Update (9/12/16): In response to the public interest and outcry over the possibility of losing Amoeba, the record store released a statement on Facebook clarifying the situation. They state that business will remain as usual for at least the next "several years," and possibly even after that. You can read the entire post below.
Are we about to lose one of LA's best record stores? Changes seem to be coming for Hollywood's iconic Amoeba Music. Councilman Mitch O’Farrell’s office has confirmed that the building at 6400 Sunset Boulevard has been sold.
“Amoeba Records voluntarily decided to sell the property,” O’Farrell’s communications director informed LAist today.
The statement was issued in response to the discovery that an architectural illustration firm, Shimahara, posted a rendering they created for Amoeba’s address on their website. That rendering was created at the request of LA architecture firm Johnson Fain and shows a soaring glass tower that shoots up way above the neighboring CNN building, let alone anything else in the neighborhood.
Public records reveal that 6400 Sunset was purchased in October of 2015 for $34 million. It is now owned by a holding company related to GPI Companies, a developer behind projects including Granada Hills Town Center and the Promenade at Howard Hughes Center.
There is no reason to assume that the Johnson Fain design will be breaking ground any time soon. GPI told LAist that they have not made any formal applications with the city and had not even decided when or if they would proceed with a redevelopment, all of which suggests it'll be a lengthy process before any new skyscrapers appear.
“The developer has come to our office with ideas, but nothing has been filed with the city,” Councilman O’Farrell’s office confirmed in their statement.
LAist’s investigation also found that Amoeba employees themselves seemed to be unaware of any potential closure or moving. That certainly wouldn’t be unheard of—sometimes a store’s staff are kept in the dark about dealings as long as possible—but does suggest nothing is immediately imminent, at least for now.
Just down the road, another historic spot might be about to undergo redevelopment as well. A developer would like to convert the West Hollywood building where Barney's Beanery has been serving since 1927 into a boutique hotel. A public meeting has been set to hear the concerns of neighbors who aren't sure it's a good fit for the neighborhood. In that project, Barney's Beanery itself will be preserved within the new building, which could certainly represent one option for the Amoeba project as well, should construction indeed move forward.
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