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Hollywood strip mall around Trejo’s Donuts getting hip makeover

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“We want to be a focal point of the intersection”

Courtesy of MCAP

A strip mall at Highland Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard that was once fronted by Donut Time is slated to receive a striking, Instagram-friendly makeover from new owners MCAP Partners.

The section of Santa Monica Boulevard around Highland Avenue has received an increasing amount of attention from developers in the last few years, including one with nearly 700 residential units aimed squarely at becoming “a catalyst for gentrification” in the area.

MCAP purchased the strip mall in the first half of 2017 and is working with R&A Architecture on a light remodel that will “have a lasting aesthetic impact,” says MCAP executive vice president Alexander Massachi.

“We want to be a focal point of the intersection,” Massachi says. The retail center is already hard to miss: the Donut Time space was taken over by a bright pink Trejo’s Coffee & Donuts, owned by the actor and restauranteur Danny Trejo.

The new exterior will be formed using sheet metal for a sort of vertical-blinds look along the building’s facade.

The makeover will also include the creation of a shaded outdoor seating area along Santa Monica Boulevard for what is expected to be a new restaurant tenant.

The strip mall—a retail form that is “perishing,” says Massachi—will begin pre-leasing immediately to bring new, “service-oriented” stores to the site. All existing tenants have been or will be evicted, though Massachi says one tenant, a nail salon, is considering returning to the remade space.

Construction on the new project is expected to begin in the next three months and be complete about nine months after that.

The strip mall is close to a number of large projects expected to rise in the coming years. A block west of Highland and Santa Monica, Canadian developer Onni is planning a 231-unit residential mixed-use development. East of here, at Las Palmas, AvalonBay is working on a 695-unit apartment and retail complex that’s expected to be complete by November 2019.

Also around the corner from the strip mall: The new Anita May Rosenstein Campus of the Los Angeles LGBT Center, which will provide housing for seniors and young people, and shelter beds for homeless youth.