Big new convention center hotel proposed for downtown L.A.

A towering 1,024-room hotel will rise next to the Los Angeles Convention Center a few years from now if developer TriCal Construction Inc. gets its way.TriCal filed a development application with city officials Thursday to build a 53-story skyscraper across...

Big new convention center hotel proposed for downtown L.A.

A towering 1,024-room hotel will rise next to the Los Angeles Convention Center a few years from now if developer TriCal Construction Inc. gets its way.

TriCal filed a development application with city officials Thursday to build a 53-story skyscraper across Figueroa Street from the convention center’s South Hall. The site is now occupied by a five-story apartment complex called City Lights on Fig that TriCal built there 12 years ago.

 “The time seems right to reimagine our property into the kind of hotel facility that will continue the growth of the convention center, South Park and Los Angeles,”  TriCal President Paul Plotkin said in a statement.

As designed by architecture firm Gensler, the tower would have a ground-floor restaurant, a rooftop bar and rooms for meeting and banquets. Like the nearby conjoined JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton at L.A. Live, it would be operated as two different hotels.

The hotel operators have yet to be selected and Marina del Rey-based TriCal declined to say how much the development might cost. The 54-story JW Marriott-Ritz Carlton complex, which includes 1,000 hotel rooms and 224 condominiums, cost about $900 million and was completed in 2010.

At the time, it was considered financially risky to build that many guest rooms. But the hotel quickly proved to be a success, and downtown has been transformed into a popular destination for residents and tourists since then. Downtown is considered to have a shortage of hotels by hospitality industry analysts and civic leaders.

City officials set the goal of having 8,000 hotel rooms within walking distance of the convention center by 2020. As of  September, there were 3,172 such rooms and another 2,000 were under construction.

Bud Ovrom, executive director of the Los Angeles Convention and Tourism Development Department, applauded the proposal, saying the convention center is losing business because it doesn’t have adequate hotel support.

“We desperately need more hotel rooms here to make our facility competitive with other convention centers on the West Coast,” Ovrum said.

It may take two or three years to secure city approval for the hotel at 1300 S. Figueroa and another two years to build it, TriCal said. The 100 apartments in City Lights on Fig will remain occupied by renters until construction begins.

 

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roger.vincent@latimes.com

Twitter: @rogervincent

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