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HOLLYWOOD-Orange County-based Newport Capital Advisors has acquired the 66-year-old Hollywood Palladium and plans to renovate the 60,000-sf, 4,000-seat hall at 6215 Sunset Blvd. to return it to its use as a music concert venue. Newport Capital, based in Newport Beach, bought the property from Palladium Investors in a joint venture with Connecticut-based Commonfund Realty.

David Zak, a principal of Newport Capital, says that live music specialist Live Nation will book performers into the venue once it is restored and adds that the owners have sent a letter to Hollywood stakeholders in which they “vowed to work with them on the addition of future uses to the property.” Besides its live music venue, the property includes adjacent storage facilities and a public parking lot, covering 3.5 acres in all.

Zak cites the history of the Palladium as a “legendary Hollywood nightspot” that has been the site of performances by the world’s most celebrated entertainers over the decades. It opened in September 1940 with a concert by the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra featuring Frank Sinatra.

Newport Capital has entered into a long-term lease with Live Nation, the world’s largest live music company, to operate, manage and book the Palladium. The millions of dollars in renovations to the Palladium are expected to be completed next year for a reopening that is tentatively scheduled for September 2008. According to Bruce Eskowitz, Live Nation’s chief executive officer of North America Music, the company will continue the Palladium tradition of booking “many of the biggest names in music” at the storied venue.

After about 20 years as a concert venue, the Palladium became a television studio in 1961 and during that time served as the location for the Emmy Awards, the Grammy Awards, the NAACP Awards and the Country Music Awards. In the 1970s the venue returned to its musical roots, hosting many of the biggest names in rock music.

Terms of Newport Capital’s acquisition of the property were not disclosed, but the new owners are believed to have paid in the high $60 million range for the Palladium. The buyers were represented by Paul Ramsey and John Tronson of Ramsey-Shilling Commercial Real Estate Services Inc., with the seller represented by Timothy Bower of CB Richard Ellis.

Newport Capital Advisors, which has entitlement and development projects throughout California, has concentrated recently on mixed-use and adaptive re-use projects in the Los Angeles area. The joint venture between Newport Capital and Commonfund Realty, which is an investment manager, was established to acquire properties in the Hollywood area.

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