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L.A. City Council approves Century Plaza redevelopment plan

January 15, 2013 |  5:56 pm

The Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel will be extensively renovated as part of a $2-billion project the Los Angeles City Council approved unanimously Tuesday. 

Next Century Associates, owner of the curved hotel on Avenue of the Stars in Century City, will also erect two 46-story residential towers behind the hotel, and a 100,000-square-foot retail plaza and more than 2 acres of public open space with fountains and courtyards. The hotel's front will be reconfigured to make it easier for pedestrians to navigate. The plan includes a proposed Metro station for an eventual Westside subway.

The hotel will be restored with fewer rooms and more than 60 luxury residences. Next Century, a partnership between Michael Rosenfeld's Woodridge Capital Partners and funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, said it expects to begin construction early next year. (Oaktree Capital is an ownerof Tribune Co., whose holdings include the Los Angeles Times.) 

The project was the result of years of collaboration among the developer, the city, architectural preservation groups, neighboring homeowners and labor organizations. Originally, Rosenfeld proposed demolishing the hotel, but a backlash from preservationists and neighbors prompted him to rethink the scheme. 

"I'm kind of delighted," said Jan Reichmann, president of Comstock Hills Homeowners Assn. She said she appreciated the changes Rosenfeld made in the proposed towers, designed by Pei Cobb Freed, to make them appear slimmer and more striking.

The project is expected to create more than 3,500 construction and other jobs. Gensler is slated to be the executive architect, with Marmol Radziner & Associates handling the preservation architecture. Rios Clementi Hale Studios will be the landscape architect.

Councilman Paul Koretz helped spur the compromises between the developer and the community years ago by saying the hotel would be razed "over my dead body." He has described the agreement, which the council approved 14-0, as a model of consensus development. 

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--Martha Groves

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