The owner of the Beverly Hilton is planning to bulldoze parts the famed hotel to make way for luxury residences, according to a report obtained by the Business Journal.
Packard Bell co-founder Beny Alagem, who paid $130 million for the 569-room hotel two years ago from entertainment mogul Merv Griffin, wants to knock-down Trader Vic's Restaurant and Bar, the executive conference center, the Oasis Court and the hotel's 514-space parking garage.
On those sites Alagem would build two 13-story buildings containing 96 condominiums, a 104-unit, 15-story condo hotel and 96 hotel rooms in two 3-story structures. The hotel's parking would be put underground and increased to 1,422 spaces, to meet Beverly Hills' codes.
A price tag for the project which also includes a remodeled pool and traffic improvements wasn't included in the report, but sources said the final cost could be in the $200 million range.
The hotel, and its ballroom in particular, has gained international prominence as the home of the Golden Globe Awards and other entertainment industry events.
Though the main 353-room, 8-story tower designed by noted architect Welton Beckett would remain, the plans would result in a net reduction of 96 hotel rooms.
Alagem's investment firm, Oasis West Realty LLC, is expected to announce its plans at a joint meeting of Beverly Hills' planning commission and city council on Tuesday afternoon.
Sources involved in the project provided the Business Journal with a copy of a master plan that Oasis West Realty distributed to city officials this month.
Oasis West Realty declined to elaborate on specifics of its plans until its Tuesday meeting. Hilton Hotels Corp. executives didn't return calls seeking comment.
Bruce Baltin, a senior vice president at PKF Consulting, said the firm is working on the Beverly Hilton redevelopment plans, but he declined to comment on specifics.
"As projects go, this makes all the sense in the world," he said. "It keeps the best elements of the hotel and replaces those elements that no longer work."
Hotel owners across the country are considering similar projects that subtract rooms and add residences, said hospitality attorney Jim Butler, a partner at Jeffer Mangels Butler & Marmaro LLP.
"This has become a major national trend for any full-service property," he said. "There are a lot of people who want to live in condos that have the amenities and security of a hotel. For that reason, most (hotel owners) are considering a residential component to increase the economics of the property."
The massive redevelopment plan for the Beverly Hilton's 9-acre property comes on the heels of an $80 million renovation of the hotel that Oasis West Realty recently completed. The project is not expected to compromise that work.
As Oasis West Realty was finishing the renovations, the firm announced in December that it hired New York-based architecture firm Gwathmey Siegel & Associates LLC to design residential additions to the hotel.
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