The Star, a proposed $500 million office tower on Hollywood’s Sunset Boulevard, is the largest commercial project in the nation to enter planning stages, according to Dodge Data & Analytics.
The 22-story egg-shaped structure, designed by MAD Architects based in China, will be built with glass and steel and have four levels of landscaped gardens, The Los Angeles Times reports. There also will be a funicular tram to a top-floor restaurant.
LA-based investor Maggie Gong Miracle, a real estate agent, is the developer, says the Times, which reported that the partnership’s LLC purchased the property in 2017.
Edgar Khalatian, a Mayer Brown land use attorney representing the developers, said they would raise money for the project in the United States. “Khalatian also outlined a five-year plan for city approval and project construction,” The Real Deal reported, citing the Times.
“That would feasibly give the project plenty of time for the struggling L.A. office market to rebound.”
Dodge said in its September Momentum Index report that The Star is the largest of 17 projects valued at more than $100 million that entered planning in September. Overall, the index gained 11% in September to 164.9 (2000=100) from the revised August reading of 148.0.
The Momentum Index, issued by Dodge Construction Network, is a monthly measure of the initial report for nonresidential building projects in planning, which have been shown to lead construction spending for nonresidential buildings by a full year. The commercial planning component increased by 13% in September, while the institutional component rose 8%.
Nonresidential building projects entering planning staged a solid recovery in early 2021, as the economy began to awaken from its pandemic-induced slumber. Entering summer, those gains turned to losses as higher material prices and shortages of labor and goods weighed on the construction sector.
The strength in projects entering planning was widespread during the month, with most sectors moving higher. Excluding healthcare, which experienced a downshift in the dollar value of planning projects in recent months. On a year-over-year basis, the Momentum Index was 30% higher than September 2020; the commercial component was up 32%, while institutional planning was 25% higher.
In addition to The Star, a $250 million office project in Cambridge, MA went into planning in September. The leading institutional projects were the first and third phases of a lab facility in Boston, MA, valued at $450 million and $225 million respectively.
“The gain in the Momentum Index and its components in September is certainly good news and a sign that owners and developers are looking past the current concerns over pricing, Delta, and politics and are moving forward with projects to meet demand,” Dodge said in a statement. “This does not mean there are no problems ahead for the sector. Month-to-month volatility in the data is likely to remain for some time.”