Luxe City Center Hotel in downtown Los Angeles has completed a $10 million renovation that began more than two years ago.
The boutique hotel had been a Holiday Inn since it was built in 1965. The renovation project gutted the building and reconfigured space to allow for executive suites and loft-like guestrooms.
John Kelly, general manager at Luxe City Center, said the hotel now fills a niche for the neighborhood.
“One of the things that was missing close to the convention center was the boutique element,” he said.
The 178-room hotel sits across the street from L.A. Live and the Los Angeles Convention Center at the corner of Olympic Boulevard and Figueroa Street.
As a Holiday Inn, the average room rate for the hotel was about $140 a night. Now, that rate has doubled.
The hotel’s ownership group, Emerik Hotel Corp. in downtown Los Angeles, funded the renovation.
“It was private equity money,” Kelly said. “No subsidy from the city, no occupancy tax break of any kind – purely an entrepreneurial project.”
The hotel has little in the way of competition downtown in the boutique hotel category, but that could change. Last week, city officials announced a request for proposals from private developers to build a four-star or boutique hotel on city-owned parcels across from the convention center at the corner of Pico Boulevard and Figueroa Street. The idea is that additional hotel rooms downtown would entice organizations to book large conventions that now go to other cities instead.
Kelly agrees that downtown needs more hotels to serve the convention center, but he doesn’t think the hotel at Pico and Figueroa should get any subsidies or tax breaks from the city.
“It creates an unfair playing field,” he said. “If demand is there in a free-market economy to build a hotel, then it will be built. We were capable of doing it and can see that the model works, so why should the city be burdened with this private development?”
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