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HOLLYWOOD-The New York City-based Clarett Group and James Nederlander have unveiled a plan to develop a 10-story, 200,000-sf office tower above the Pantages Theatre, a famed Hollywood venue that is next to a $400-million, mixed-use green development that the Clarett Group already has in the works. The Clarett-Nederlander team will seek entitlements to complete a plan for the Art Deco theater that was originally designed in 1929 but was never finished because of the stock market crash of that year.

The Pantages is owned by Ned Pan Inc, a James Nederlander company. A City of Los Angeles entitlement process for the Pantages Office Tower will be kicked off by the end of the month and will include a full environmental impact report, the developers say. The developers’ announcement of their plans included comments in support of the project from L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and from L.A. City Council president Eric Garcetti, who represents Hollywood.

Veronica Hackett, managing director of the Clarett Group, says that the new office tower will “revive a vision that’s been moth-balled for more than 75 years.” James Nederlander comments that the tower will bring class A space to Hollywood, which “has no truly class A office space” now. Nederlander recently completed a multimillion-dollar, full restoration of the Pantages.

Clarett is working with community organizations and neighborhood associations to gain endorsements for the building and its design, which it says will remain true to the existing architecture. Hollywood Heritage, the community’s historic preservation group, already supports the office tower project, according to Robert W. Nudelman, director of preservation issues for Hollywood Heritage.

The office tower plan is the latest chapter in a long history of the Pantages, which over the years has had several famous owners, including Howard Hughes. Hughes acquired it under his RKO Theatre Circuit and moved his personal offices to the building’s second floor, changing the site’s name to RKO Pantages Theatre. Under his ownership, the theater also served as the venue for the Academy Awards ceremonies during the 1950s.

The Clarett Group’s adjacent project, called Blvd6200, was unanimously approved by the Los Angeles City Council in July. Construction is scheduled to start in January on the project, which will total 1.1 million sf.

The Blvd6200 development will include 1,000 apartments, 40,000 sf of live-work office space and 175,000 sf of retail and restaurant uses on a seven-acre site. Clarett is seeking LEED certification for the project, which is being designed by Santa Monica-based Van Tilburg, Banvard & Soderbergh.

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