Hollywood hotel project back on track with new operator
Long-standing plans to build a $45-million hotel in Hollywood have been revived, the developers said, with new financing and a new operator.
The nine-story hotel at Selma Avenue and Cahuenga Boulevard formerly to be known as the Selma was approved by city officials in 2008, but funding for real estate development grew hard to come by as lenders tightened their purse strings in the economic downturn.
“We fought hard to find conventional financing,” developer Richard Heyman said. “But conventional doesn’t exist anymore, so we turned to finding alternative sources of capital.”
The solution, he said, was the federal EB-5 program, which provides green cards to immigrant investors who put up a minimum investment of $500,000 for development in targeted areas. The project, expected to create more than 900 jobs, received federal approval last month to participate in EB-5 financing.
Construction on the 148-room hotel will begin in the spring and it will open in fall 2013, according to Heyman and his partner Grant King. It will be operated by Hampshire Hotels & Resorts under the New York company’s hip Dream Hotel brand.
The design by Los Angeles firm Killefer Flammang Architects includes a swimming pool, restaurant and lounge to be built atop an existing parking garage.
Heyman’s company, Five Chairs, developed Milk Studios in Hollywood and transformed the former Frederick’s of Hollywood building on Hollywood Boulevard into the Kress nightclub.
Other Dream hotels are in New York, Miami Beach, Bangkok and Cochin, India. They are intended to be full-service but relaxed luxury hotels, Heyman said.
-- Roger Vincent
Image: Architect's rendering of the planned Dream Hotel in Hollywood. Credit: Killefer Flammang Architects