LATimes | W Hollywood penthouses: All the glitz, none of the grit |
For those who will live in the posh abodes, there’ll be no need ever to come in contact with the grungier realities of Hollywood.
They keep saying that Hollywood is being transformed.
They keep talking up new places to dwell and shop and dine.
On the boulevard, such change can seem spotty and slight: Tourists still look nonplused as they try to sync image and reality.
Stores along the Walk of Fame still skew toward glass water pipes, thigh-high vinyl boots and “World’s Greatest Cousin” souvenir statuettes. Just west of Vine, you still find the sign advertising girls: “Totally Nude, Totally Naakt, Totalement Nue, Benar-Benar Bugil.”
And in front of the W Hollywood, Lowell Taylor’s still doing what he’s done for 20 years, bending over a trash bin and reaching in deep for cans and bottles to toss into his shopping cart.
But that’s down low, zooming in. Go up high. Zoom out.
You see hills. You see the Hollywood sign. You see Capitol Records, curb to clouds.
Up high, life on the boulevard recedes.
You don’t just see construction cranes and developers’ dreams.
You see the new Hollywood as if it actually exists.
And maybe it does — as much as it needs to — for a certain clientele who can afford to have the outside world brought to them in their aeries.
That’s the target demographic for the penthouses of the Residences at the W Hollywood, priced from $1 million to … $45 million (with additional monthly homeowners dues of $1 per square foot).
Three years ago, when the Residences opened next door to the W Hotel, the economy was in the tank. A year in, only 10 of its 143 units had sold.
Now 85 have, and Ron Barnes, the director of sales and marketing, says the time is right to woo high-end buyers for the rooms at the top.
The luxury condo building is 15 stories high, which means something, for now anyway, in low-slung Hollywood.