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Details of $45-million upgrade of downtown L.A. Sheraton are unveiled

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All 496 guest rooms at the downtown L.A. Sheraton will be upgraded in a $45-million renovation
A $45-million renovation of the downtown L.A. Sheraton is part of a $180-million makeover of the Bloc

The $45-million renovation of the Sheraton Los Angeles Downtown Hotel now underway will include upgrading all the rooms and suites as well as the hotel lobby, according to details unveiled Wednesday by local developer Ratkovich Co.

The 23-story hotel is an anchor of the former Macy's Plaza — now known as the Bloc — at 7th and Flower streets in the heart of downtown's financial district.

Ratkovich Co. and partner National Real Estate Advisors are working on a $180-million makeover of the Bloc, a massive shopping mall, hotel and office complex built in the early 1970s.

A major component of the project is an upgrade of the hotel. The new design will play on the city's heritage of 1920s glamour while incorporating the clean lines and casual luxury more typical of today, said Wayne Ratkovich, president of Ratkovich Co.

The seven-month upgrade will include all of the hotel's 496 guest rooms and suites, the hotel's lobby, and all of its ballrooms and meeting rooms.

The hotel's outdoor areas will be made over to have lounge space, cabanas and a rock garden.

Changes to the rooms will include renovated tile bathrooms, improved technology with high-speed Internet and wireless radio frequency identification locks that enable guests to bypass the front desk and check in remotely.

Ratkovich Co. bought the 2.4-million-square-foot property for $241 million last year and announced plans to transform it.

The renovation involves removing the mall's glass atrium roof and ripping out ground-level brick walls to bring stores and restaurants to the adjacent sidewalks.

Ratkovich also plans a sunken, sunlight-filled public plaza, which may be directly connected to the 7th Street/Metro Center subway station.

The upgrade is intended in part to make the mall more appealing to the prevailingly young population of downtown, where more than 33,000 people have moved to since 2000.

Work on the Bloc is expected to be completed by late 2015.

roger.vincent@latimes.com

Twitter: @rogervincent

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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