Inside Los Angeles' increased hotel development

LOS ANGELES – The sprawling Los Angeles region is seeing some notable hotel development in a number of segments. Of the 43 hotel projects currently in the development pipeline, 15 are considered to be upscale properties and include brands such as Courtyard by Marriott, Crowne Plaza, DoubleTree by Hilton, Homewood Suites, Radisson and Residence Inn. Eleven of the hotels in the pipeline are independent, which the city’s tourism board claims to be the largest segment of hotel type in Los Angeles. Of L.A.’s 989 hotels (which cover 97,000 rooms), 553 (with 13,000 rooms) are independent properties.

But the brands are certainly keeping an eye on the City of Angels. Ernest Wooden Jr., president and CEO of the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, said that there is currently a surge of new hotel developments in Los Angeles County, specifically within the downtown L.A. area. The L.A. Live complex has attracted significant interest from midscale and upscale brand.

In June, the city’s downtown area got a 218-room Residence Inn and 174-room Courtyard by Marriott, directly across the street from the L.A. Live sports and entertainment complex and a block down from the Los Angeles Convention Center. 

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Looking ahead, Marriott will expand its presence in the area when the JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. Live expands to add an additional 755 rooms. Wooden said that when the project is completed in 2018, it will make the property California’s second-largest hotel with 1,756 rooms. The hotel will be attached to the Ritz-Carlton Los Angeles. 

InterContinental Hotels Group will open the Hotel Indigo Downtown Los Angeles by the end of next year. The 18-story, 350-room property will be the flagship hotel at Metropolis, a $1-billion mixed-use development. 

The W Los Angeles Downtown is slated to open early in 2019. The 250-room hotel will be located across the street from L.A. Live and the Staples Center, and will be the third W in Southern California. The Downtown LA Proper, a boutique hotel from the founders of Viceroy Hotels and commercial property developer Kor Group, is slated to open in early 2017 as a renovation of an historic 1924 building with 145 guestrooms.

And then there’s the Wilshire Grand Center, which has been under construction since 2013 and is currently slated to open in 2017 as the tallest building west of Chicago at 1,100 feet. The 73-story building will be part of a mixed-use complex that will include a 900-room luxury hotel, but no brand has been announced.

90210 SET TO GROW
The tony Beverly Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles has not seen a major new hotel since the Montage opened in 2008. That is all set to change in 2017 when the first Waldorf-Astoria hotel on the West Coast opens in the luxury-focused enclave. The new-build property—owned by Oasis and operated by Hilton Worldwide—will be located on the corner of Wilshire and Santa Monica boulevards, a spot that Julie Wagner, CEO of the Beverly Hills Conference & Visitors Bureau, says is the “perfect home” for a new hotel. “Our current occupancy can definitely handle more luxury product,” she said. “The region itself has continued to add both product and capacity, and the numbers are continuing to rise.”

Wagner said hotel supply and demand will be balanced, even with a number of high-end hotels in a six-mile radius. Beverly Hills, she said, has the second- highest number of five-star hotels in a concentrated area, second only to New York City. 

Just outside of Beverly Hills’ city limits, the former Crowne Plaza Beverly Hills reopened as the Beverly Hills Marriott following a $26-million renovation in July. The hotel is the only full-service Marriott Hotel in West Los Angeles (including Beverly Hills and Century City). 

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