LOFTS @ CHEROKEE STUDIOS; LA’s FIRST Green Live/Work Lofts (Part 1/5)

What do you get when you mix prime Hollywood real estate, avant-garde developers, venturesome investors, ingenious architects and designers, rock star legends, and green?  The LOFTS at Cherokee Studios. The Lofts at Cherokee Studios is the FIRST and forefront LEED® (Leadership for Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum creative live/work lofts in Los Angeles.  As a green real estate professional, of all the green buildings I’ve seen throughout California, I had the chance for a firsthand look at the newest, hippest, and greenest address in Hollywood.  The Platinum Preview Party at Cherokee Studios was a night to celebrate the transformation of the legendary Platinum album-recording studio into Platinum rating sustainable mix-use development.  Proceeds of the event were donated to Habitat of Humanity of Hollywood, a prominent non-profit organization that funds and constructs affordable homes throughout the world to combat poverty.





Of the 4,775,000 lofts, condos, and apartment homes in California, only 12 are designed to meet LEED® Platinum green building certification, which is the highest rating achievable from the US Green Building Council.  And all of them are at Cherokee Studios.  The building consists of retail spaces on the first floor, low flats and tri-level lofts on the second floor,  and town homes and penthouses on the third floor.  Of the 12 lofts, four were gorgeously transformed to “Platinum Showcase Lofts” in which I will show in depth in later parts of this blog. 




In order to achieve the LEED Platinum level, the design team implemented a rigorous list of green building strategies.  LEED rates building on their ability to reduce impact from energy, material, water, and transportation, while improving indoor air quality and sustainable site implementation.   The building consists of the following:

·                Over 40% better than California’s strict Title 24 2005 Energy Efficiency standards

·                20 kW solar electric array

·                Astounding views

·                Dynamic double façade creates shade and buffers street noise while enabling ventilation

·                Electric car charging for every unit

·                Reclaimed Black Forest Walnut from Studio One reused

·                Walkable neighborhood scores “Walker’s Paradise” (95 out of 100) on

·                Extensive bike storage

·                Dynamic double façade creates shade and buffers street noise while enabling ventilation

·                Formaldehyde-free cabinets and flooring

·                High efficiency air filtration

·                Low and zero VOC paints and finishes

·                High efficiency tankless water heaters

·                High-tech, high efficiency Variable Refrigerant Flow Heating and Cooling System

·                Designed to optimize natural ventilation

·                Abundant natural daylight

·                Efficient lighting including strategic use of LED lighting

·                Green, living roof and cool roof

·                Upgraded glass enhances thermal and sound insulation

·                High recycled content and locally produced products

·                Forest Stewardship Council certified wood (50% of all wood products)

·                Reduced landfill waste by over 75%

·                Reduced stormwater runoff through groundbreaking under-sidewalk infiltration system

·                Drought resistant landscaping

·                Energy Star appliances

·                Dual flush Toto Aquia II toilets

·                Water efficient fixtures

·                Design for durability

·                Double walls between units for sound isolation

As I study through Cherokee Studio LEED Project Checklist (, the building earned 55/ 69 points, the highest point I’ve ever seen!  This high level of certification is only possible through a commitment to the highest standards of sustainable design and construction methods.  The commitment of two-time American Institute of Architects Top 10 Green Award Winner Pugh + Scarpa and LA’s leading green developer, REthink Development, has resulted in the greenest live/work/music building in California.




The new Cherokee Studios is also a music captured in architecture. Over 300 Platinum and Gold albums recorded by artists such as Ella Fitzgerald, David Bowie, Elton John, Frank Sinatra, and Elvis are in this iconic building. The building entrance, signage, walkway and doors reflect the past of Cherokee Studios. Gold and platinum records, memorabilia, and reminders of the artists that recorded at Cherokee are integrated in the lobby design.  Materials from the recording studio are reused throughout the new building including the dark wood paneling from Germany’s Black Forest that completed Frank Sinatra’s Studio One.  The premium and music units will include home recording or editing studios designed artfully by Cherokee Studio’s founders for music and filmmaking.  The Platinum records in the lobby honor Cherokee’s past while the Platinum* LEED Green Building design protects our planet’s future.   Not only is a LEED® building designed and constructed green, studies have concluded that LEED® Certified green Buildings have proven to produce more productive knowledge based work by occupants with studies showing 15% jumps in productivity.  Whether writing, cutting footage, editing, animating, or getting movies made, a healthy, comfortable, day lit workspace takes care of the productivity and the legendary legacy of Cherokee Studios provides the inspiration.




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Be Green, Be Gorgeous!

Your Green Realtor,


May Hsu



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