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The year 1961 brought about a significant increase in the scale of Raleigh’s projects.  In that year, Raleigh formed a partnership with Playboy Enterprises in the creation of the Playboy corporate office and club on the Sunset Strip, an iconic high-rise tower which opened in 1963. Extending this partnership, Raleigh developed and built the Playboy Club in downtown San Francisco in the mid-1960’s.

Initially, the Playboy project in Los Angeles was to include a hotel.  However, as the Playboy brand was controversial in its early days, there were no lenders willing to become affiliated with the hotel aspect of the project.  Although George did not succeed in his efforts to finance a Playboy Hotel, he remained convinced that lodging for Playboy’s executives visiting from Chicago, and, more importantly, that visiting entertainers performing at the club on Sunset would supplement demand for hotel accommodations created by the other music venues along the Sunset Strip.  As a result, Raleigh opened the Sunset Marquis Hotel in 1963 just down the block from the club.  It was a pioneering “all-suite” hotel built with the longer-term lodging needs of entertainment performers in mind.  It was Raleigh’s first of many ventures in the hospitality industry. 

The expansion of Raleigh’s real estate activities accelerated throughout the sixties to match the explosive growth in Southern California. 

  • The company acquired 20-acres of land on Kearny Mesa in San Diego, which it subdivided for the development of a Volkswagen dealership and the offices for an Affiliate of Mexican Television Broadcast company, Televisa.
  • Raleigh developed and built the tropical-themed Islander Restaurant on La Cienega for Los Angeles restauranteur Bernard Toll, replete with an indoor tropical rainforest.

Never shy about new entrepreneurial ventures, Raleigh also launched a mortgage brokerage business in Los Angeles in partnership with Pennsylvania Life Insurance Company during the sixties.  That company both originated and serviced loans for the Southern California market.

While most of Raleigh’s activities during the sixties was as a merchant builder of real estate projects, it started to pursue a longer-term investment strategy, as well.  The shopping center in Altadena, an office building on Third Street and the Sunset Marquis Hotel, all remain in the company’s portfolio to this day – more than sixty years after they were completed. 

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