For the first time in recent history, and in plenty time or the 2028 Olympics, Hollywood will have public restrooms for the 1.3 million people who visit the area annually. Funding for the project comes from Mayor Bass’s recently-passed budget, thanks to the support of CD 13 City Councilmember Hugo Soto-Martinez, who made funding the project a priority for the district.
“This first-of-its-kind restroom facility in the Heart of Hollywood aims to serve as a model for our city, providing about 40 bathrooms for the public with the goal of having staffing, maintenance, and cleaning available to open the restrooms 24/7. We’re so excited for these amenities to be available for our tourists, housed residents, and unhoused neighbors alike, and we’d like to give a special thanks to the Hollywood Partnership for their ongoing work to make this project happen,” Soto-Martinez told the Buzz.
As with many such projects, the work to create this facility began years ago. In 2022, the business owners and property owners who make up the Hollywood Partnership began working in earnest to find a location and funding for public restrooms, which had been identified as a priority on their strategic plan for more than 20 years, explained Kathleen Rawson, Hollywood Partnership CEO.
Rawson found a site, the ground floor of the parking structure at 1627 Vine Street, a building owned by the LA Department of Transportation that had been largely vacant for more than a decade, and began working with former CD13 Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell to allow the Partnership to use the site for public restrooms and visitor center. After the last year’s election, new Councilmember Soto-Martinez agreed to continue to support the effort, and made funding for the project a priority.
Rawson had also secured some funding with assistance from Senator Ben Allen and Assemblymember Maria Elana Durazo from the state’s budget. Rawson is hoping the $1 million from the city will be transferred to the Hollywood Partnership’s nonprofit entity to build the project. Rawson is confident she can find the annual operating funds to staff and maintain the restrooms, which will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. She is currently developing plans with the Los Angeles Convention Bureau to install a small visitor center in the space.
“We deeply appreciate that Councilmember Soto-Martinez made this project, he made this happen,” Rawson told the Buzz. “This was a perfect storm to fund this long discussed project. It was a combination of new leadership in the county and the city. There’s new enthusiasm and new energy to invest in Hollywood, which is a key economic driver for the city.”
The $1 million funding will be used to build out the 2,200 square foot public restroom. Once completed, Rawson estimates it will cost $500,000 annually to staff and maintain, a number much lower than other proposals the city had been reviewing. If all goes well, Rawson estimated it will take 18-24 months to complete the project.
Providing clean and safe public restrooms is another important improvement underway in Hollywood. Last year Rawson launched the Hollywood Partnership Community Dispatch Center, located at 6562 Hollywood Blvd. on the Walk of Fame, which serves as the headquarters for the organization’s Ambassador Program, focusing on cleaning, safety, and hospitality. In addition to proactively monitoring the Hollywood Entertainment District day and night, cleaning out trash cans, removing waste and graffiti, pressure washing sidewalks, and providing safety response for non-emergency issues, the program also offers guidance and directions to help visitors. The dispatch center also serves as a joint operations hub with Urban Alchemy, a non-profit service provider serving the homelessness population in Hollywood. They also coordinate with Hollywood 4WRD, a coalition of local service agencies also working to end homelessness.