Entrepreneur accused of money laundering plans hotel in Koreatown

Los Angeles businessman and Korean American philanthropist Moo Han Bae is planning a 45-room hotel in Koreatown, The Real Deal has learned.

The four-story building at 3434 West 6th Street currently serves as an office building, but Bae has filed a change of use request with City Planning to convert the structure into a 44,000-square-foot hotel with a rooftop restaurant.

According to its environmental review, the proposed project would not require any new construction — only interior and exterior renovations. The plans don’t even include landscaping or trees.

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Through his entity M and C Property Management LLC, Bae purchased the office building in 2014 for $6 million, or $226 per square foot, according to CoStar. It is 95 percent occupied.

Bae, the president of the nonprofit Korean American Federation of Los Angeles, faced fines for alleged money laundering last August for his campaign contributions to former mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel.

City investigators said that Bae told his employees that he would reimburse their donations to Grueul, and later handed them envelopes of cash. Ethics Commission officials said he reimbursed nine people and provided $11,850 to the campaign, the L.A. Times reported. That’s more than nine times the donation limit of $1,300.