Above, a rendering of the indoor and outdoor lounge area inside the proposed… (Sam Marshall )
The developers of a proposed $31-million hotel near Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles are ready to seek city approval to construct an indoor-outdoor complex in the brick shell of a condemned apartment building.
Plans call for gutting the empty three-story building at 1130 S. Hope St. that was erected more than a century ago and is no longer structurally sound. The developers would build inside the perimeter of the old exterior walls, creating a landscaped open-air courtyard leading to a new tower with 44 guest rooms.
A separate glassed-in structure for an artist in residence would also be built on the Hope Street side. On top of the ninth floor of the tower would be a swimming pool — and three suites that would hover on pillars above the pool. Like the courtyard, the roof would be landscaped with trees and plants.
PHOTOS: Proposed $31-million hotel at former drug den site
"It's about creating a park-like atmosphere that is communal," said Sam Marshall, who is designing the yet-unnamed hotel. Marshall is part of a development partnership, led by former Manhattan Beach insurance salesman Kevin Burke, that bought the property last year for $2.1 million.
The partners, who are untested at hotel development, want to build a unique inn with a creative sensibility where they would enjoy hanging out with worldly guests. Their goal is to create an unpretentious but upscale space where serendipitous interaction can take place among visitors, Marshall said.
"Luxury is a place you can feel comfortable," he said.
The developers plan to submit their proposal to the city Planning Department this week and hope to start preparatory work on the project site early next year.
Hotel business is growing in the South Park neighborhood of downtown where Staples Center, L.A. Live and the city's convention center lie. A $172-million hotel complex is under construction on Olympic Boulevard that will house a Courtyard by Marriott and a Residence Inn by Marriott by summer 2014.
On Friday, Los Angeles city officials said they were seeking proposals from developers to build a four-star hotel on city-owned parcels at South Figueroa Street and West Pico Boulevard.
Apartment developer buys Glendale lot
A vacant lot near the Glendale Galleria shopping center in downtown Glendale has been sold to an apartment developer for nearly $16 million.
The 1.38-acre site at 111 N. Brand Blvd. is approved for residential and retail development. Buyer Holland Partners of Vancouver, Wash., plans to build 235 apartments on top of shops and restaurants.
The property's urban location close to the Galleria and the Americana at Brand shopping centers helped attract an array of institutional and private bidders, real estate broker Paul Darrow of Marcus & Millichap's Institutional Property Advisors said.
Darrow represented the seller, which was identified by real estate data provider CoStar Group as Amidi Group of Redwood City, Calif.
Holland Partners' project could cost as much as $70 million but is less ambitious than a previous proposal for the site, Marcus & Millichap said. Glendale once approved a hotel and condominium project consisting of two high-rise towers over a shared podium on the property.
Construction is set to begin early next year and be completed in summer 2014, Holland Partners said.
Work begins on MTA facility in downtown L.A.
Construction is underway on a $73.5-million bus maintenance facility in downtown Los Angeles for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
The 442,265-square-foot complex at the northeast corner of North Vignes Street and East Cesar E. Chavez Avenue will house a fleet of 200 buses that run on compressed natural gas. It will include a three-story concrete parking structure, a two-story bus maintenance and office building, and a cash counting facility.
The Metro Division 13 Bus Maintenance and Operations Facility, as it will be known, will also tie into an existing two-level maintenance building at the east side of the parking structure, general contractor McCarthy Building Cos. said.
Completion is set for summer 2014, McCarthy said.