Loews is buying hotel at Hollywood & Highland Center

Loews' deal to buy the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel at the Hollywood & Highland entertainment complex, above, is expected to close by the end of the month.
(Katie Falkenberg, For The Times)

One of the most popular hotels in Hollywood is being acquired by Loews Hotels & Resorts, which plans a $26-million renovation of the inn at Hollywood & Highland Center.

The Renaissance Hollywood Hotel & Spa will be rebranded as the Loews Hollywood Hotel after the sale closes this month. Terms of the sale by landlord CIM Group were not disclosed, but hospitality industry experts familiar with the property valued the deal at about $165 million.

Renovations will take place in phases over the next year to minimize disruptions for guests, Loews said. A company representative declined to elaborate on the nature of the renovations but said they would affect all 632 rooms and public spaces in the 20-story hotel.

The property dates from 1972, when it opened as a Holiday Inn. Developer TrizecHahn Corp. spent about $130 million on renovations and an expansion that was completed in 2001 with the opening of Hollywood & Highland Center. CIM Group bought the hotel and retail complex in 2004.


The Hollywood and West Hollywood hotel market is second only to the Westside in popularity in Los Angeles County, said industry consultant Alan Reay of Atlas Hospitality Group.

Hollywood is a strong draw for international and domestic tourists. It also attracts travelers doing business in the music, film and television industries, Reay said.

“A lot of business hotels do well Monday through Thursday and then scramble on the weekends,” Reay said. “This hotel does well week-round, year-round.”

The Renaissance Hollywood is the first acquisition in Loews’ strategy to double the brand’s portfolio to more than 30 owned or managed hotels over the next three to five years, Chief Executive Paul Whetsell said. The New York company manages the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel but does not own it.

Development set for former Downey aerospace site

A historic Downey manufacturing site that was a cradle of the space program and now serves as a movie studio is close to being reborn as a massive mixed-use development intended to economically reinvigorate southeast Los Angeles County.

Work is set to begin by early next year on Tierra Luna Marketplace, which would combine two big-box stores, a movie theater, a hotel, restaurants, dozens of other retailers and as much as 500,000 square feet of office space.

The 77-acre development on Lakewood Boulevard is near a sports park, the Columbia Memorial Space Center and a Kaiser Permanente hospital.


“We’re going to tie all of those uses together by creating a central place for this community to be entertained, to shop and to come together,” said Bob Manarino, president of Manarino Realty.

Industrial Realty Group and Manarino Realty are the developers of Tierra Luna Marketplace, which was approved by the Downey City Council this year. The project is expected to cost as much as $500 million.

“This development is a giant economic leap for Downey,” Mayor Roger Brossmer said.

The project is expected to create many permanent jobs and millions of dollars in revenue for the city.


Downey Studios is expected to close by the end of the year. The film and television studio is part of a former aerospace manufacturing site dating from the 1920s that the city has worked to redevelop. At the space shuttle program’s production peak decades ago, about 12,000 people, stretched over 120 acres in 40 buildings, were working on the spacecraft.

Tierra Luna means “Earth Moon” in Spanish.

Commercial property professionals expect values to climb

With corporate profits increasing, commercial real estate professionals expect their industry to improve in the second half of the year, according to a survey.


The Urban Land Institute, an industry trade group and think tank, surveyed developers, brokers, architects and other real estate professionals, and they predicted increasing values for all types of commercial property.

The apartment sector is still No. 1, followed by warehouse distribution centers, which respondents expected to jump significantly in value because U.S. manufacturing continues to show positive signs.

Of particular interest to buyers are industrial properties in hotbeds of energy and high-tech markets such as Austin, Texas, and Silicon Valley, where job gains, demand from renters and rising rents are expected to lead the country.

Hotels, which placed third, had the biggest gain overall in the annual survey as corporate and individual travel grew.


Boston and San Francisco are expected to be among the leaders of rising property values, while values in Los Angeles are predicted to generally remain flat.

Washington showed the biggest decline in market investment prospects because respondents thought that its prices were already high and that federal cutbacks might reduce demand for real estate such as offices.