Pornography publisher Larry Flynt is selling his original Hustler store on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood, California.
"We constantly review all of our businesses, and if a transaction makes sense strategically and financially, we will consider acting on it," Arthur Sando, a spokesman for Flynt Management Group LLC, said in an e-mail. The store is in escrow, he said.
The planned sale of the store, which sells products such as lingerie and sex toys, comes as traditional adult publishers struggle to compete with online providers. Playboy Enterprises Inc. is making the transition to a licensing business from a print company. Hustler Magazine this month celebrated its 40th anniversary.
"I don't think Hustler is going to be around very much longer," with customers turning to the Internet instead, Flynt, 71, said in a Bloomberg Television interview that aired today. "It's making money now. As long as it makes money, I'll continue to publish, but we can see the handwriting on the wall."
Flynt, who was paralyzed from the waist down after being shot in a 1978 assassination attempt, sold his headquarters building in Beverly Hills, California, last year to Douglas Emmett Inc. for $89 million. That deal was unrelated to the store sale, Sando said. He declined to discuss the store's price, buyer or possible uses for the property.
Lawyers representing an unidentified party interested in buying the Hustler store visited the Community Development Department of the City of West Hollywood to discuss a conversion of the site into a hotel "a couple of months ago," said John Keho, assistant director at the department.
Patrick Amos, a senior associate in Beverly Hills at brokerage CBRE Group Inc., said he had heard of possible plans for a hotel at the property.
"It will either happen now or eventually because once you use up all the land on the Strip, the next step is to find all the underutilized places that can be torn down and rebuilt," Amos said in a telephone interview.
The Hustler Hollywood store opened in 1998 on a strip of Sunset Boulevard crowded with nightclubs. It is one of 12 outlets, with other locations in cities including New Orleans, Las Vegas and Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Their motto: "Relax. It's just sex."
The 17,791-square-foot (1,653-square-meter) West Hollywood building, completed in 1988, has an assessed value of $6,010,726, according to the Los Angeles County Office of the Assessor. Flynt took out a $9.4 million mortgage on the property with Bank of the West in March 2007, data compiled by LexisNexis show.
To contact the reporters on this story: John Gittelsohn in Los Angeles at johngittbloomberg.net; Nadja Brandt in Los Angeles at nbrandtbloomberg.net To contact the editors responsible for this story: Kara Wetzel at kwetzelbloomberg.net Daniel Taub, Christine Maurus