Billboard Company Proposes ‘Eastern Gateway’ on Sunset Blvd.

A rendering of the proposed gateway project. If approved, the actual sign would be designed by the city of West Hollywood.
A rendering of the proposed gateway project. If approved, the actual sign would be designed by the city of West Hollywood.

In the spot where the Marlboro man billboard once hung above the Sunset Strip, there may soon be a new sign—one extending a welcome to West Hollywood.

Steve Afriat of Afriat Consulting says that his client Larry Legg, owner of the property at 8225 Sunset Blvd. at Monteel, wants to create a gateway to West Hollywood that will include landscaping, a bench and public art as well as a billboard.

The “eastern gateway” project, adjacent to Pink Taco, will invoke the look of Palm Springs with uplit palm trees.

“[Legg] wanted to replicate that kind of a look,” Afriat said. “We want to create something special here. We want to do something iconic that people can point to.”

Afriat said that the project, which the City Council is expected to consider in September, would not cost the city any money. Legg would invest about $400,000 for landscaping and other improvements, including a new irrigation system.

The welcome sign itself would be designed by the city, Afriat said, but Legg would make a $40,000 contribution to fund that project.

Legg’s firm, E.T. Legg & Associates, is a major billboard company whose founder, Elmo Legg, helped create the Sunset Strip billboard culture. In the 1950s Legg purchased 8225 Sunset Blvd., which was built in 1926 by Preston Sturges, the famous screenwriter and director. When Legg purchased the property it housed the Players Club, a nightclub that once was home to celebrities such as Lana Turner and Fred Astaire and Clark Gable. Legg realized there was room next to the club and came up with the idea of erecting a billboard there.

Eventually it became the location of the Marlboro Man, perhaps the nation’s most famous billboard, which was removed in 1999 as part of a $206-billion agreement by cigarette makers to settle state lawsuits.


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JEFF YORK
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JEFF YORK

Is this really the Easter Edge of the City of West Hollywood?

skywatcher888
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skywatcher888

Sometimes I think Steve Afriat is the REAL mayor of West Hollywood!

Lynn Russell
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Lynn Russell

Seriously, aside from the lobotomy jest, it seems too many entities are competing for the “Iconic” Gateway designation. The Townscape 8150 Sunset project thinks it will be the “Iconic Gateway’, the sad looking 8000 Sunset once thought it was, now a billboard with lights and palm trees invoking Palm Springs, will give people “something to point at”. This is not Palm Springs. This is just a pure and simple revenue grab that would be better typified by installing a giant cash register which can be iconic and historic at the same time given the tech age. Folks know they are… Read more »

Arnold Jackson
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Arnold Jackson

I don’t see no bench.

Robert Murphy
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Robert Murphy

What a great concept. This project looks like it will really improve that area.

Lynn Russell
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Lynn Russell

Perhaps Mr. Legg might consider availing himself of a lobotomy. The city and location can do perfectly well without this nutty proposal. Residents in the area did not sign on for their community to be remade in the likeness of Vegas. They are the stakeholder”S” plural. Mr. Legg is one single commercial property owner and either before or after the lobotomy he might consult the neighbors to determine what THEY might appreciate. Thanking him in advance.

Jeffery Ward
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How brazen…

Todd Bianco
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Oh please. The “welcome sign” will include some plants, maybe a couple of palm trees and a bench (good for our homeless population) together with a paltry $40k for the city’s design expenses sounds like a pretty cheap bribe in exchange for a gigantic billboard. What kind of money does a sign like that rake in? Maybe $40k each month? The entire cost of the project will be recouped in less than a year. The article doesn’t specify the type of billboard, but I assume it will be electronic. It will be big enough and bright enough to be seen… Read more »

John Mackey
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There are Billboards now that perspire so that a water feature can be made, in The Creative City!