Chamber's Economic Development Summit Discusses Emerging Hollywood: Building a Better Neighborhood

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June 24, 2016
Emerging Hollywood: Building a Better Neighborhood was the theme of the Chamber's 2016 Hollywood Economic Development Summit which took place at the ArcLight Cinemas on Thursday, June 23rd. Co-chairs Dwayne Gathers (Gathers Strategies) and Timothy Grubbs presented another outstanding program that discussed how Hollywood is evolving into a positive case study for urban development in Southern California. The program included a discussion not just about real estate projects, but some of the key issues that need to be addressed as Hollywood moves forward.

Mok Wai Wan of Gehry Partners offered a welcome from 8150 Sunset
Presenting sponsor for the summit was Townscape Partners, developers of the planned 8150 Sunset project. Mok Wai Wan of Gehry Partners offered a welcome from 8150 Sunset, one of the most exciting projects in Hollywood today. This project will serve as a western gateway to Hollywood. Developers Townscape Partners have hired the world renowned locally-based firm of Gehry Partners to design the project.

The Hollywood Chamber welcomed Councilmember Mitch O?Farrell (CD13) who represents Hollywood.

The Hollywood Chamber welcomed Councilmember David Ryu (CD4) who represent Hollywood.
The Hollywood Chamber welcomed councilmembers Mitch O’Farrell (cd13) and David Ryu (CD4) who represent Hollywood. With unprecedented economic activity taking place throughout Hollywood, the story that is emerging is how Hollywood is evolving as a place to live, to work and to visit – and what are the new opportunities that all this will bring about. Certainly, there is no shortage of tension – and some contention – as this Emerging Hollywood story plays out. Balancing these strong points of view is a difficult job, and it falls to our elected leaders to listen, engage and make decisions that will affect all of us.
Of special interest this year were two panels: “Designs on Hollywood” discussed how good design can improve the quality of life in Hollywood, and “Tourism’s Impact on Jobs and the Economy” elaborated on projects with focus on tourism.
Panel One discussed  ?Designs on Hollywood?
As discussions around development and increasing density in Hollywood can often times lead projects to follow a difficult path, the first group of panelists discussed challenges and how innovative design solutions are being deployed and can lead to more creative workplaces and integrate into their neighborhood. The panelists offered their insights on how we can transform Hollywood with innovative design solutions.
Robert Herscu is the CEO and Founder of HQ Development. His firm in less than three years, has acquired 12 office buildings in West Los Angeles to serve the needs of top technology, entertainment and new media firms.

Eric Olsen is a partner at TCA and the Director of the Los Angeles office. He has 22 years of experience with mixed-use, high-density and affordable housing.  He is a sought-out speaker on design and architecture issues at numerous industry related events.
Josh Paget is on the board of the Mid City West Community Council where he serves as the Chair of the Committee on Transportation Parking and Streetscape. He is also the board representative to the Neighborhood Council Sustainability Alliance and is co-founder and executive director of the New Urbanism Film Festival - an LA based event that seeks to increase public engagement in the urban design process. 
Denise Zacky-Popoch brings 19 years of diversified experience to the Gensler team. She serves as Design Manager on a variety of project, with a concentrated focus on Technology and Media. Of particular interest to us is that among her projects is Netflix’s new Hollywood offices.

Panel Two discussed  ?Tourism?s Impact on Jobs and the Economy?

As the world-renowned and most-visited community within the Greater L.A. area, the overall travel/tourism/hospitality sector is an important driver of economic activity and jobs in Hollywood. And, with the L.A. region experiencing record levels of tourism, Hollywood stands to benefit further. The second panel presented the positive trends happening in Hollywood, new opportunities being created and discussed ways to enhance the visitor experience and to position Hollywood for continued leadership and growth in this dynamic sector. The panelists offered their unique perspectives on how new development of hotels and tourist attractions are driving economic opportunities in Hollywood.
Dr. Alex Davis is the instructional Dean of Academic Affairs at L.A. City College. She manages programs in the Office of Economic Development and Workforce Education. She is responsible for economic and resource development, which includes the promotion of partnerships with business, labor, government and community-based organizations.
Robert Green is the President & CEO of The Robert Green Company. He has focused on hotel and resort development throughout his career. His current projects include developments in San Diego and Healdsburg as well as the new 16-story Argyle Hotel under construction here in Hollywood.
Grant King is the managing partner of FC Development and of the Hollywood International Regional Center.  Their current portfolio includes five lifestyle boutique hotels in Hollywood and Downtown, including the Dream Hotel now under construction on Selma Avenue.
Chris Nelson is the Chief Financial Officer for Universal Studios Hollywood. Prior to his current position, he held leadership positions at Universal Parks and Resorts, including business development, construction, operations and marketing.

Acclaimed Architecture Critic Christopher Hawthorne shared his insight at the Chamber's Economic Development Summit
Attendees also heard from acclaimed Architecture Critic Christopher Hawthorne on his insight and continued dedication to the art of architecture and how it reflects upon the City of Los Angeles. Christopher has been with the L.A. Times since 2004 and brings his thought leadership as it relates to the Emerging Los Angeles and the series of conversations he leads on issues related to architecture, urban planning, mobility and demographic change in Southern California. With substantial experience and engagement on issues around architecture, urban planning, mobility and sustainability, Hawthorne brings a rich focus to the very issues with which Hollywood is dealing.

The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Committee announced COLUMBIA SQUARE, developed by Kilroy Realty Corp., as the first recipient of the EXCELLENCE IN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AWARD.
As the mission of the Hollywood Chamber’s Economic Development Committee is to promote economic vitality that creates jobs, promotes lasting and sustainable economic growth and enhances the overall quality of life in Hollywood, the Committee introduced a new award which recognizes EXCELLENCE IN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT.
In presenting this first EXCELLENCE IN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AWARD, the Hollywood Chamber seeks to acknowledge the achievements of community game changers. The award seeks to recognize and celebrate individuals, or organizations, public or private or nonprofit entities, or specific development projects, that exhibit excellence and achievements that meet the criteria of fostering “economic vitality that creates jobs, promotes a sustainable economy and enhances the quality of life in Hollywood.”
The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Committee announced COLUMBIA SQUARE, developed by Kilroy Realty Corp., as the first recipient of the EXCELLENCE IN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AWARD.
John Kilroy, when his firm purchased the property, said “We don’t see ourselves as a landlord; we see ourselves as a partner.” That has truly been the case on this project, which has seen the restoration of the legendary CBS studios as well as new construction in a 700,000-sq.ft. campus with an investment of $450-million. The class-A facility has attracted name tenants like Viacom, Neuehouse and Fender Guitar, with more to come. Five-star restaurants line the Sunset Blvd. frontage and the 21-story Proper Residences with 200 ultra-luxury units and extended-stay hotel suites, offers spectacular views. Most importantly, this project demonstrates that true Class A construction will attract the entertainment industry back to Hollywood.
The Hollywood Chamber and the Economic Development Committee want to congratulate Kilroy Realty for a tremendously important and successful project. They also acknowledged Design and Landscape Architect Rios Clementi Hale Studios, Executive Architect House Robertson, and General Contractor Hathaway Dinwiddie Construction Company and Webcor Builders. Accepting the award on behalf of Columbia Square is PHIL TATE of Kilroy Realty.

Attendees of the Annual Economic Development Summit received a copy of the Hollywood Development Update for 2016
Attendees at the Summit also received a complimentary copy of the Chamber’s popular annual Hollywood Development Update for 2016 as well as a copy of the 2016 Hollywood Business Profile.

The Hollywood Chamber extends gratitude to presenting sponsor 8150 SUNSET.
The Hollywood Chamber extends gratitude to presenting sponsor 8150 SUNSET.

The Hollywood Chamber extends gratitude to Diamond Level sponsors
Diamond Level Sponsors are: Crescent Heights, Harridge Development Group, Hollywood International Regional Center, Hudson Pacific Properties, Inc., Kilroy Realty Corp., Los Angeles City College.

The Hollywood Chamber extends gratitude to Gold Level sponsors
Gold Level Sponsors include: Avison Young, Champion Real Estate Company, CIM Group, Gensler, Gonzales Law Group, Iron Mountain Entertainment Services, J.H. Snyder., JLL, Latham & Watkins, Paramount Contractors & Developers, Related California, The Robert Green Company, Robertson Properties Group, and Wilcon.

The Hollywood Chamber extends gratitude to Silver Level sponsors
Silver Level Sponsors include: Ametron Audio/Video. Archway Holdings, Birch Tree Properties LLC, Discover Hollywood Magazine, East Hollywood BID, Emerson College Los Angeles, Gathers Strategies, Handelman Consulting, Inc., Hollywood Entertainment District, HQ Creative Office, LeFrak, NAI Capital Commercial, The Original Farmers Market, Park & Velayos LLP, Park Plus, Inc., Proper Parking Company, Selbert Perkins Design, Sunset & Vine BID, and Wood Partners.

About the Hollywood Economic Development Committee
The mission of the Economic Development Committee is to “advocate for economic vitality that creates jobs, promotes a sustainable economy and enhances the quality of life in Hollywood.”The Chamber’s Economic Development Committee serves as the forum to generate ideas that can further the Chamber’s economic development mission and guide Hollywood’s growth as the most dynamic, diverse, and vibrant community in the L.A. area. The committee brings together regional thought leaders, public policy experts, private sector leaders, and government officials in an effort to advance ideas and advocate for economic development and policies that will further the growth, development and sustainability of Hollywood’s diverse communities, including business, residential, visitors, education and our community serving nonprofit organizations. Over the past year, several issues and initiatives the Economic Development Committee included:
  1. Highlighting the importance of arts and culture to our Hollywood economy and efforts to retain and grow community arts organizations in a rising-cost environment;
  2. Ongoing efforts to identify innovative mobility solutions that move people in, out and through our community in a more effective way; and
  3. Collaborating to identify spaces to create a sense of calm and community. And I want to acknowledge the ongoing efforts our previous co-chair Li Wen of Gensler for leading the collaboration between the Chamber and the Sunset/Vine BID, with support from the Council Office and Congressman Adam Schiff’s office to engage the U.S. Post Office in taking several barren pieces of land on their site at Wilcox and Selma and turn those into community open space. And we appreciate the U.S. Postal Service’s enthusiastic embrace of the idea.
About the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce
For more than 95 years, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce has provided leadership, business development resources, networking, and government affairs programs and services to keep the Hollywood business and residential communities safe, relevant and economically vital. Fariba Kalantari, DDS, is the Chair of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors 2016-17, and Leron Gubler is the President/CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. For more information please visit