A fresh coat of black and white paint along Highland Avenue is the first sign of progress on Gaw Capital USA and DJM's $100-million revamp of the landmark Hollywood & Highland Center.

View looking south from HighlandDJM/Gaw Capital

The 20-year-old shopping mall, which is being rebranded as Ovation Hollywood, was purchased by Gaw Capital and DJM from CIM Group in 2019 for the reported sum of $325 million.  The two companies announced plans to revamp the 475,000-square-foot complex and convert its upper floors into offices for rent last year.

After completion of construction, which is expected to occur in mid-2022, Ovation will include:

  • 135,000 square feet of retail;
  • approximately 100,000 square feet of offices;
  • 85,000 square feet of restaurant and dining areas;
  • 65,000 square feet of entertainment space; and
  • 40,000 square feet of event space.

Main courtyardDJM/Gaw Capital

Besides adding new office space to the property, Gaw and DJM are also implementing changes to the look at feel of the former Hollywood & Highland Center.  The two firms have tapped architecture firm Gensler to work on plans to update the color scheme, signage, and pedestrian entrances to the mall.

The heart of the complex - a tiered, open-air courtyard - will be retooled with an Art Deco design, eliminating features referencing the Babylon set from D.W. Griffith's 1916 film "Intolerance."  Griffith, a pioneer of the silent-film era, is perhaps best known as the director of "Birth of a Nation," a 1915 film glorifying the Ku Klux Klan which has been described in multiple publications at "the most racist movie ever."

watermark Fresh paint along Highland AvenueUrbanize Media

Although the perils of the COVID-19 pandemic have emptied out once-bustling Walk of Fame, DJM and Gaw Capital have bet on tourists - and even locals - eventually returning to Hollywood.  Plans for offices on the upper floors follow years in which companies such as Netflix and Viacom have eaten up large blocks of offices built Kilroy Realty and Hudson Pacific Properties.