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The stretch of Sunset Boulevard east of Vine Street is already home to several entertainment industry facilities, including the Sunset Gower Studios and Technicolor. Now a new college campus will be located in the heart of an area where students may be able to transition into careers.
Emerson College, a four-year university devoted exclusively to communications and the arts in Boston, Massachusetts, is opening a West Coast campus. The Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved the project at Sunset Boulevard and Gordon Street on August 18.
“We settled on Hollywood as an ideal location to open, because of its historic role in the entertainment industry, and there is an impressive revitalization going on there,” said Peggy Ings, associate vice president for government and communications for Emerson College. “We chose this location because this is the place where the students will get their first job in the industry.”
The college, which was founded in 1880, has had a West Coast internship program based in Burbank for the past 20 years, but had outgrown their facility and sought a larger campus. Construction will start in mid-October.
The 10-story building will include 115,000 square feet of space for student dormitories, admissions offices and classrooms, as well as 6,400 square feet of ground floor retail space. The project will also include 246 parking spaces in a three-level subterranean garage, designed to limit the impact the facility will have on parking in the area, Ings said. The building was designed by Mayne and Morphosis Architects, and will feature an outer box-shaped structure with an open interior.
“It seems like this is going to be one of those buildings that is instantly iconic, and will be a place people want to come and see,” Ings said. “We are hoping it will contribute to the revitalization of the Hollywood area.”
Los Angeles City Council President Eric Garcetti, 13th District, supported the project. Garcetti’s deputy, Yusef Robb, said the building will not only improve the aesthetics of that portion of Sunset Boulevard, but will also bring an influx of new people to the area who will patronize local businesses and improve the area’s economy.
“The Emerson College project represents much needed jobs in Los Angeles and Hollywood, with construction jobs in the short term, but ongoing jobs in the long term, whether its maintenance people or professors,” Robb said. “Furthermore, as a facility of higher education, it will inject the excitement into the area that only students can bring, spending power of people from across the country, and it will be a boost for that part of Hollywood.”
Robb said there was some opposition from nearby property owners that the construction may cause noise problems, but those problems are being mitigated.
Leron Gubler, president and CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, also said the college will be welcomed in Hollywood.
“We definitely support it, it’s a great project,” Gubler added. “It’s on a parking lot on Sunset Boulevard in an area that could use a boost. The architect is world renowned and its design is amazing.”
Ings said the project is anticipated to be completed by 2012. For information, visit www.emerson.edu.
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