Developer Wants to Erect Hotel on Hustler’s Sunset Strip Site

The Hustler store at 8920 Sunset Blvd.

Another hotel for the Sunset Strip? L.A. Business Journal reports that VE Equities, which closed last month on its purchase of the Hustler store at 8920 W. Sunset Blvd. at Hilldale, hopes to add a 164-room hotel to the site along with its previously disclosed private membership Arts Club. That proposal will go before the city’s Planning Commission this fall.

The Hustler store is owned by Larry Flynt Publications, which closed on the sale last month for $18.3 million, about $900 a square foot. Flynt bought the property in 1998 for $4.7 million, or $230 a square foot. The project will be a joint venture by VE London & Regional Properties and the Arts Club, both based in London.

The planned sale of the Hustler location became public in April with news that Gywneth Paltrow, the actor and a minority partner in the Arts Club, would be involved in operating the West Hollywood location. London’s Arts Club was founded in 1863 by a group that included Charles Dickens and Anthony Trollope.

While the Arts Club in London is exclusive and expensive (membership is said to cost $2,000 a year), its dress code is relatively relaxed like that of the Soho House, also founded in London, whose 13 locations include one at 9200 Sunset Blvd. in West Hollywood.

The Hustler store sells “adult” entertainment items. It is noted in part for its “porn star walk of fame“, which features the handprints and footprints of ten adult film icons such as Jenna Jameson, John Stagliano and Ron Jeremy.

According to the Business Journal, the Hustler store will downsize and move 6538 Hollywood Blvd. later this year.

New hotels approved for construction in West Hollywood will increase the 2,058 hotel rooms in the city by nearly 50 percent in the next few years. And several other projects in other areas of WeHo that are not yet approved but under discussion would boost that increase to 62 percent.

The City Council has approved a proposal for a study of West Hollywood’s hotel market to determine the number of rooms the market actually can sustain. The study also will examine the impact of new hotel rooms and changes in occupancy rates on the city’s hotel room occupancy tax, which is the largest source of revenue for the city’s general fund. Those taxes were responsible for 26 percent of the general fund revenue budgeted for the 2014-2015 fiscal year.

The increase in hotel rooms has raised questions among hotel owners and managers about the impact on their occupancy rates and thus their profits. A study published last year by STR Global Inc., a hotel research group, reported that WeHo hotel occupancy rates were up 6.4 percent in 2013 to 82 percent. That compares with 77 percent occupancy during that period in greater Los Angeles as a whole. An analysis by the city’s Finance and Technology Services Department last year said most West Hollywood hotels reported occupancy rates of nearly 95 percent in July and August 2014.

  1. AND Jason Iloulian who is developing the property at the northwest corner of Melrose and San Vicente now has the fate of The Factory building in his hands. While he has met with certain members of the community, he has not offered to conduct an open forum. Plus, he also wants to build a hotel on this site. How many hotels can you squeeze into less than 1.9 square miles? As many as money will buy!



    BTW – in counting the average number of people staying in weho (at least one night) in counting hotel rooms and residents in apartments, condos and homes, should we say an average of 2 people per occupied hotel room per night???

    Will notice be given when there are more HOTEL GUEST that local residents (normal people not on vacation) living in weho city limits?????

  3. Beloved restaurants are closing, community events like the beer gardens and farmers market on the Strip are gone, more and more crime and people being hit by cars… It seems that until recently, the city has always done just fine with a low crime rate, a surplus of tax dollars, and a fantastic sense of community. Why ruin all of that by bringing in a buttload of tourism? What shall we do with all the extra income – swim in hundred dollar bills? Oh, wait, most of the current residents will never find out because they’re all in the process of moving away from the disaster. Way to go, Weho.

  4. @ Dan, who compared Weho to Vegas.. ? The comparison that one MGM holds 5000 rooms and all of West Hollywood has 3000 hotel rooms does not compare cities.

    If your wondering about the ratio of hotel rooms to population its not a fair comparison. Vegas is like a mini island, and West Hollywood is interconnected to many cities around it.
    But to answer your question Vegas has about 600,000 people and 120,000 hotel rooms or about 20%. West Hollywood has about 36,000 people and with soon to be built about 3000 hotel rooms..less than 10%. Plus West Hollywood serves a much larger area with its hotels.

    Our hotels are our number one source of revenue that pays for our social services. Our city’s social services are second to none.. and we do a great job of working with our collaborative and contracted agencies to provide much needed services to many.. extending far beyond our borders. .

  5. Chris – It will EVENTUALLY come to pass. It’s just a matter of time. Not IF, but WHEN.

    Larry – We don’t want to be compared to Vegas. Plus, I wonder what the ratio of hotel rooms is to the population of Las Vegas proper and what it is in WeHo.

  6. Nir – the tax revenue hotels raise help people. The money spent by visitors at local establishments helps people. Upscale hotels on the strip replace Hustler stores, tattoo parlors and other tacky establishments at the western end now. There is nothing like the Sunset Plaza closer to Doheny – it is desperately needed. I get that there are also problems with some developments, but to not get that these can also be assets to the community is to be unaware of the real world.

    1. i’m not against the hotels, i just think it’s about time that we have real support to those in needs here at WEHO. we have so much money and we still have no PrEP, NO MENTAL SUPPORT, DENTAL SUPPORT, i pay over $1200 for insurance, what about those who don’t have one? we send them to the city of L.A. WHY?
      i get phone calls daily in our LOVE NO HATE / HOME the first and only center in the USA that it’s privately founded. yes, my own money. no donations and i have to send people to other cities. Time to STOP worry about the buildings but we should take a good look where is our money goes to….

  7. it’s not blaming anyone. the facts are simple. $ buy everything in WEHO.
    I really do not care if the build hotel or huge building, It’s part of growing but do not forget to first take care of WEHO people. All ages, all colors, all religions all health status.
    this what we should care about. buildings? developers? it’s old news let create a safe, fun city of people so we can be proud city and maybe creative city. we are WHAT WE ARE.
    MOVE ON.
    we become a city of talk the walk and the action sold separately.
    Let’s just have “fun” at PUMP and make sure to call LADY GAGA….

  8. Get a grip folks. This is early stages, just an initial proposal. The site isn’t big enough for a major hotel. With the Marriott going up and the plans for Hammond/Sunset, this won’t be an easy project to pull off. And it’s a plus for the city for the Hustler store to go away.

    And Disco Dan – the stock market isn’t in free fall – it’s had a correction and seems to be on the upswing. But if your wishes come true and the economy does collapse, then this and other projects won’t go ahead.

  9. i just want to be clear our gay pride next year will be $426.000 and EXTRA $85.000
    total of $511.00 only for one company that the city hired. it’s crazy when our city facing so many challenges about our people lives. again, it is not point to “fight” the developers they bought our council members, meaning they will always win. let’s worry about our people needs, i think it’s more important.

  10. Money TALK and WALK is West Hollywood.
    We all know the trues those people paid money for our council members to get a “sit”
    Why are we all so surprise? it’s our lives in WEHO.
    20% votes last election? We are better than this.

    I’m so over this, We ARE FOR SALE until we are the residents of WEHO will Wake up.
    We got 3 people running our lives, not 5. with all the respect to all of them,
    our mayor, John Duran and John Heilman got our voices, our lives. they are great people but they must do what most people do, support those who gave them money to be our leaders.
    so talking about it, spending hours in our city council meetings is crazy. like i say & talk.

    Until we raise our 36.000 voices nothing will change.

    the sad part that they should at list take care of our lives?
    so many of our residents are need of our city support from HIV/AIDS to Mental and Dental to eye care, why do we send them to the city of L.A. or other cities?
    i’m waiting for the day that our “leaders” will create our own “All people” Center here in WEHO so we don’t have to send people to other cities.

    WEHO spends on gay pride on one company over $426.000 by the time we pay for everything we are talking close to $1.000.000 next year we paying the same company $85.000.
    they make all the profit of our vender etc…
    add the cost of our Halloween day one more $1.000.000
    for 2 events total of 4 days a year we spend close to $2.000.000.
    but we have no money for our real issues, PrEP – Zero AIDS, STOP METH and so many real issues that our city is facing.
    so, i must say our leaders are making sure our “fantasy City” is looking good.
    Bring any media, they will all be there or maybe Lady Gaga…


  11. Why don’t we just rid of all the residents, demolish all the buildings (except the hotels, of course !) and build ONE GIANT hotel that would make those mega-hotels in Vegas look puny by comparison. Oh, wait ! The stock market is in free fall, China’s economy is slowing (and that’s only what China has publicly divulged, some speculate that it is worse), Greece and other countries are still a financial mess, our debt is like 17 trillion dollars. etc. Can anyone combine 1929 and 2008 ? Yes, that may equal 2015. Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy (at the least) ride.

  12. Location location location. Take a look at a map of Los Angeles and you will see West Hollywood is the most centrally located part of the city, equally accessible to downtown, the beach, and the Valley. It also has some of the best restaurants, a top walk score, and stands between Beverly Hills and Hollywood, two of the top tourist destinations. It makes perfect sense from a logical standpoint, even if we all know Sunset, Fountain, and Santa Monica will NEVER be able to accommodate the additional traffic.

  13. Sunset is going to be a canyon of hotel balconies. I don’t know whose numbers ‘pencil out’ to support that many rooms in a place that is not near places like Disneyland, the convention center, or whatever. Not to mention that Sunset will need to be triple decked to even begin to handle the traffic. Oy veh!

  14. {{{{{{ S H O C K E R }}}}}} —-make donations to certain council members and you get carte blanche in west hollywood

  15. It seems like every developer is racing to put up as many hotel rooms or rental units as possible over the next 5 years. What do they see when looking in their highly paid MBA crystal balls? Is there that much demand for hotel rooms? I know there is a housing shortage but so many hotels in such a small area seems like overkill. And since these are all high end hotels, it’s only going to increase demand for moderate-prices short term rentals like those on AirBnB.

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