyers (or renters) market and (2) apartments are more affordable, each of these assumptions are wrong.  Rental rates have risen and amenities have increased.

If you want to plan a screening party and live at The Jefferson, you have access to a media room that’s equipped with a mini-theatre size screen, comfortable seating, and a wet bar.  Planning a meeting?  The Rubix located steps off Hollywood Blvd. between McCadden and Las Palmas not only has a gym with free towel service for residents, its conference room and full wifi business center lets you make a deal in a professional environment steps from your apartment.

Stylish digs at the Jefferson

Meeting room at the Rubix

The new apartments include fabulous lounges where residents can host a party in just the right atmosphere.   The Hollywood LaBelle takes you over the top with its Hollywood Regency décor.  And The Rubix party lounge features a pool table and an indoor/outdoor area. For those who want to live in glass houses (forget the stones), the magnificent 6290 Sunset Vine Tower, once one of the first skyscrapers in Los Angeles, offers breathtaking views from every room.

A gorgeous Sunset Vine living room

The new apartments areas are spacious with good sized kitchens and plenty of closet space.  The 2-bedroom units have two bathrooms, one usually en suite.  Most also feature a balcony to relax and enjoy the Southern California climate.

Featuring the best of both worlds—old and new---with a lot of history attached, the converted office building on Hollywood Blvd. where the Screen Actors Guild and Academy of Motion Pictures began is now known as Seventy 46 and it offers wonderful, bright, loft-like spaces with architectural details reminiscent of the 1930s. 

Seven 46's 1930s-style hallways

Thanks to windows like these, the apartments at Seven 46 feel light and airy
while affording beautiful views of the city

For a new apartment, expect to pay at least $1,800 up to $8,000 for a penthouse.  But you won’t need a penthouse to feel like a movie mogul.  With a fitness center, party place, pool, firepit and barbeque, you may not even want to venture out to enjoy Hollywood’s nightlife and restaurants.

Brand, spanking new isn’t everyone’s cup of tea when it comes to apartments in Hollywood.  You only need to drive the streets that cross the famed Boulevard to see that there is quite a selection of apartments in many of Hollywood’s historic buildings.  Built in the '20s and '30s to accommodate the needs of the burgeoning movie industry, apartment “hotels” offered large studio apartments—one room with a living space, kitchen, and bathroom.  Some units have up to 2-bedrooms and there are few amenities other than the cache of living where Charlton Heston or Humphrey Bogart lived early in their careers.

While many do offer underground parking garages, parking is at a premium with these buildings as they were built when Los Angeles had one of the best transportation systems in the country and a Red Car streetcar line ran down the center of Hollywood Boulevard.  The Hudson Apartments (formerly The Hillview), one of the few older apartments right on the boulevard in the center of Hollywood, was the first to be built for actors who were considered “undesirable” in the early years of Hollywood as it changed from a sleepy suburb of Los Angeles into the Entertainment Capitol of the world.  Nearby along the side streets, you’ll find many historic apartment buildings including The Fountenoy and the Fleur de Lis on Whitley.  Studios and one-bedrooms that range in price from $1,100 to $1,600, depending on their floor and how recently they were renovated.  All have their stories and lore of who lived there, but perhaps the most well-known is the Lido Apartments at Wilcox and Yucca made famous by The Eagles as “Hotel California.”  Its large lobby pictured on the album of the same name is much calmer than the rock ‘n roll '70s and still retains the allure of yesteryear.

Facade at the Lido Apartments

While the early apartments were built to house the workers of Hollywood’s new industry, through the years each has seen countless "wannabees," actors, filmmakers and musicians  pass through.   Today little has changed but added to the tenant mix are students who attend the many acting, film and music schools in the central Hollywood area.

However, in the newer apartments the rents are above most student budgets.  Their tenants are an eclectic mix of urban professionals, empty nesters, and Eastern bi-coastals, as well as the usual assortment of those in the entertainment industry.

Today, central Hollywood has become one of the city’s most desirable rental markets with great access to the freeway and the Metro Red Line, with another 1,000 apartments to be built over the next few years.  Finding the perfect place isn’t easy, but there’s sure to be a vacancy if you have the patience.  Someone is always moving in or moving on in Hollywood.