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Ground Broken at Last on New Hotel in Beverly Hills : Peninsula Group Will Operate the $100-Million, 200-Room Belvedere Slated to Open in Late-1990

February 05, 1989

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)."

The Peninsula Group--which operates about half a dozen hotels, including those in San Francisco, New York and Hong Kong--will operate the 200-room Belvedere on a site just southwest of Santa Monica and Wilshire boulevards, in much the same style that has attracted famous people to the Hong Kong Peninsula for 60 years, said Kadoorie.

Expected to open during the third quarter of 1990, the Belvedere will have a Rolls-Royce that picks up guests at Los Angeles International Airport. The Hong Kong Peninsula has eight Rolls-Royce cars for guest use and changes the fleet, on average, every three years.

"The Belvedere will also have a nice restaurant, health facilities, with a 70-foot-long swimming pool (on top of the four-level main building), and a lobby lounge for tea," Zarnegin said.

The Belvedere will have 16 villas with wood-burning fireplaces and private spas. Its rooms will rent from about $250 to $2,000 a night.

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