For Sale: The Land Next to the Hollywood Sign!?

Los Angeles residents fear that the world famous Hollywood sign might be threatened by a real estate deal. The AP reports that an investment group that owns 138 acres above and to the left of the sign have put the land up for sale last month for $22 million. Some Los Angeles residents are afraid mansions will be built there, while others are afraid that billboard advertisements could be sold on the uncluttered hill.

The sign was first erected in 1923. The land was purchased by billionaire Howard Hughes in 1940, who owned the property until in 2002 Fox River Financial Resources, a Chicago investors who quietly purchased the peak from Hughes’ estate for $1.7 million. But the group had not put the property up for sale until recently. The real estate agent representing the property claims that “the parcel is farther away from the Hollywood sign than many people realize, and that at a distance, even a mansion would be a mere ‘speck’ on the mountain.”

The City of Los Angeles, which owns the ground the sign stands on and the land on three sides of it, should be allowed to acquire the old Hughes property. However laws prohibit the city to legally pay more than $6 million, the price for which the property has most recently been appraised for. The councilman is hoping to talk conservation groups into buying the land or to ask Hollywood big wigs to chip in. Apparently in 1970s, Hugh Hefner, Alice Cooper and other celebrities paid $28,000 each to replace the Hollywood sign’s nine crumbling letters.

One thing is for sure, it would be a real shame if billboards or mansions were visible next to the iconic shot of the Hollywood sign.

Discuss: What should be done about this situation?

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