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250-room W Hotel to be built in downtown L.A.

250-room W Hotel to be built in downtown L.A.
The W Hotel, to be built in a downtown development, is in the center foreground of this rendering. (Gensler)

The trendy W Hotels chain has agreed to open its third Los Angeles outpost in a $700-million complex set to be built downtown near Staples Center.

Chinese real estate developer Shenzhen Hazens Real Estate Group Co. said the upscale hotel operator will run a 250-room W Hotel at the intersection of Figueroa and 11th streets. The existing W Hotels are in Hollywood and Westwood.

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The new location across Figueroa Street from the L.A. Live entertainment center is now occupied by the Luxe City Center Hotel, a former Holiday Inn dating to the 1960s that was transformed into the posh Luxe hotel in 2012. Hazens acquired the hotel and surrounding property for $104 million last year.

The 178-room Luxe will continue to operate as Hazens secures city approvals for its planned condominium, hotel and shopping complex, said Sonnet Hui, executive project director. Hazens officials hope to begin work in 2017 on the first phase of the project, a condominium tower and the hotel, which could be completed by late 2019.

Construction is to take place on parking lots next to the Luxe. When the condos and hotel are done, the Luxe will be razed to make way for a second condominium tower, Hui said. The hotel will be the centerpiece of a complex that will include shops and restaurants on the first two levels.

The entire three-tower complex was designed by architecture firm Gensler.

Hazens chose the W Hotels chain in part because parent Starwood Hotels & Resorts understands both the American and Asian markets, Hui said.

"Our goal is to deliver a modern design that can serve as a focal point for the community," she said.

The W Hotel is one of several hotels planned for downtown L.A. Others include a 755-room addition to the J.W. Marriott and Ritz-Carlton complex at L.A. Live.

The $1-billion Metropolis condominium and hotel development being built to the north of the Marriott will include the 18-story, 350-room Hotel Indigo expected to be open by the end of next year. Indigo is operated by InterContinental Hotels Group. Three other boutique hotels are under construction in historic former office buildings.

Hazens also owns the Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles Hotel near Los Angeles International Airport and is close to breaking ground on a 300-room Sheraton in San Gabriel.

Twitter: @rogervincent

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