West Hollywood Landmark Saved by New Development

The iconic 'Factory' building will get a fresh start as an integral part of Faring Capital's Robertson Lane project.

By Keith Loria, Contributing Editor

The Factory building and view down Robertson Lane
The Factory building and view down Robertson Lane

Los AngelesFaring Capital will retain, restore, and preserve the landmark Factory building and former Studio One nightclub as part of Robertson Lane, a new mixed-use project located between Robertson Boulevard and La Peer Drive near Hollywood’s western border.

“Robertson Lane and the Factory’s preservation is a perfect example of community collaboration and environmental guidelines working exactly as they should—enabling responsible development to move forward,” Jason Illoulian, Faring CEO, said in a prepared release. “We now have a project that both celebrates our community’s history and gives these important structures new life.”

The 140-foot long, two-story portion of the historic Factory building will be relocated to the street front along Robertson Boulevard, so that it reflects the building’s heyday as the Mitchell Camera Factory and Studio One. In doing so, the building will become the centerpiece of the forthcoming Robertson Lane project, which includes a hotel and a pedestrian-oriented dining and retail experience.

Since first announcing plans for the development in 2014, Faring has listened closely to the community, local preservation groups, the Los Angeles Conservancy, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation about saving the historic building.

The Robertson Lane proposal features restoration of the Factory’s façade, replacement of non-historic windows with salvaged original windows, reuse of embossed steel cladding and removal of non-historic elements from the building. Additionally, Faring will commission an oral history project and installations celebrating Studio One and the Factory’s significance to the greater Los Angeles LGBTQ community.

In June of 2015, the National Trust for Historic Preservation named The Factory to its list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places, in recognition of the growing threat to this icon of the early entertainment industry and West Hollywood’s pioneering gay community.

“We appreciate Faring’s willingness to work closely with us over the past year and listen to the concerns of the preservation community,” Linda Dishman, LA Conservancy president & CEO, said in the release. “They have made meaningful changes by removing full demolition from their proposed project and we look forward to the details.”

Plans call for the building terraces to back away from the street at the second and third levels, accommodating balconies, courtyards, outdoor dining, hotel rooms, a rooftop garden, and meeting and event space. To support all of this programming, there are four subterranean parking levels with a capacity for approximately 1,000 cars.

Rendering courtesy of Faring Capital