High Above Hollywood, Buying Into the Glamour Without the Grittiness of the Boulevard

With new luxury high-rises sprouting in a densifying Hollywood, and many more on the way, those hawking penthouses priced between $1-$45 million play up the unique amenities and play down the messy reality of a changing neighborhood.

Nita Lelyveld tours the penthouses of the Residences at the W Hollywood, where sales are picking up again after a sluggish start. In a changing Hollywood, the incongruities between the vision of a neighborhood filled with "new places to dwell and shop and dine" clashes with the messy reality of sex shops and homelessness.  

"Up high, life on the boulevard recedes," says Lelyveld. "You don't just see construction cranes and developers' dreams. You see the new Hollywood as if it actually exists."

"And maybe it does — as much as it needs to — for a certain clientele who can afford to have the outside world brought to them in their aeries."

Full Story: W Hollywood penthouses: All the glitz, none of the grit

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