Hollywood's Historic Taft Building Sold (Exclusive)

Taft Building Photo - P 2011
Charlie Lenoir/Lenoir Photography

Taft Building Photo - P 2011

The 12-story tower, which traded hands for about $28 million, once housed the offices of Charlie Chaplin and Will Rogers.

The historic Taft building, located at the southeast corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street, has sold for about $28 million.

New York-based real estate investment firm DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners purchased the landmark property at 1680 Vine St. from longtime owner Langer Meringoff Properties in a deal that closed Dec. 27.

The 12-story tower was built in 1923 and over the years has housed the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the offices of Charlie Chaplin and Will Rogers.

The property was marketed to buyers who would operate it as an entertainment office building and attracted 12 offers, according to Kevin Shannon of commercial real estate brokerage CBRE Group, who represented both parties in the deal. "It's an internationally recognizable location and in terms of deals we've done in the last six months, it was the most competitive of any of the processes," he said.

The deal breaks down to roughly $235 per square foot. Shannon considers it a "strong price," in part due to the amount of work needed to convert the 89-year-old tower "to the cool, creative office condition they are looking for." He expects DLJ to rehabilate the property as tenants, many of which are on short-term leases, vacate the building.

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The 119,046-square-foot property is about 80 percent occupied and is home to several entertainment and media companies, including production company Last Exit Productions and music talent agency Evolution Music Partners, among others.

The Taft building has received incremental upgrades since the 1980s and in the past year or so has added a handful of retail tenants, including popular restaurant and bar Wood & Vine. The tower has roughly 9,000 square feet of retail space; it is next door to the W Hollywood Hotel & Residences and across from the Pantages Theatre.

The building is a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument and is considered a contributing structure in the National Register of Historic Places' Hollywood Boulevard Historic Commercial and Entertainment District.

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DLJ's purchase of the property strengthens the company's foothold in Hollywood. The Taft building is about one block from Blvd 6200 -- a 1 million-square-foot mixed-use development that DLJ plans to build. The company purchased the project from original developer Clarett Group in June for an undisclosed price; the massive development would include more than 1,000 residential units and 175,000 square feet of retail space. Blvd 6200, across the street from the Pantages Theatre, is expected to break ground in the first quarter of this year. It has been in the works since 2005. 

CBRE Group's Tom Bohlinger, Ken White, Mark Perry, Rob Waller and Michael Longo also had the listing and represented both parties in the Taft building transaction. DLJ did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

Email: Daniel.Miller@THR.com

Twitter: @DanielNMiller