Not long after it was announced that the House of Blues in West Hollywood, along with a handful of other local landmarks, was being razed to make room for a hotel/condo/entertainment complex, the Sunset Blvd. venue’s Twitter feed lit up with followers lamenting its impending closure, while the preservation group Save Sunset Blvd. charged Bloomberg, which first reported the news, with having a decidedly pro-development slant on the story.
“Porn Out, Hotels In as Sunset Strip Reborn” blared the Bloomberg story last week, a reference to Larry Flynt’s Hustler Hollywood boutique, another location that would be replaced by high-end lodgings. Based on the headline alone, one might get the impression that the Strip was being compared to pre-gentrification Times Square in New York.
“The 30-paragraph Bloomberg story only made room for two paragraphs about local residents who are strongly opposed to the transformation of the Sunset Strip into a congested, over-built tourist trap. Fair? You be the judge,” said the awareness group. On its Facebook page, Save Sunset Blvd. called the news story “a love letter to Sunset Strip developers,” declaring that the planned structures would result in the “Manhattan-ization” of the famous 1.6 mile stretch of real estate, or turn it into “another Las Vegas Strip.”
Regardless of how one interprets Bloomberg’s reportage, the Sunset Strip, the one-time nightclub/rock ‘n’ roll mecca, remains one of the city’s more clogged arteries as both a tourist destination and a thoroughfare for Angelenos.
Other historic sites destined for the wrecking crew include the Tiffany Theater, just west of Sunset & La Cienega Blvd.
As reported in Bloomberg, Investors AECOM Capital and developer Combined Properties Inc. are planning 149 hotel rooms, 40 condos, five rental units and an entertainment venue at the HofB site, scheduled for construction in late 2015. But House of Blues spokeman Jim Yeager says the building date will be closer to 2017.
“The Bloomberg story was almost hysterical,” Yeager told Variety. “The House of Blues is going away, but it’s probably going to be closer to three years.”
Meanwhile, HofB’s Facebook page says the 20-year-old flagship club “will operate business as usual” as it seeks a new home. “We have years to find that perfect spot for a new Los Angeles House of Blues home with no interruption for music fans. Stay tuned. The best is yet to come,” Yeager said.
The HofB brand, originally financed by “Blues Brothers” Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi, was eventually acquired by Live Nation in 2006. There are a dozen locations across the country.