For Sale: Prominent Sunset Boulevard Project Previously Tied to Frank Gehry

The starchitect’s name and designs are now absent from the latest marketing materials

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A 2.5-acre parcel on a prominent spot along Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles is for sale again with a new brokerage team and an uncertain future.

An offering memorandum shared with Commercial Observer shows the vacant lot at 8150 Sunset Boulevard at the popular intersection with Crescent Heights Boulevard available at “an unpriced basis,” requesting bids by Feb. 10.

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The property secured entitlements several years ago for a residential mixed-use development with more than 200 apartments or condominiums and about 60,000 square feet of retail space designed by L.A.’s favorite architect, Frank Gehry. However, the 52-page OM doesn’t mention entitlements or Gehry’s name, nor does it feature his renderings. 

Instead, photos show the empty lot and states a buyer may build approximately 306,000 square feet and a maximum of 447 housing units with commercial space, and no height limit, citing a city density incentive program that was created after the project secured approvals. By contrast, previous marketing materials by Cushman & Wakefield are titled “Frank Gehry Designed: Fully Entitled Mixed-Use Development Opportunity,” along with renderings and the architect’s unique style displayed throughout. 

A representative for owners Townscape Partners declined to comment for this article. CBRE is marketing the property. Urbanize first reported the property being on the market, citing new online listings.

One market analyst told CO that the owners first asked for $100 million, and that number dropped to the mid-$60 million range prior to the latest “unpriced” effort.

Records show Bank OZK provided a $63.5 million loan in 2021. Townscape acquired the site for $14 million in 2012 when it included a retail complex and the Lytton Savings bank building, which have since been demolished.

The plan has changed multiple times since being proposed about nine years ago. After Gehry signed on and created new designs, the city approved the project in 2016. In 2020, Gehry’s designs were altered again to include 203 residential units above 57,300 square feet of retail.

The site is at the entrance to the famed Sunset Strip just near the Chateau Marmont. It’s also across from 8000 Sunset Strip, which includes an AMC Theatre, a CVS, a Trader Joe’s, a Crunch Gym, and  restaurants.

8150 Sunset is also the former site of the Garden of Allah which was demolished in 1959. The residential hotel was frequented by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart, Ava Gardner, Orson Welles and other Hollywood legends.

Gregory Cornfield can be reached at gcornfield@commercialobserver.com.