Hollywood’s most expensive penthouse is searching for a star—a matinee idol, genius songwriter, an auteur. Perhaps the next Quentin Tarantino, some exceptional game changer worthy of this panoramic perch atop historic Columbia Square.
The penthouse is a crown jewel of Columbia Square Living, Kilroy Realty Corp.’s revamped luxury rental tower, the cornerstone of a nearly 5-acre mixed-use, walkable campus comprising 200 renovated residences, preserved office space, thriving retail, green spaces, and underground parking, located near transit at Sunset Boulevard and Gower Street—a landmark Hollywood crossroad.
Friends alumn Matthew Perry once called this penthouse home. Other prominent celebrities live in the 18-story high-rise as well. They’re all part of Los Angeles’ turn-key vertical living trend—Hollywood elite who rent by choice, as Los Angeles’ home market softens.
At $30,0000 per month, this penthouse is a tall order. But the 2,405-square-foot residence is one of only four penthouses here (a rare available one). The three-bedroom home isn’t carved into a rocky landscape, but it does offer Hollywood sign mountain views and Kelly Wearstler interiors that late architect Frank Lloyd Wright and the future penthouse owner might well appreciate.
“The Northwest facing penthouse gives you an incredible view of the vast Hollywood Hills, including the famous Hollywood sign and breathtaking sunsets to the West,” says sales manager Nick Williams. “The fully furnished penthouse apartment is decked out in custom one-of-a-kind furniture pieces, wall coverings, and white oak hardwood floors.”
Wearstler infused neutral tones, light woods, wall paper patterns, and handcrafted artisan furniture for an American Craftsman-California mod vibe. The open-concept gourmet kitchen is framed by built-in wood cabinets, reminiscent of Wright’s Norman Lykes House in Arizona (minus the curves).
Building amenities include a 24-hour concierge, security, a fitness center, rooftop pool as well as access to on-site dining (Sorra; Hinoki and The Bird), nearby collaborative work-play space (NeueHouse), and entertainment (Patages and Palladium theaters). The complex also attracts film agencies and cutting-edge companies such as Fender Guitar.
“Columbia Square Living is also the only residential building in LA with a rooftop restaurant, which offers guests unobstructed views of all of LA,” says Williams. “The property is located in the heart of Hollywood and has the pleasure of sitting next to NeueHouse, Paley, Sugarfish by Nozawa and Viacom as part of the Columbia Square Campus.”
Columbia Square is writing its second act as an homage—a déjà vu district where new Hollywood blows old Hollywood a kiss. Like Hollywood’s Golden Age, imagination, glitz and glamor converge here, attracting modern, L.A.-bound creatives—actors, producers, directors, techies, fashionistas, and millennials who prefer hassle-free apartment living over laborious home ownership. After all, these artists are typically young, single, mobile, and career-focused. Here, family and domesticity take a back seat to dreams.
Built on Hollywood’s first movie studio site, Columbia Square was once broadcast central for the entertainment industry—the headquarters for CBS’s West Coast radio and television enterprises from 1938 to 2007. Swiss architect William Lescaze designed the complex in an avant-garde international modernism style, featuring eight broadcast studios and a live-performance auditorium called Columbia Playhouse.
During radio’s heyday and on the cusp of television’s 1940s boom, Columbia Square was commemorated on April 30, 1938 with a broadcast special hosted by comedian Bob Hope, director Cecil B. DeMille and singer Al Jolson, who joked the futuristic building looked like “Flash Gordon’s bathroom.”
Since then, countless Hollywood movie stars and recording artists performed at Columbia Square. Orson Welles recorded his famous War of the Worlds broadcast here. In 1960, CBS transferred Columbia Records to the campus, where legendary music was produced—Simon and Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water, Johnny Cash’s I Walk The Line, and Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde.
The Doors, Bing Crosby and Gene Autry also recorded here. So did comic greats Jack Benny, Steve Allen, and duo George Burns and Gracie Allen. Universal Pictures was born here. The complex was also a virtual TV Land, where I Love Lucy’s pilot, Gunsmoke and MTV’s The Real World: Hollywood were filmed. James Dean worked here as an usher. It’s also where Hogan’s Heroes’ actor Bob Crane launched his career as a popular radio deejay.
Today, a new generation of creatives buy into Columbia’s Square’s renaissance, ironically by renting (and co-working and socializing). “Our target audience include Hollywood elite—celebrity entertainers, the world’s most prestigious athletes, and LA’s top business people,” says Williams. “Our residents come from all over the globe, bringing their various cultures and talents to Hollywood.”
Hollywood is full of broken hearts and shattered dreams. But not here. Columbia Square is a new-age dream factory, where creative pros work hard from ground up—potentially all the way to the penthouse.