High-rise residents weigh in on the joys of condo living

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Burt Sugarman knows a good thing when he sees it.

The veteran producer was immediately taken with the scale and scope of the new Ritz-Carlton Residences at L.A. Live, opening in February. His primary home in Beverly Hills notwithstanding, Sugarman decided to be a part of downtown L.A.'s changing landscape.

"I love the raw energy," he says. "There are tons of incredible restaurants. I have premier tickets to the games (at Staples Center). As a (Ritz-Carlton) resident, I get first choice on events at Nokia. There's always something exciting going on. It's a 25-minute drive from Beverly Hills, but you feel like you're in different city."

"You're getting five-star service and amenities not just in your home but in the urban setting as well," agrees Laurie Miskuski, director of sales and marketing for the Ritz-Carlton Residences.

Stepping into the W Hollywood at the intersection of Hollywood and Vine, meanwhile, is like becoming part of a story that's still evolving. The location stands apart for its particular mix of old and new. "I'm thrilled to be part of the Hollywood Renaissance," says producer Rendo R. Rolle, an Ojai resident who purchased a one-bedroom to accommodate late nights in the city. "I like that it's a pre-existing, organic neighborhood with all the character which that entails. Those stars on the sidewalk are an indication of Hollywood's history as well as its potential. It reminds me of Times Square in the early '70s. As a kid from New Jersey, I'd take the train into the city, and Times Square was really run down, but look at it now. I predict that Hollywood and Vine will be the Times Square of the West Coast."

Having lived on six acres in Holmby Hills for the past several years, Candy Spelling will be closer to her neighbors than she's been in a long time once she moves into the Century in Century City -- not that it's necessarily something she's looking for. "I don't see that making a difference in my lifestyle," she says. "Even at the beach where we're packed in pretty tight we don't visit with our neighbors."

Between the security, the valet and the private elevators opening directly into her unit she could ostensibly never run into a fellow resident. For Spelling, heaven is simply walking her Wheaton terrier, Madison, through the complex's landscaped gardens. Realtor Mark Reavis puts it bluntly: "Anyone who spends $8 million for a place in the Century or Carlyle isn't going to walk into Westwood or Century City for a movie."
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