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Century City’s revamped Century Plaza moves ahead

The ambitious $2.5-billion Century Plaza project, centered on the landmark crescent-shaped hotel that has hosted presidents and rock stars over more than five decades, has taken a major step forward.

The developer, which once proposed demolishing the modernist hotel, spent years working with the city, architectural preservation groups, neighboring homeowners and labor organizations to hone the project. Now, Woodridge Capital Partners says that the hotel, the hotel residences and a portion of the planned retail space will open next spring.

In terms of size and scope, few L.A. developments at the moment trump the Century Plaza development, which aims to become a premier destination in Century City.

The property’s fate has been up in the air multiple times since Woodridge Chief Executive Michael Rosenfeld bought it for $366.5 million in 2008. At one point, he wanted to erect a pair of 50-story condo towers in place of the hotel, sparking a backlash.

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The updated project involves revamping the 19-story hotel (now called Fairmont Century Plaza Hotel), adding 63 hotel residences and building two 44-story high-rise condo towers along with thousands of square feet of retail, restaurant and lifestyle space.

Between the pair of condo towers, which rise behind the hotel like glass monoliths, there are 268 homes complete with floor-to-ceiling windows and amenities such as marble lobbies, wine cellars, screening rooms, a cabana-lined pool and a team of concierges, butlers and valet drivers.

Although the homes won’t be completed until spring 2021, sales are underway with prices starting at $2 million and ranging beyond $50 million. Including both condo tower and hotel residences, the developer has closed more than $200 million in pre-sales.

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The hotel’s ultra-modern renovation will blend future and past by preserving elements of the original architecture such as the classical balconies, gothic architecture and anodized aluminum exterior. It was built in 1966 by Minoru Yamasaki, an American architect who also designed the original World Trade Center.

“The project team worked closely with the Los Angeles Conservancy and the National Trust for Historic Preservation to restore the hotel’s splendor from when it first opened,” said Mary Ann Osborn, Woodridge’s managing director of sales and marketing.

For the hotel specifically, Osborn is expecting to attract bicoastal and international buyers.

In addition to the hotel’s 63 single- and double-story residences, there will be a spa, a grand ballroom and a French brasserie. A series of terraces, as well as a rooftop pool and bar, will take advantage of the sweeping views.

To make room for the residences, the hotel will offer 400 rooms, down from its original count of 726.


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