downtown los angeles, south park

Downtown LA’s Oviatt Apartments in South Park to be Converted to New Boutique Hotel

A rendering of a new boutique hotel (converted from an SRO) planned for South Park near the LA Convention Center (Photo: The Primrose Group)

Many are excited about the potential NFL stadium and convention center expansion proposed for South Park. Momentum has been slowly but steadily growing over the last several years and the groundbreaking of a new Marriott Courtyard and Residence Inn by LA Live has rekindled the interest in hotel development in Downtown LA. Now, another new boutique hotel is planned for South Park that will add to that momentum in the burgeoning entertainment district.

A local company called the Primrose Design Group has informed me that they have plans to convert the “Oviatt Apartments” (SW corner of Pico and Flower St) into a 60-90 room boutique hotel. The 4-story brick structure currently has 122 SRO units and a liquor store on the ground floor. The Holy Grail and COLORS urban sportswear retail stores are also located right next door.

According to Marc Sonnethal, one of the owners of Primrose Design Group, the boutique hotel is in the preliminary stages, and for now, is still unnamed. The project will be a joint venture, and the proposed hotel’s design will incorporate ideas from current existing hotels such as Citizen M in the Netherlands and the Keating Hotel in San Diego.

Early renderings of the hotel suggest a dramatic color scheme given to the brick structure with modern design elements such as glass railings on the rooftop and vertical slender billboards installed on two sides of the hotel. There may also be new hotel signage and glass wrapping the ground floor, which will give the corner of Pico/Flower a renewed appearance. Also, the hotel’s location less than a block from the Pico Blue/Expo Line station will make it very convenient for hotel guests to access the city.

When completed, the hotel is slated to have two new restaurants/lounges on the ground floor and a rooftop bar and pool deck with dramatic views of the Downtown LA skyline to the north. Timeline for completion has not been established yet.

A rendering of the hotel lobby (Photo: The Primrose Group)

A rendering of the rooftop bar/lounge with dramatic city skyline views (Photo: The Primrose Group)

(Click to enlarge) Example A of a possible hotel room layout (Photo: The Primrose Group)

(Click to enlarge) Example B of a possible hotel room layout (Photo: The Primrose Group)

A current view of the Oviatt Apartments in South Park Downtown LA (Photo: Google Street View)

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  1. Michael B. says

    I’m confused, I thought there were extensive restrictions against converting SRO units in Los Angeles. Isn’t this how the Cecil Hotel on Main got in trouble?

  2. Clark says

    Exciting to see this corner get some potential energy. With the other hotel in the works on Hope between 11th & 12th, maybe this will pick up steam for more development. I really hope this neighborhood takes off like other neighborhoods with major arenas and stadiums do. Staples Center alone did not help the neighborhood for over a decade, hopefully LA Live keeps this development going.
    Too bad they’re only planning 160-183 sf rooms. Let’s see if the rates will match the size for the budget minded travelers.

  3. It needs to have been certified as a SRO prior to a certain date to be covered by the regulations. But even if it is covered, if the owners create replacement units in the same general area, they can convert the building.

  4. David says

    Michael B, I was thinking the exact same thing. Besides the Cecil I think the conversion of the Hotel Rosslyn to Lofts got caught up in this as well.

  5. tony says

    Several buildings are caught up in this plight … the Cecil, Rossyln, Frontier, Alexandria, Hayward, Baltimore, King George … to name but a few. We could have had a lot of real boutique hotels in downtown LA that cater to the tourist class visitor and that are a departure from the large corporate hotels such as the Omni or Marriott. These buildings could be generating a strong tax base for the city and downtown but, alas, they are actually costing us instead. Unfortunately, very few of these older structures will be able to be converted as they have in other cities (like San Diego) because they have been set aside as SRO “hotels”. I do believe that transitional housing should be made available however I’ve always strongly felt that this kind of housing should be developed from the ground up and should not be allowed to be concentrated in one area as has been the case in Downtown. There really should be restrictions in how many of these buildings can be proximate to one another and let other neighborhoods share the burden of supportive services and housing for persons transitioning from the street or in marginal situations. I’m not against low income housing. I’m just against forcing neighborhoods in Downtown and Hollywood to remain ghettos because NIMBYS in other neighborhoods hold downtown’s proverbial hand to the flame.

    • brudy says

      Well said. It’s kind of appalling how much money is being put into downtown yet it’s at utter odds with the very strong homeless advocacy groups and some of these laws and agreements re: SRO’s, skid row, trash, belongings, etc. It’s creating this really bizarre dichotomy where you have loft dwellers and homeless people with no middle. While I also support transitional housing (I worked in social services, I’m sympathetic), it seems there are too many rules and restrictions around downtown/skid row for downtown to ever be fully redeveloped outside of a late night/restaurant scene.

      I’d say it goes beyond just NIMBYS, but also the vested homeless advocates, the mayor, and the court system. They’ve centralized and institutionalized the situation downtown to the point where it will be difficult to undo, robbing the city of a tax base and a strong neighborhood unlike any other in L.A. I’d also wager that it’s not in the homeless’ best interest to be jammed together.

  6. Jerell says

    OMG I love the Keating Hotel in San Diego.. my cousin and sister had their birthdays there… everything about the hotel is beautiful and give off a very mysterious, sexy, seductive, modern and sophisticated ambiance. This fits Los Angeles and downtown LA deserves more hotels like this :) so excited

  7. Patricia Medina says

    what happens to the people who occupy this low income units now ? where are they suppose to go ? Los Angeles needs to do something about the homeless not some stupid football staduim.

    • I can tell you from first hand experience, we’re all but maybe 25-30 residents left in the building. Some have been here for over 20 years. So far the management is putting people out if they don’t pay their rent within 3 days – this labor day was a sweep to get 40 people out of here. There are a few who have mental illness issues as well as permanent handicaps, unable to move, accept by caretaker. At least that’s what I see on my floor. The person who owns the building has avoided a lot o the regulations concerning SRO hotel renovations and because it’s under “rent control”, he can’t readily bulldoze the building. For now, we’re all looking at the end of DEC 2016 to get our 30 day notices and one months rent to live on or die. That’s certainly not enough to move anywhere, especially when you just got off the streets, from being homeless. Yeah – sucks to be me.

      • DANIELS. says


  8. john lopez says

    I use to live there. Some bitch named Carmen was the manager. I saw a lot of old people die. Bunch of dope heads and dirty hallway bathrooms.some bastard was killed by his baby mama for hitting her. At 2am I heard his screams and foot steps as he ran down the hallways yelling “she killed me”, he got what he desirved. This place is filled death. This place needs a huge make over.

    • quincy bossman says

      that fat bitch you are talking about abuse him constanly he couldnt get away she was awful the baby mama but it wasnt his baby mama none of those 3 kids was his… My friend didnt deserve anything he deserved better than her

  9. Sequoia says

    I used to live in this apartment complex as well. Carmen and I worked together trying to curb the drugs and violence in this place. It will never happen because it was destined to rot. There are cockroaches everywhere and drugs literally being dealt in the hallway. There are some very good people living there though an have been for years. This spot is one of the only left in the area that offers such low income housing. In sad to see such a “relic” go, but eventually everywhere in downtown is going to be filled with luxury gatherings. Spectacular view from the roof if you can sneak into the building…it’s really easy by the way.

  10. Top Notch says

    The Master plan……white folks moved out of the los angeles area in the 60’s and 70’s because they could even entertain the thought of living with or around the blacks that coming up from the south whites left and didnt give a shit about the city of los angeles except that its new occupants be somehow DESTROYED so that one day precious white will somehow and someway reclaim what they believed to be within a thirty to forty year time span after drugs and gangs and genocide diesase and mass incarceration..the smoke has cleared theres swindling and filtering there way back in. Its the take over….they got blacks sweeping and dumping trash dtown while white folk prance around with poodles and wierd as dogs. The owner of the oviatt hotel is a real big JEWEISH scumbag…he has people living in the worst conditions ever….to b continued

  11. quincy bossman says

    Carmen was a theif the place was good until she got greedy and wanted money then she allowed all that trash from the hood to come inside the building and destroy it while allowing her so called matience to sit around in her office and get drunk all day and not fix anything I was there for over 10 years and then in 2012 it went to hell. It wasnt just the blacks it wasnt the hispanics also flooding the toielts when she did backgrounds it was a great place but she gone now for stealing so i hope it becomes a better place but its 2015 now so i dont think they are going to buy it who would they would have to tear it down its so infested and old

  12. mccain says

    That building NEEDs to go like assap place. Is out of order elevater. Dnt work the walls are drilled. In droors are cracked like u can actually. Pick. In to see. The person especially especially. The bathroom. Door ss…i just had an private. EYE.. look in to it legally. Cause that place scares me ….people please FKK THE BUILDING…



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