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The Arts Club of London, Backed by Gwyneth Paltrow, Goes West to Los Angeles

West Hollywood Outlet Planned as the Club's First U.S. Outpost
October 3, 2018
The Arts Club in London is preparing to open its first United States outpost in West Hollywood.
Photo courtesy of Gensler/The Arts Club.


The Arts Club, a private social club in London backed by Academy Award-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow, plans to open its first American outpost on the famous Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, California, as the latest private social club debuting in Los Angeles in recent years.

Plans for the more than 120,000-square-foot building at 8920 Sunset Blvd. were approved by the City of West Hollywood for the Southern California location, where a former Hustler store once stood.

The London-based Arts Club dates back to 1863, when it was founded with members such as author Charles Dickens. According to its website, "The Arts Club was founded by men of vision in order to provide a haven for those people who had professional or amateur relationships with the arts, literature or sciences."

Today, it is backed by a group of investors including Paltrow, an advisory board member to the London location and founder of lifestyle company Goop that advocates for products such as leech facials and Kambo frog venom skin treatments. The club provides social meeting space for members involved in the arts.

Paltrow and other investors will oversee building of the project on the Sunset Strip.

"We feel the time is right to expand beyond London and bring our unique Arts Club offer to a global audience," Alice Chadwyck-Healey, executive director of The Arts Club, said in a statement. "The appetite both for first class hospitality and unparalleled art and events programs is strong in both Dubai and L.A., making them the natural choices for our first overseas clubs."

The Arts Club Los Angeles is planned to include 14 guest rooms as well as screening rooms, restaurants, including a Japanese/Latino eatery, office space, a rooftop swimming pool and an art gallery. The West Hollywood building will feature operational decorative glass panels as part of its design by downtown Los Angeles-based architecture firm Gensler.

Alan Reay, president of Irvine hotel consultancy and brokerage Atlas Hospitality Group and an England native, said private social clubs like the Arts Club are popular in London.

"It’s a huge testament to West Hollywood, a huge testament to Los Angeles that we would have the first Arts Club over a city like New York or even San Francisco," Reay said.

They're growing in popularity in Los Angeles as well. The members-only h Club, which is scheduled to open on Vine Street in Hollywood next year. And another L.A. outlet of New York's popular and exclusive Soho House is planned for downtown Los Angeles. The Soho House already has locations in West Hollywood and Malibu.

Reay has also talked to investors who have brought up the concept.

"It is a lot more exclusive, and by doing that I think that they can set the bar very, very high in terms of fees and who has access," Reay said.

Genevieve Morrill, president and chief executive of the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, said she loves the project and sees it as being beneficial for the neighborhood. She said it is also unusual to have "such collective support" for the project from both local residents and businesses.

The Arts Club is likely to provide economic development on the Sunset Strip and "great community benefit" with the commercial space and art programming, according to Morrill.

As part of the project, the Arts Club would also pay the City of West Hollywood $13.5 million.

Elyse Eisenberg, chair of the West Hollywood Heights Neighborhood Association, said she also thinks the project will be an asset to West Hollywood.

"Anchored by the prestigious Arts Club of London, it has a wonderful mix of uses, including an art gallery, creative office space, a bistro café and live music space, which will elevate the Strip and bring a renewed vitality to this area," Eisenberg said.

The West Hollywood location is scheduled to open in 2020.



Karen Jordan, Los Angeles Market Reporter  CoStar Group   
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