Exclusive First Look: Inside Downtown L.A.'s NeueHouse Bradbury

Courtesy of Design Agency
A rendering of the cafe and bar at NeueHouse Bradbury.

The private membership club and co-working space is taking over a floor in the iconic Bradbury Building, with plans for Venice Beach: "We really want to own L.A."

Undeterred by a recent surge in private membership clubs in Los Angeles, NeueHouse is set to launch two new L.A. outposts — one opening Jan. 20 in the iconic Bradbury Building downtown; the other due later this year in Venice Beach, THR has learned.

NeueHouse is taking over the entire second floor — 25,000 square feet — of the Bradbury, a five-story office building that has long been a top tourist attraction because of its skylit atrium, ornate wrought-iron latticework and M.C. Escher-like stairways. The Bradbury, built in 1893, is not only the city's oldest landmarked building but one with enough film appearances to fill out an entire IMDb page, having served as a location in such films as Double Indemnity, Chinatown, Blade Runner, Lethal Weapon 4, (500) Days of Summer and The Artist.

"This is the most extraordinary building I've ever had the opportunity to work with," says NeueHouse CEO Josh Wyatt, seated on the building's second-floor atrium level moments before providing THR with an early peek and walk-through of NeueHouse Bradbury. So how did Wyatt land an entire floor in one of L.A.'s most prized architectural gems? "It's like hunting truffles," he says. "You have to have a nose for it."

But it also didn't hurt that Wyatt had a pre-existing relationship with the owner of the Bradbury Building, real estate investor Goodwin Gaw, who not only agreed to lease the space but has since joined Barry Diller and Diane von Furstenberg as a key investor in NeueHouse, which launched in New York in 2013. NeueHouse's L.A. flagship location is in the CBS broadcast building on Sunset Boulevard, and that space counts Paul Bettany and Chris Blackwell among its members.

Its newest DTLA location is divvied up into a mix of private studios, shared workspaces and conference rooms, and offers four membership tiers. (Rates range from $500 a month for access to communal tables, up to $900 per seat a month for dedicated desks.) There are booths for phone conversations and a wellness room, but the centerpiece is a cafe that's soaked in light, with lush oak flooring, a white marble bar and several exposed-brick fireplaces, plus pops of green and blue velour fabrics throughout.

For the design, Wyatt turned to Anwar Mekhayech and his Toronto-based firm DesignAgency (which designed chef David Chang's Majordomo restaurants in L.A. and Las Vegas). Mekhayech had been to the Bradbury Building only once before, as a tourist. "I found downtown to be very hectic, and the hotels that are getting designed here are very bold. So we went in the opposite direction and made it very ethereal, very light and airy — a little more feminine to juxtapose the boldness of this atrium." NeueHouse Bradbury's main competition is Soho Warehouse, which opened in DTLA's Arts District in September, setting up a cross-downtown rivalry for two of the earliest and most exclusive private club operators in Los Angeles.

Next up for NeueHouse will be a Venice Beach outpost. The space will be on Market Street, just north of Windward Circle, in a building that was recently vacated by Snap. That space is also being designed by Mekhayech. Wyatt acknowledges that there's a glut of social clubs launching, but feels that two or three "best in class" operators will ultimately emerge once the dust settles. "You have to have an extremely defined point of view and customer promise that's focused on incredible moments and a meaningful mission," he says. "We really want to own L.A."

This story first appeared in the Jan. 22 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.