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Onni Proposes Office, Retail Project Next to Former Howard Hughes Hollywood HQ

Plans Call for More Than 200,000 Square Feet of Mixed-Use Space

By Jack Witthaus CoStar News

May 31, 2022 | 1:44 P.M.

A Canadian developer wants to build on the legacy of a historic Hollywood property once owned by legendary businessman Howard Hughes in one of the most desirable neighborhoods in Los Angeles.

Onni Group plans to add another roughly 200,000 square feet of retail and office space as part of a 14-story project adjacent the existing Howard Hughes Headquarters Building at 7000 Romaine St. in the city's Sycamore District, according to city of L.A. documents.

The project's architect is Chicago-based Solomon Cordwell Buenz. The development is expected to feature a roof deck for social gatherings, games and watching the sunset over the Hollywood hills, according to city of L.A. documents. In addition, the project may have a basketball court, exercise equipment and other outdoor spaces.

The development from Vancouver-based Onni would join a number of upscale retailers and office users in the Sycamore District, including Gigi's restaurant, Tartine Bakery, record store Supervinyl and luxury retailer Just One Eye. Beyond retailers, Los Angeles developer CIM Group last year completed its 926 Sycamore project, an eight-story, 80,000-square-foot office and retail development.

Onni spent around $40 million, or about $480 per square foot, in December to buy the building from Los Angeles-based Producers Film Center, which had used the site for film and audio storage. The building, which is more than nine decades old, is built in the art deco style and features floral patterns and Egyptian imagery.

The Hollywood office market, which includes the proposed office building, features an average vacancy rate of 17.2%, higher than the greater L.A. average of 13.9%, according to CoStar data. The market's average asking rent is $54.60 per square foot on an annual basis, well above the greater L.A. average of $41.72 per square foot.

An Onni representative did not respond to a request to comment from CoStar News.

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