Despite its reputation as a major tourist attraction, Hollywood hasn’t always had the hotel rooms to accommodate its many millions of visitors each year. But as development booms in the area, that’s poised to change.

Along with millions of square feet of office, retail and residential space in development in Hollywood, at least nine hotels are in the planning stage or under construction. Together, they promise to bring more than 1,200 new guest rooms to the area, an increase of more than 31 percent to the market’s existing 3,825 rooms.

Ernest Wooden Jr., president and chief executive of the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, said Hollywood – and Los Angeles in general – can certainly use the additional inventory. At 81 percent occupancy last year, Hollywood hotels exceeded the countywide average by nearly 5 percentage points.

“We need hotels in Hollywood, as we do across the L.A. region,” he said. “We’ll need about 3,000 more hotel rooms countywide to be able to accommodate the demand that will come with our goal of 50 million annual visitors to Los Angeles County by 2020.”

Three of the nine new inns in Hollywood will have about 200 rooms, including the hotel component of the towering Millennium Hollywood project.

The Argyle Hotel, with 210 rooms, will be the largest by room count. San Francisco hospitality company Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants is expected to begin construction in the next couple of months to convert an old office building at 1800 N. Argyle Ave. into one of its signature boutique hotels.

The other 200-room hotel has yet to be flagged and is in early planning stages for 6561 Hollywood Blvd. The project is by prolific Hollywood development company CIM Group.

Like the Argyle, a number of the other hotels in development will be conversions or renovations of older buildings. Among those are the Hollywood & Cahuenga Hotel, a 78-room boutique inn planned by SPBB for a converted bank building at 6381 Hollywood, and Mama Shelter, a boutique hotel brand out of Paris that plans to redevelop the 1920s-era Hollywood Wilcox Hotel at 1557 Wilcox Ave. to open its first U.S. hotel. It is to have 68 rooms.

Brandon Feighner, vice president of hospitality firm PKF Consulting USA in downtown Los Angeles, is working with Hollywood hospitality development firm Five Chairs and its partner Hollywood International Regional Center to develop a 182-room hotel at 6417 Selma Ave. called the Dream Hollywood Hotel and another smaller one just around the corner on Wilcox. He said hotel development in Hollywood is coming in response to an increase in corporate and group travel to the area, in addition to the usual tourists.

“It’s an area that historically hasn’t had a lot of really good hotel rooms, compared to West Hollywood or other communities on the Westside that have more established hotel markets,” he said. “Now it’s not just a place where people stay because the rates are lower. It’s built up its own mass and desirability has increased.”

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