How Much Is A Chunk of L.A.’s Visual Landscape Worth? Or, How Billboards and Supergraphic Signs Set Cash Registers Ringing

W Hotel-Van Wagner Sign 1

What are billboards and supergraphic signs worth?  A lot, apparently.  The flyer above, for Van Wagner Communications, asks $65,000 per month for just one of a number of supergraphic signs, wall signs, and roof signs approved for the new W Hotel and mixed-use development at the famous corner of Hollywood and Vine.

Provisions of the Hollywood Sign Supplemental Use District limit the project’s total signage to 7,800 sq. ft., but two years ago the city granted exceptions allowing a total of 23,000 sq. ft. of signage.   Whether or not all the signage will attract the same advertising rates is unknown, but if it did the potential revenue to the sign company and property owner could approach $500,000 per month, or $6 million a year.

One of the main rationales used by the Central Area Planning Commission, which granted the exceptions, was that more sign revenue would mean a reduced need for public assistance, since the project is in a redevelopment area and eligible for city subsidy.  As of two years ago, the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA/LA) had committed $6.5 million to the project’s estimated cost of $329 million.

 In addition to the 300 room W Hotel, the project will include condominiums, apartments, and retail space.

Dennis Hathaway

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