Editor's Note: This story is excerpted from the real estate column in the June 4 print edition of the Business Journal.


The Sportsmen's Lodge Hotel, a Studio City landmark, has been sold.

Local real estate investor and developer Richard Weintraub has purchased the hotel and nine acres of surrounding property at 12825 Ventura Blvd. for about $50 million.


The deal with property owner Daledo Co. LLC is expected to close around July 1. Daledo is controlled by the Harlings, a family of real estate investors, according to a source with knowledge of the deal.


Weintraub, president of Weintraub Financial Services Inc., confirmed the purchase, but declined to comment further.


However, sources familiar with the deal said that Weintraub plans to renovate the existing hotel and add retail space. The project would retain the Sportsmen's Lodge name, and would be renovated to evoke the "mid-century cool" of the San Fernando Valley in the 1950s. As much as 300,000 square feet of retail space could be built.


However, in the short term, it appears that the 200-room hotel on Coldwater Canyon Avenue north of Ventura Boulevard will continue to operate in its current form as a lodging, restaurant and banquet facility.


"I'm sure, eventually, grander plans may take form, but we believe for now it will be kept a hotel and convention facility. There are no plans to make it a strip mall," said Steven Scheck, the hotel's general manger.


Any remodel of the property could face opposition from local homeowners who already eye the traffic-choked area near the hotel with concern.


Richard Close, president of the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association, said while it is good news that the landmark hotel will remain, new development will further ensnarl traffic.


"It is clear the developer is not paying that amount of money to operate the property as a hotel as it currently is situated," said Close, also a land use attorney at Gilchrist & Rutter Professional Corp. "The bad news is the traffic in that area is already at a standstill. The intersection of Coldwater Canyon and Ventura is a major route to the Westside."


Close said that the redevelopment of the hotel has been discussed by locals for decades. "It is a major piece of real estate in the east valley," he said.


Weintraub's Malibu-based company specializes in commercial and residential development and investing.


The ownership group that includes the Harling family did not return calls seeking comment.

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