Dude, Amoeba Music Is Totally Getting Bulldozed…

Future Site of Amoeba Music
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Yesterday, leaked construction plans and architectural diagrams pointed to an imminent bulldozing of Amoeba Music.  Now, it looks like Amoeba is seems to be delaying the inevitable.

Amoeba Music in Hollywood now looks like toast, though the store may be preserved for a few years longer.  In a statement issued last night, Amoeba didn’t deny that demolition plans were under consideration, but did point to a multi-year lifeline.  “Y’all are asking questions about that article today,” the company posted on Twitter.

“We’re going to remain in our building for the remainder of our lease — which is several years — and Amoeba and the building owner are open to us potentially staying longer.  We are committed to staying in Hollywood and we appreciate your concern and support!”

The statement does little to deny demolition plans, nor does it address detailed architectural diagrams leaked Monday clearly showing a condominium (or apartment complex) in the exact same location (more on that here).  Instead, Amoeba — which sold its 44,616 square foot parcel last year for $34 million — is now clearly at the mercy of the new owner, which probably stands to earn multiples from a shimmering residential (or mixed use) building.

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Indeed, that would explain the complex diagramming, multiple LLC business registrations for the specific address, and even meetings with city planners by developer GPI Companies.

But is Amoeba Music a landmark worth saving?  This has always been a longtime hangout for music lovers, and an ardent bastion of vinyl for more than a decade.  Aside from that, Amoeba has become a cultural imprint in Hollywood, though economically speaking, record stores are now relics quarantined in hip gentrified zones.

Looking ahead, Los Angelinos are getting agitated, but one obvious issue is that the owners themselves sold the lot in the first place, for obvious reasons.  And given that Amoeba — a small chain — is technically a recent construction, it’s difficult to imagine the building qualifying for historic landmark status.

Beyond that, Amoeba is also reportedly scouting some new locations.  And those that know LA know that other, hipper (or hipster) spots like Echo Park or Los Feliz may be better suited for Amoeba than Hollywood.

All of which means, Amoeba Music — at least the one in Hollywood — is probably getting destroyed in a few years time.


‘Rubble’ image by Benson Kua, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC by 2.0).