The Real Deal Los Angeles

Developer Lightstone is behind 1,000-key Convention Center hotel proposal

Los Angeles City Council approves evaluation of Downtown project’s feasibility

February 25, 2016 01:00PM

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David Lichtenstein of Lightstone and the Los Angeles Convention Center

David Lichtenstein of Lightstone and the Los Angeles Convention Center

It turns out that New York-based Lightstone Group, a national real estate investment and development firm led by David Lichtenstein, is behind a proposal for two high-rise towers that would bring approximately 1,000 hotel rooms to South Park near the Los Angeles Convention Center.  

This week, the Los Angeles City Council approved a third-party evaluation of the project, dubbed Fig+Pico, to assess its economic feasibility. The evaluation will also look at the development incentives Lightstone is seeking, similar to those given to Downtown Los Angeles megaprojects like Metropolis and the Wilshire Grand.

The development firm has agreed cover the consultant costs for the evaluation up to $150,000.

The Fig+Pico project would consist of one 28-story tower and one 40-story tower built on parking lot on Pico Boulevard between Figueroa and Flower Streets. In addition to the hotel rooms, the towers would contain meeting spaces, amenities and 20,000 square feet of street-level retail. A hip and modern concept is being designed by Gensler and Yabu Pushelberg Studios.

Lightstone’s proposal comes as the city is trying to increase the number of hotel rooms within walking distance of the Convention Center from 3,172 to 8,000 so it can better compete with rival convention centers in other parts of California.

According to a lost business analysis by the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board assessing 2010 – 2014, inadequate hotel rooms near the Convention Center and a lack of Convention Center space made L.A. miss out on $4.9 billion worth of convention-hosting income. 

The proposed development would bring at least 1,000 construction jobs over the next three years, according to a press release from Lightstone.

“Downtown Los Angeles is undergoing a tremendous resurgence, and we would be delighted to bring our expertise in developing world-class hotels,” Mitchell Hochberg, president of Lightstone, said in a release.

Fig+Pico would be Lightstone’s first project in Los Angeles. It plans to open an office Downtown this spring.     – Hannah Miet