On a Friday afternoon in August, the lobby of a new apartment complex in the heart of Hollywood is humming. Lucky renters are finalizing leases, tenants are lugging paintings and pillows into the elevator while commiserating over late night clatter caused by postal trucks next door; and a group of friends huddles in a courtyard talking shop. The scene is typical of L.A. apartment living, but the building is anything but.
The seven-story property — named the Cicely Tyson Residential Building after the late icon and located at 1630 Schrader Blvd., near the Hollywood Walk of Fame — houses 151 apartments, all of which soon will be occupied exclusively by artists (defined as someone who has regularly engaged in an artistic, creative or cultural practice and who pursues such practice on a professional basis) and their families. It’s one piece of a massive $135 million development orchestrated by Entertainment Community Fund and designed as a hub for artists and low-income residents (selected first by lottery, then based on income requirements and other factors).
A culmination of 12 years of planning and development, the project was done in partnership with developers Thomas Safran & Associates, the city of Los Angeles departments of cultural affairs, housing and transportation and former Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell.
The development will feature the fund’s Western Region headquarters and the Rita Moreno Arts Building, which includes the Glorya Kaufman Performing Arts Theater; a new home for L.A. Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE); a young filmmakers program targeting underserved talent in the neighborhood; and the Phil and Monica Rosenthal Family Foundation Training Center, a multipurpose space.
As construction continues on the overall complex, an additional $16 million is still left to be raised. Helping push the initiative across the finish line is theatrical producer John Gore, chairman and CEO of the John Gore Organization (which owns touring organization Broadway Across America). He tells THR exclusively that he is donating $5 million to officially name the project’s arts center the Rita Moreno Arts Building. Says Gore, “It’s an honor to support the fund in their tireless work of being a safety net for those in need in the performing arts — and even more meaningful to do so in recognition of the contributions to our industry by Rita Moreno, my fellow honoree at the fund’s 2019 Medal of Honor ceremony.”
This story first appeared in the Aug. 16 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.
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