A storied Hollywood building once used by late pulp film director Ed Wood will be preserved by its new owners, said the sellers' agent, Kay Sasatomi of Silver Commercial Inc.
That's good news for fans of the low-budget auteur and for fans of the low-budget building.
The 13,650-square-foot Ed Wood structure on a seedy stretch of Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood is said to have also been used as rehearsal space by Jimi Hendrix, The Doors and Guns N' Roses.
The director housed his Quality Studios at the address, and classics including Plan 9 From Outer Space and Glen or Glenda were filmed there, according to Silver Commercial.
The building features a ground-floor dive bar, Gold Diggers, that plays home to Thai bikini dancers.
The residential hotel next door is a flophouse made famous when a suspect in the Beverly Hills murder of Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen committed suicide as police descended upon the block.
There's a lot of character here.
But big money was involved in the purchase. Sasatomi told the Weekly that the property sold for $3,350,000 to a concern known for “very cool and edgy projects that attract artists and trendsetters in up-and-coming areas.”
“They have plans to restore the building to its former glory, to renovate it,” she said.
It's not clear if the bar will remain. It has more than a year and a half left on its lease, Sasatomi said.
Interestingly, some of the bidders were nightlife concerns with hopes to redevelop the watering hole or create a nightclub, she added.
But the winning bidder was described as “the best” of the bunch: “They want to restore it to its former glory.”
The purchase includes two buildings: a three-story structure and a brick bow truss studio that housed Wood's productions, according to Silver Commercial.
The buyer lucked out, Sasatomi said.
During escrow it was announced that mega-developer CIM Group bought the former Sears property across the street, she said. It plans to create 700 housing units and 300,000 square feet of retail space.
Around the corner, six years ago, a former transvestite club was transformed into an upscale bar, La Descarga.
“I think the neighborhood is going to change very dramatically in the coming years,” Sasatomi predicted.