An ugly surface parking lot at the SE corner of Olympic and Grand, adjacent to the infamous and now defunct Crash Mansion night club, may have a much brighter future ahead reborn as a potential mixed-use hotel development, improving and activating this anti-pedestrian intersection. Several sources have informed me that the 58,000 square foot lot is currently in escrow and point specifically to Hilton as the purported buyer. The South Park site, located a stone’s throw from LA Live/Staples Center, is definitely hot on the hotel industry radar. In fact, at one point, even Four Seasons was apparently kicking the tires a bit.
“The [parking] lot was closed and there were two rigs drilling away last Thursday [May 2, 2013],” a local source writes in an email. “I have to assume they were doing soil testing. Usually diligence of that matter is done during escrow so Hilton probably hasn’t closed the deal yet.”
Last year, the lot was being heavily marketed for a potential residential or hotel development site. At a floor-to-area ratio (FAR) of 6:1, the parcel is entitled for a high-rise building up to 33 stories with over 25,000 square feet of ground floor retail space. According to public records, the current 266 parking stalls only generate about $300,000 of annual revenue.
There are currently two Hilton brands in Downtown LA including the boutique Hilton Checkers in the Financial District and DoubleTree by Hilton in Little Tokyo. In addition to the familiar Hilton Hotel brand, Hilton Worldwide includes the uber-luxury Waldorf Astoria chain “inspired by New York’s legend,” the contemporary luxury of Conrad, and the extended-stay brands of Home 2 and Embassy Suites.
Because Marriott now dominates South Park with pretty much all their brands (Ritz Carlton, JW Marriott, Courtyard and Residence Inn under construction, and the recent announcement of Renaissance coming in 2016), it is expected that one of Marriott’s largest competitors, Hilton Worldwide, would be eager to capture some of that market share as Downtown LA gets hotter and hotter for visitors (read: hotel guests) who are attracted back to LA’s burgeoning urban center.
Again, time will tell.