Recording studio and creative complex planned for Hollywood

Thomas St. John and Philip Lawrence with rendering of the project at Sunset Boulevard and Highland Avenue

A Grammy-winning songwriter has proposed building a $500 million recording studio, creative office, and amphitheater complex in Hollywood.

Writer and producer Philip Lawrence has teamed up with entertainment company executive Thomas St. John to come up with a 13-story indoor-outdoor project on Sunset Boulevard and Highland Avenue, The Los Angeles Times reported. Plans were due Friday, March 18.

Plans include merging a high-end recording studio with offices rented to people in the entertainment industry, as well as an auditorium and an amphitheater for concerts in a landscaped location above the street.

“We see this place as an immersive playground for students, artists, creators and innovators of all types while creating more opportunities in the entertainment industry,” said St. John, CEO of Cmnty Culture, Music and Black Owned Media. business he started with Lawrence in 2020 that would operate the new studios.

The bowl-shaped Cmnty Culture Campus on nearly two acres across from Hollywood High School was designed by HKS, a Dallas-based global architecture firm that designed SoFi Stadium in Inglewood.

The contractor is San Diego-based David Malmuth, who oversaw construction of the Hollywood & Highland shopping, entertainment and office complex, now called Ovation Hollywood.

Outdoor spaces were designed by the Oakland studio landscape architect Walter Hoodwhose projects include Broad Museum Plaza downtown.

The concept behind the new cultural center starts at the top, where recording studios with views of the Hollywood Hills and downtown would have kitchens, entertainment spaces and sleeping quarters.

“You could basically live here while you cut tracks,” said architect Heath May of HKS. “The mission is to increase creativity.”

Its largest component would be 430,000 square feet of office space for lease to one or more creative tenants. At street level would be a restaurant, cafe, and a 500-seat auditorium for concerts, tenant events, and educational or public meetings. There would be underground parking for 1,000 vehicles.

The campus would replace commercial buildings, parking lots and a nursery. Residential buildings in the block would remain intact, developers said. If approved, construction of the campus could take three years.

While post-pandemic demand for office space is uncertain, tech and entertainment companies have expanded their office footprints. Streaming provider Netflix is ​​the largest office tenant in Hollywood, while Sunset Boulevard is home to several film and recording studios.

Last year, a developer filed plans for a $500 million egg-shaped glass and steel tower on Sunset near Gower Street to serve the entertainment industry.

[Los Angeles Times] – Dana Barthelemy

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