LOS ANGELES - Hollywood and Vine, crossroads of stars and moviemakers in a bygone era, will be the site of a $600 million hotel, residential and retail development intended to restore luster to the iconic intersection.
"This is a great day for Hollywood," talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel told civic leaders as he hosted a groundbreaking ceremony Monday at Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street.
"It's been a long, long process and ... obviously this hotel is going to really improve this area _ not that this parking lot isn't beautiful in and of itself," quipped Kimmel, whose "Jimmy Kimmel Live," which airs on ABC, is taped down the boulevard.
The city-block-size project is the latest step in revitalizing Hollywood, which was once the center of cinema in the United States but was overtaken by blight.
The W Hollywood Hotel & Residences will include a 305-room W Hotel, 143 residences, 375 apartments, more than 50,000-square feet of retail space and improvements to the plaza for the Hollywood & Vine Metro Red Line subway station. Seventy-eight of the apartments will be designated as affordable units.
The project is being developed by Gatehouse Capital Corp. and Legacy Partners.
Gatehouse President and Chief Executive Marty Collins said it took six years to reach the groundbreaking stage and the opening is expected in mid-2009.
"I think it kind of captures everybody's long-pent-up hopes for this market, and as I say, often announced and not often delivered on. Well, this is the delivery," Collins said in an interview.
Collins characterized Hollywood as a brand known all over the world.
"And within that brand is the brand of Hollywood and Vine, I think, which has probably one of the most famous intersections in the world," he said.
ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co.
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