The latest renovation of the historic Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel is set to be wrapped up next month an effort that owners hope will stand apart from some previous off-base endeavors.


The nearly 80-year-old property is receiving the finishing touches on a $46 million head-to-toe makeover that was led by designer Dodd Mitchell.


While Mitchell is known for his cutting edge designs, he chose a more restrained style dubbed "modern eclectic" a mixture of classic and contemporary elements.


"It is a timeless design style. It is not so in your face and trendy that you are sick of it," said Mitchell, who has worked on such L.A. hot spots as Chi, Lounge 217, Zen Grill and Katana.


In the lobby, the ceiling was stripped to expose wood beams, while the interior was stuffed with oversized club chairs to give it a smoking lounge feel. The design also shied away from the minimalism that typifies boutique hotels. "I wanted to make you feel that you are in somebody's guest room rather than you are in a hotel room," he said.


The hotel has been remodeled numerous times over the decades, and along the way many of its archways were destroyed as the hotel was injected with design motifs ranging from classic Asian to 1960s mod.


That made it difficult for the new team to uncover the original design of the architectural firm Fisher, Lake & H.B. Traver, which built the hotel in the Spanish Colonial Revival style. The renovation, originally expected to cost $35 million, sailed $11 million over budget.


"People over the years have picked the hotel to death," said Mitchell, who began work on the project more than a year ago. But if the initial response is any measure, the new design seems to have hit the mark.


"They have maintained the integrity of its historical architecture on the outside and even in its lobby and common areas, which is outstanding," said Kerry Morrison, executive director of the Hollywood Entertainment District.


The Roosevelt was bought in 1996 by Goodwin Gaw, president of Downtown Properties Holdings, which owns several Los Angeles sites, including the Bradbury Building.


Gaw brought on the Pomeranc Group to take over management in January. It's known for running boutique hotels such as Sixty Thompson in New York.


Bruce Baltin, senior vice president of PKF Consulting, said the latest renovation comes at an opportune time, with Hollywood bed rates soaring to $132 in January, up from $119 a year earlier.


"It should help them in that market because the market is pretty strong," said Baltin. "They should be able to get a pretty good bang for their buck."


This and That
Four new tenants Aerosoles, Hugo Boss, Camille's Sidewalk Caf & #233; and Green Field Churrascaria are setting up shop at Paseo Colorado in Pasadena. Aerosoles opened this month, and the other stores are slated to follow with openings later this year. The new tenants take over spaces formerly occupied by Caf & #233; Med/Bice, the Museum Company and a small jewelry shop. Paseo Colorado has steadily maintained an occupancy rate over 93 percent The Wilshire Restaurant, at 2454 Wilshire Blvd. in Santa Monica, is scheduled to start taking reservations in May after an almost six-month delay. The kitchen is still being finished at the 7,000 square-foot former site of Knoll's Black Forest Inn. When the restaurant opens, Chef Christopher Blobaum, formerly of the Surf & Sand Resort in Laguna Beach, will serve contemporary American cuisine with a Mediterranean influence.


*Staff reporter Rachel Brown can be reached by phone at (323) 549-5225, ext. 224, or by e-mail at rbrown@labusinessjournal.com .

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