Howard Hughes aviation complex in Playa Vista getting a $50-million renovation
The decaying former headquarters of aviation giant Howard Hughes will be turned into an office campus for creative tenants as part of a $50-million makeover of the famous operation at Playa Vista.
The complex includes the enormous hangar where Hughes built his infamous Spruce Goose airplane but is now used mostly as a sound stage for movie and television production. The seven-story structure will be upgraded to contain five sound stages that could be used simultaneously, new owner Wayne Ratkovich said.
Ratkovich, a Los Angeles developer who specializes in renovating historic buildings, expects to complete a $32.4-million purchase of the former Hughes property Friday . His company, the Ratkovich Co., and his financial partner, Penwood Real Estate Investment Management, are buying the 28-acre parcel out of foreclosure from a consortium of lenders led by KeyBank.
-- Roger Vincent
Photo: Elizabeth Kubasak, assistant development manager of the Hercules Campus, talks with Jerry DeSantos of Raleigh Studios in the hangar where the Spruce Goose, officially named Hercules, was built. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times