The $100-million Belvedere Hotel, announced last April, is finally under way in Beverly Hills.
Just before the ground breaking last week, five businessmen involved in the project, including three from Hong Kong, met for breakfast at the newly renovated Beverly Wilshire, down the street from the Belvedere's site.
Robert Zarnegin of Probity International Corp., the developer, explained the time lag between the announcement and ground breaking: "It just took that long to complete all the working drawings and get the building permits. Then there was a little medical building on the site, and we had to relocate the tenants and tear down the building."
Michael D. Kadoorie, chairman of the Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels Ltd. (parent of the Peninsula Group), said, "Judging from our other projects around the world, it does take that long (to get a development under way)."