Viper Room nightclub to become 12-story high-rise building

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 14: Live music venue The Viper Room remains closed due to restrictive Coronavirus measures on April 14, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images)

Plans were announced Wednesday for a 12-story building at the site of the Viper Room nightclub on Sunset Boulevard, which will include a re-designed music venue, recording studio space, eateries, cafes, retail space, housing units and a hotel.

Construction is expected to begin next year on the mixed-use West Hollywood project named after its address at 8850 Sunset, according to Los Angeles-based Silver Creek Development.

"We are delighted to bring forth this distinguished mixed-use project that pairs an unparalleled level of luxury and attention to detail with a historic location on the iconic Sunset Strip," said Charles Essig, managing director at Silver Creek. "The project is a complementary offering to the Strip and will include a five-star luxury hotel to make 8850 Sunset a premier destination in the heart of West Hollywood."

The Viper Room, the rock club once partially owned by Johnny Depp, started out as a jazz club called the Melody Room that was said to be frequented by mobsters Bugsy Malone and Mickey Cohen, and was known as the Central in the 1970s and 1980s.

Actor River Phoenix died after suffering a fatal overdose there on Oct. 31, 1993, the same year it opened as the Viper Room. It became a hangout for young stars including Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire, and acts including Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Johnny Cash, Courtney Love, and the Strokes appeared there. Depp sold his interest in the club in 2004.

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Since initially proposing a redevelopment of the site in 2018, Silver Creek has taken public input on the project. The design, created in partnership with Miami architecture firm Arquitectonica, attempts to blend with the surrounding landscape of West Hollywood, incorporating public and private green spaces, Essig said.

The new businesses will include a hotel, 26 condominiums and eight income-restricted housing units. Cafes, stores and the Viper Room entrance will be part of a two-story platform at street level, while the hotel will rise up to the fifth story, according to the plans.

Residences will reach the 10th story, where a restaurant and bar will offer an outdoor terrace with skyline views, according to the development company.

In 2018, the Viper Room and several adjacent buildings along the Sunset Strip, totaling 38,000 square feet, were reportedly sold for $80 million to a buyer known simply as 8850 Sunset.

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