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Modernizing Hollywood: Taft Building Renovations Breathe New Life Into LA Entertainment Industry

Los Angeles' newly renovated Taft Building is a historical landmark of American show business at 1680 Vine St.

In 2011, DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners bought the building for $28.5M, beginning renovations immediately and completing most of the job in 2015. Initially host to just a few tenants, the Taft has had a surge of new tenants in recent months promising to return the landmark to its former glory. The building also will soon house several high-end commercial residents.

Taft Building Los Angeles Vectis video

At 12 stories and 125K SF, the Taft Building was designed by architects Albert R. Walker and Percy A. Eisen and constructed in 1923 as the first high-rise structure erected in Hollywood during the height of the silent film boom. Within months of the grand opening, the building rapidly rose to prominence as an epicenter for the exploding movie industry.

Its storied past includes some of the world’s biggest film studios, early entertainment lawyers, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (of Oscars fame), casting firms and Variety newspaper. It has also been home to the offices of Will Rogers and legendary silent film comedian Charlie Chaplin, and hundreds of agents, writers, publicists and filmmakers for well over a century.


DLJ aims to recreate the success of New York City’s restorations of Williamsburg, Bowery and Flatiron District with a distinctively L.A. flair.

The Taft Building’s ground floor will welcome APL, a new American restaurant by renowned chef Adam Perry Lang, whose BBQ cookbook was a New York Times best-seller. Construction on the restaurant is underway, while DLJ is in talks with a number of upscale bar operators to open shop in the basement. APL will fit in with the neighborhood’s recent surge of commercial, multifamily and hospitality projects, including DLJ’s Eastown and South Block mixed-used developments, the Columbia Square campus and the Kimpton Everly Hotel.


Each aspect of this renovation is part of DLJ’s bid to restore the glamour that once infused Hollywood.

Take merchandise design startup Represent, which moved into the Taft Building in 2015. The company has launched numerous campaigns with such celebrity clients as Seth Rogen, Will Ferrell and George R.R. Martin ... all of whom make the occasional appearance in Represent's Taft offices.

“We’re in the entertainment industry so we wanted somewhere easily accessible to talent and agents,” Represent chief operating officer Daniel Rosenberg said. “It has a great selection of everything in terms of entertainment; there are great restaurants to go to after work or for client meetings that are all within the close vicinity to the office.”


The creative office spaces dotting the Taft Building are rare finds elsewhere in Hollywood. The combination of historic elements — exposed brick walls, concrete floors and ceilings — along with a slew of modern upgrades, serve as a big draw for media, tech and entertainment tenants such as Global Merchandising Services, a merchandise licensing company that caters to the entertainment industry.

“Honestly, we loved the integrity of the 1920s building, how it was restored and how it mixes the old with the new,” Global Merchandising operations director Yasmine Benavidez said. “The architecture is captivating, and it’s a showpiece all the time.”

The film and television business is expanding, flooding political, social and economic spheres of consciousness. The Taft Building’s newest tenants — and their goals — are reflective of the industry's and neighborhood’s ever-evolving character.

“This is where Hollywood started; this is the centerpoint of the behind-the-scenes of Hollywood,” said Susan Ferris, CEO of international talent management company Bohemia Group, taking up residence in the Taft. “It’s gone from ‘Hey, I just need a cheap small office,’ to this prestigious ‘Wow, you’re in the Taft Building’ kind of thing.”

To learn more about the Taft Building, visit its website at, or email the Industry Partners leasing team at