The United Artists Theater has been purchased by Greenfield Partners, a national hotel developer and real estate investment company based in Norwalk, CT. The historic theater built in 1927–one of twelve beautiful theaters on Broadway in Downtown LA–was purchased for $11 million from the Wescott Christian Center with future development plans not completely clear at this time.
Nevertheless, based on Greenfield Partner’s strong experience in developing hotels with CEO, Gene Gorab, as one of the founding partners of Starwood Capital Group, the fate of the United Artists Theater may be a bright one repurposed for lodging and possibly more. It is likely that a development partnership will form between Greenfield Partners and someone else to take on this project, which would be an incredible boon to Broadway. And rumor has it (from several anonymous sources) that Seattle-based ACE Hotel may be tapped for a special collaboration. The owner of ACE Hotel, Alex Calderwood, denies involvement with the United Artists Theater in an email to me several weeks ago, but the rumor persists, so time will tell.
The possibility of activating the United Artists Theater with an upscale boutique hotel (whether it’s an ACE or any other well respected brand) is an exciting prospect as that would fuel tremendous momentum into the Broadway revitalization plan. A stone’s throw from the United Artists Theater is a bona fide neighborhood forming with several residential buildings (Eastern Columbia, Blackstone, Chapman, etc.) filled with full-time residents and also new businesses like Pattern Bar and the soon-to-open Umamicatessen are really putting southern Broadway on the map. Having an exciting new hotel will surely create a strong synergy that will hopefully reverberate north along Broadway.