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COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE

Hotel Inter-Continental Acquired by Omni-Led Investment Group

May 09, 2000|From a Times Staff Writer

An investment group that includes the Omni hotel chain has purchased the 439-room Hotel Inter-Continental atop Bunker Hill in downtown Los Angeles.

Omni Hotels of Irving, Texas, will manage the 17-story property, to be renamed the Omni Los Angeles. Omni officials declined to reveal the purchase price.

The new investment group, RMMK-II, bought the property from the California Hotel Acquisition Co., which purchased the hotel for nearly $50 million in 1997. The hotel, which opened in 1992 during the depths of an economic recession, was built by Japanese investors for an estimated $125 million.

The Omni Los Angeles is part of a Western U.S. expansion for Omni, which plans to open a property in downtown San Francisco in 2002.

After years of declining occupancy and room rates, downtown Los Angeles has experienced a rebound, with occupancy rates now about 70%, according to PKF Consulting. The improved outlook has attracted new players to the downtown market, including Standard Holdings, which is converting a former bank building into a 200-room boutique hotel.

Last week, the owners of Staples Center unveiled plans for a proposed 1,200-room hotel immediately north of the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Omni had previously managed what is now the Wilshire Grand Hotel on Figueroa and Seventh streets.

Michael Knapp, an Omni executive involved in the company's Houston properties, has been named general manager of the Los Angeles hotel.

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