Fox River Land Co., the owner of the land backdrop to the
Hollywood sign, is selling the 138-acre property for 22 million
U.S. dollars, media reported Friday.
Keith Dickson, a representative of the group, said the remote
ridge property had been divided into lots for five luxury homes.
Utility lines, water service and roads would also have to be
The news provoked outrage from Los Angeles city officials who
denounced housing development there would spoil one of the most
famous postcard of the entertainment industry.
"If homes were built on this mountain, there would be no
close-up. It would be obscene," said Los Angeles City Council
member Tom LaBonge. "That mountain should not be cluttered. It's
good for the psyche of Los Angeles."
"The city should acquire this land. Everyone was shocked to find
out it was privately owned," LaBonge added.
Fox River Financial Resources bought the mountaintop in 2002
from the estate of reclusive entrepreneur Howard Hughes, who had
planned to build a love nest there for actress Ginger Rogers in the
For several years, Los Angeles city officials had raised money
to buy the property to adjoin it with the parkland on which the
sign sits, but officials came up short on cash.
The Hollywood sign spells out the name of the area in 45-ft
(13.7-meter) high white letters. It originally read Hollywoodland
and was created as an advertisement for a housing development in
1923. The last few letters deteriorated in the late 1940s and the
part that remained was restored in 1978.
(Xinhua/Agencies February 15, 2008)