The big news: “The Clarett Group and James Nederlander are currently seeking entitlement to complete the 10 story, 200,000 square foot office tower,”over the Pantages, according to a press release here. The company is serious: construction could start in January 2008.
Marcus Priteca designed the Pantages Theater in 1929 to be topped by a 10-story office tower. The Stock Market Crash of 1929, along with Alexander Pantages’ sordid court cases (he was accused of raping a teenaged employee, and then of running a call girl ring), put the kibosh on that extravagant design, but now, 77 years later, it looks like the Pantages may expand to fulfill its original plans.
This idealized rendering of the proposed building is by Bruce Mayron of Mayron Renderings, and was run in the Los Angeles Times December 6, 2007.
Director Frank Stephan of the Clarrett Group noted that the Hollywood Equitable Building, built next door during the same time frame (1929-1930), was designed without windows on the Pantages side, anticipating the completion of the tower. A history of the Equitable/ Lofts at Hollywood & Vine is here.
And lastly, because old pictures are neat, here is a picture of the Equitable Building before condo-ization. Look at the bottom left--is this where the West Coast Variety office really was?
The Hollywood office was founded in 1933, just before Syme Silverman died. If you can't see the Variety sign here, a larger version of this picture is on the Equitable history site mentioned above.