The charter school, now located in a temporary site in Hollywood, had looked at about a dozen locations for a permanent home before it settled on a large vacant building in a Glassell Park office complex near San Fernando Road and the 2 Freeway, Mulcahy told the Los Feliz Ledger. The 47,000-square-foot building needs some renovation, and the school still needs to obtain a special city permit to use the structure. Still, the building on Media Center Drive seemed ideal for the open classroom style the school favors, Mulcahy said. Then a quick review of the tenant roster turned up the name Playboy. The adult entertainment company has maintained offices here since 2002, when it began moving staff out of its pricey Beverly Hills offices into a low-cost office and industrial park located behind what is now Super King market.
Playboy does not produce any videos at the site and its offices are located in a separate building about 1,500 feet away from the structure that will contain the Los Feliz charter school. Still, the school was not taking any chances before it agreed to sign a lease. Mulcahy toured Playboys' offices to make sure no content was produced on the site and even inquired how magazines and other materials were disposed of (everything is shredded). "It's strictly [offices] and no content development," Mulcahy said of Playboy's offices.
Convinced that their kids and parents would be isolated from Playboy's activities, the school leaders went ahead and signed a lease. But the idea of a school located near Playboy still raises a few eyebrows. Even Councilman Ed Reyes, in a meeting with school officials, raised the subject, Mulcahy said. "People are aware of this." The architect said the school quickly contacted the Los Feliz Ledger when its story about the school's new home gave the wrong address on Media Center Drive to make sure no one confused it with Playboy's building. Despite Playboy's notoriety, the school is looking forward to the move.
"They are apparently good neighbors," Mulcahy said of Playboy, and their offices "are really nice."