SIERRA TOWERS: A TIMELESS LA LUXURY HIGH-RISE
Sierra Towers Quick Facts:
- Building address: 9255 Doheny Road, West Hollywood, CA 90069
- Year Built: 1965
- Number of Stories: 32
- Number of Unit: 146
- Amenities: Valet, 24-hr Security, Pool, Spa, Locker Rooms
Close your eyes for a moment and picture West Hollywood’s Sunset Strip. If you do, one building will seem to rise above the rest. Sierra Towers, constructed during the 1960s, is a beautiful reminder of LA’s rich architectural history. Today, Sierra Towers remains a luxury condominium high-rise where the famous, infamous, and influential reside and enjoy spectacular views and amenities.
It’s All About Location, Views and Privacy
The building that become known as Sierra Towers is located at 9255 Doheny Road, and for the last five and a half decades has been considered one of the best places to live in West Hollywood, if not the state of California. Part of the reason for this is its location along the famed Sunset Strip. Simply put, its unique views of both the city of Los Angeles and the ocean skyline, as well as the many nearby clubs and restaurants have made this residential tower a favorite among the rich and famous. The location has also afforded its residents the ability to enjoy the vibrant nightlife and many elegant restaurants that are featured nearby. It offers the very best of everything.
What Sierra Towers Offer to its Valued Residents
Another reason why Sierra Towers has become the premier address for people of the area is the various amenities that are featured in these residences. For example, each of the residential spaces offers a sleek mid-century interior with clean lines, epic floor-to-ceiling windows and glass doors, and panoramic views of both the city, California coast or Hollywood Hills.
There were originally 146 units in Sierra Towers, but over the years, some of the residents have bought and combined units to bring the number closer to 11o. Even then, each unit has an extremely open and spacious feel to them, with each one offering a balcony view of the skyline that simply can’t be matched by today’s buildings.
And while each residential space offers a chance for the residents to design an area that suits their exact needs, all feature a few basics. For example, each area has a relatively open floor plan where the kitchen area flows easily into the dining area and the living area. There are walk-in closets in the bedroom area, and the bathroom has a sleek and modern design. But that’s not to say that there isn’t a sense of privacy. While much of the design is open and inviting, the master bedroom are nestled away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the space. One other feature that has become a welcomed quirk of the building is that it only features two elevators open to the public. You’ll never know who you’ll meet while waiting for the elevator to come to your floor, so you best be prepared!
But in reality, the real draw of this building is the little considerations offered to residents. There is a fully equipped gym, along with a pool and sundeck area, a valet service, and 24-hour concierge. There is a staff that is employed there on a twenty-four-hour basis to make sure that all needs are met.
A Storied History of West Hollywood
While Sierra Towers has grown in reputation as one of the best luxury apartment towers in West Hollywood, its past is no less worthy of consideration. It was first developed for approximately $12 million by Walter and Leo Minskoff. And if that name sounds familiar, you might realize that this firm also built the Minskoff Theater in New York.
Sierra Towers opened in 1966, but originally was known as the Spoon Apartment Building and was first operated as a rental property. However, shortly after its opening, the building was bought by the New York real estate investment company Helmsley Spear, Incorporated, and by 1974 it was converted into luxury condos. Back then, a one-bedroom space could be bought for a little over $70,000, and a three-bedroom one would set you back $152,000. These prices are far removed from today’s prices, but at the time they were expensive indeed.
The Sunset Strip has changed over the years. During the 1960s, when the tower was being constructed, the area known as the strip decreased in popularity overall. This meant that the relative rents in the area decreased, and several counter-culture clubs, restaurants, and places started to take root. And unlike most of the country, these unique and different perspectives were welcomed in the Strip. Places like Pandora’s Box, which started as an experimental jazz club, and the Crescendo featured artists like Nina Simone, Bob Newhart, Redd Foxx, and Johnathan Winters just to name a few.
The atmosphere featured a sense of creative exploration, and this place during the 1960s was one of the starting points for the cultural revolution that would sweep the country over the next decades. It could be said that the Sunset Strip and Sierra Towers were witnesses to many new and different musical genres including rockabilly, new age jazz, and the seeds of modern rock and roll.
An Architect’s Vision – And a Developer’s Dream
Designed by Jack A. Charney, Sierra Towers stands as one of the tallest buildings on the LA scene. And since zoning and building codes now limit height of new construction, the likelihood of anything exceeding the height and view of Sierra Towers is low. And while there was only one building, there were technically a plan for two, hence the name of Sierra Towers. Unfortunately, the second installment was never built, partially due to these height restrictions, which were implemented soon after the first tower was completed.
When asked about his vision and design, Mr. Charney mentioned that the design of the building was intended to take maximum advantage of the surrounding views. He wanted to make sure that the residents from every space were afforded some of the best views of the city lights, the mountains, and even the Pacific Ocean itself. And even when the apartments were converted to condos in 1974, the expansive windows and glass doors, and relatively open floor plans with 11 foot high ceilings, were kept in place to make sure that his dream became a designer’s reality.
Jack A. Charney himself trained under Richard Nuetra and Rudolph Schindler, and much of their influence can be seen in his modern sleek design. And at 32 stories, the building is 15 stories higher than the surrounding two-mile area.
A Verifiable Who’s Who of Hollywood and Musical Elite
From the beginning, Sierra Towers has been a mecca of sorts for Hollywood elites and starlets alike. There are plenty of tales that have been created or recorded over the years telling of colorful events, people, and times. In the early days, the towers included residents such as John Wayne, who reportedly kept a cow in his space to make sure that he had fresh milk every day, to David Geffen of Asylum Records fame, and Sidney Poitier. People such as Cher, who lived in one of the three-story tenant spaces, and Elton John and Lindsay Lohan have also called the building home.
If one were to look at the past rent roll or residency list of Sierra Towers, one would find a veritable who’s who of business, television, and movie elite. In the beginning, people such as Frank Sinatra and members of the Rat Pack stayed here, as well as rock and roll legends as well. Names such as Axl Rose, and Slash of Guns n’ Roses, were said to have stayed there during their heyday in the 1980s and 1990s, and television stars such as Courtney Cox, Matthew Perry, and even the famed boxer Evander Holyfield have made their home there as well.
A Famous Street with Plenty of Things to See and Do
Of course, just like any other property on the LA scene, it is all about the location. Part of the draw of Sierra Towers is the fact that it is located smack dab in the middle of one of America’s favorite playgrounds. And while Sunset Strip has always been a place where both the unique and fringe come out to play, today it has transformed itself into a place where the elite and well established come out to play as well.
Famous places like the Soho House West Hollywood and the BOA Steakhouse are a simple walk across the street and are a favorite haunt of most everyone who resides there. If you’re interested in checking out the music scene, a quick walk down to Whiskey A Go-Go – the place that had the Doors as a house band back in the mid-1960s, and was recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a place to check out. There’s also the infamous Viper Room, which was co-founded by Johnny Depp and was considered the place to be during the early grunge movement of the 1990s.
And of course, just a very short drive to the east is the Sunset Plaza, which can be considered one of the best shopping centers in the area. It features Equinox West Hollywood, as well as some great restaurants for a quick lunch or a relaxing evening meal.
A Purchase of a Lifetime – At a Very Reasonable Price
Generally speaking, condos at Sierra Towers start around $2 million and move upwards from there. Most units average between $2 to $4 million, but there are a few exceptions. For example, a unit on the 24th floor sold for about 6.5 million in 2018. Also, a south-facing mega-unit, consisting of three units on the 17th floor sold for approximately 11 million. There is even a full-floor penthouse unit that could cost a respectable $58 million and features over 7,000 square feet of interior space and a complete 360-degree view of the spectacular skyline.
Six units exist per floor, and the southeastern corner and the southwestern corner offer some of the most popular views today. Those views are possible since the building is pretty much unique among the skyline due to its towering height in West Hollywood. As such, it is one of the most expensive condominiums in the area, with floor plans selling for roughly $1,000 per square foot.
There are very few rentals today in Sierra Towers, due in part to the existence of the Sierra Towers Home Owners Association, which requires that tenants own their unit for at least a year before leasing it out. Even so, leases do exist, and range in price between $6,000 and $20,000 per month for some of the larger units.
On average, less than 10 units go on the market a year. Indeed, if you’re looking for a place that seems to have every consideration and amenity, Sierra Towers is worth a closer look.
Making Sierra Towers Home
If you’re considering a purchase at Sierra Towers West Hollywood, it’s important you have a luxury expert to guide you. Reach out at (310) 600-4500 or firstname.lastname@example.org