Tower Records on Sunset Dodges the Wrecking Ball — For Now

Tower Records on Sunset, a relic of the music industry, may soon be gone.
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Tower Records on Sunset, a relic of the music industry, may soon be gone.
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Tower Records on Sunset, a relic of the old-school music industry, may soon be gone.

Gibson Guitar is now wriggling out of its expensive lease of Tower Records on Sunset.  Now, the building’s property manager is looking for a new tenant — while the owners decide what’s next.

The Tower Records empire was long ago toppled.  But since shutting down in 2006, one of Tower’s most iconic buildings has developed into a historic relic in West Hollywood.

Amazingly, it’s still sitting there, largely intact.

Preservationists have been lobbying local officials to declare the building a landmark.  But that effort looks like a long shot, especially given the extremely valuable real estate plot — right in the heart of busy Sunset Blvd.

Now, it looks like the Tower relic is going away — or at least getting painted over — thanks to the sinking fortunes of another music industry icon: Gibson Guitar.  But so far, we’re not hearing any plans of a demolition.

Gibson Guitar Structures a $135 Million Bankruptcy Lifeline

For years, Tower Records on Sunset has remained an inert monument.  The CDs and LPs are long gone, though the outside has remained perfectly preserved — down to the oversized album cover images and red-and-yellow ‘Tower Records’ logo.  That preservation effort was actually spearheaded by Gibson Guitar, which assumed the high-dollar lease for its LA-based ‘entertainment relations’ office.

That was a heroic effort indeed, but not necessarily the most prudent financial choice.  In bankruptcy paperwork surfacing over the past few weeks, DMN has learned that Tower actually had another LA-based ‘entertainment’ office.  In financial dire straights, Gibson is now moving to dump its lease on the Tower building.

Accordingly, property manager Newmark Knight Frank has started listing the property to prospective new tenants.  We haven’t yet glimpsed a public listing, though Newmark vice chairman Jay Luchs told The Real Deal that the property is now being shopped.

Just four years ago, Gibson secured a twelve-year lease on the property.  Now, it’s holding the bag on 8 more years, with Luchs looking for someone to take over the remaining period.  According to the Real Deal, Newmark is also considering a strike-down of the existing lease in favor a brand-new lease.  But that depends on who’s knocking.

As for the future of the property, that’s anyone’s guess.  But at least there isn’t a wrecking ball — yet.

Luchs is listing this property as a lease and not a redevelopment property, but couldn’t share details on the owner’s plans.   That owner, listed as ‘Tower Records Square LLC,’ appears to involves Adherence Capital Management and LA-based law firm, Mayman & Mayman LLP.  Those owners haven’t signaled any future plans for the property, though a wrecking ball is certainly one possibility.



One Response

  1. Anonymous

    Don’t know why Amoeba doesn’t take over the lease, they just lost their building on Sunset and appears to have a successful operation?