City of LA closes escrow on Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre

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The Dolby Theatre, the home of the Oscars for the last 15 years, has a new owner: the city of Los Angeles.

Urbanize LA spotted a motion approved by the City Council on Wednesday that authorized $100,000 to buy the Dolby Theatre from CRA/LA, the agency that’s in charge of selling off the properties owned by the now defunct community redevelopment organizations.

“With the CRA’s dissolution, the City had to control the property as the City issued $43.21 million in April 1999 in taxable bonds for the construction of the theater,” says Jacqueline Wagner, a chief administrative analyst with the City Administrative Office.

The city put in a bid on the theater in 2015, and in February 2016, the purchase was approved. The city closed escrow on Monday, and all that remains is for Mayor Eric Garcetti to sign off on the whole thing. (Wagner says Garcetti approved of the sale back in February; this approval is purely administrative.)

There is still $28.3 million in city debt on the theater. CIM Group, which owns the Hollywood and Highland shopping center next door, has a 99-year lease to operate the theater and will remain as operator for the duration of the lease, says Wagner.

Another CRA/LA property, Angels Knoll in Bunker Hill, is also being sold off right now. The city’s received four proposals for developing the lot. Final proposals are due in October and the city will decide later in the fall who will get to buy the property.

Bids were due on August 10 for the Westlake Theatre, another CRA/LA property. The theater went up for sale this year after a 2016 request for bids to create affordable housing and retail on the site and four nearby parcels went unanswered.

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