The old General Motors car dealership building at 400 S. La Brea, which was later supposed to be the never-quite-realized Ace Museum (and even better known as the one-time home of the giant silver sculpture called “Miss Mao Trying to Poise Herself at the Top of Lenin’s Head”), will soon become the new home of Hornburg Jaguar Land Rover. Dealership General Manager Martin Dodsworth told the Buzz this morning that the company signed a lease for the property earlier this year, and renovations on the building, which has been vacant since 2017, will begin in June. The Hornburg dealership will open for business 12 months later, in June of 2020.
When the renovation is complete, Dodsworth said, the facility will include between 26,000 and 27,000 square feet of space on each of three floors, which will be turned a 20-car showroom, offices, sales and finance departments, and a service department with 51 bays for vehicles. In addition, there will be 150 parking spaces on the lower level – a number “unheard of in L.A.,” said Dodsworth – with another 100 vehicle spaces on the roof.
All in all, Dodsworth said, the building is “a phenomenal piece of property” and suits the dealership’s needs perfectly. In fact, he said, it will allow the dealership to have both sales and service departments at a single site for the first time ever. (Currently, the dealership has its showroom at 9176 Sunset Blvd. in West Hollywood, and a service department at 1520 Wilcox Ave. in Hollywood – both of which will close when the new La Brea facility is ready.)
As some travelers on La Brea may have noticed when driving by, the dealership has been storing vehicles on the roof of the building for a while now, and Dodsworth said that may or may not continue during construction, depending on how the process goes. Either way, however, Dodsworth said they now have 24-hour security on site, which will continue through the construction phase…and the dealership will maintain the property to prevent homeless encampments and vandalism. He said it will also clean up graffiti as quickly as possible (although that does tend to be a “neverending job” as a freshly-cleaned surface seems to invite even more tagging).
Dodsworth said the building’s new design will follow the new “Arch Concept” that is being rolled out at all Jaguar Land Rover dealerships around the world, and that as much as possible (given that various buildings have different shapes and sizes), the goal is to give all of the company’s dealerships a collective look and feel that is “as uniform as it can be.”
Construction, Dodsworth said, is “never a quick process,” but he said, “the place is going to look stunning when it’s complete.”