Measure HH crushed by voters: Beny Alagem will move forward with 2008 plan

Beny Alagem and a rendering of one of the condo towers approved in 2008
Beny Alagem and a rendering of one of the condo towers approved in 2008

“We are giving voters a decision,” Beverly Hilton owner Beny Alagem told The Real Deal in August, when TRD sat down with him in his Century City office. “It’s simple … Do you want an eight and an 18-story building? Vote no. Do you want a park? Vote yes.”

On Tuesday, the voters in the city of Beverly Hills made their decision. They rejected Measure HH, the ballot initiative that would have allowed Beverly Hilton owner Beny Alagem to construct a 26-story condo tower. The failed measure sought to amend the plans for two condo towers approved in 2008 to create the tallest tower in the height-averse city, replacing one of them with a garden.

Roughly 56 percent of the voters rejected the measure, which equates to a margin of about 1,100 votes, Variety reported. Alagem spent $7 million trying to pass the measure, or about $1,600 per vote. Provisional ballots have yet to be counted. 

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Marie Garvey, the spokesperson for Alagem’s campaign, said in a statement sent to TRD that if the ballot results are correct, Alagem will move forward with the plans from 2008, and will construct one 18-story tower and one eight story tower.  

“We stated from the beginning that we wanted to let the residents decide what would be built in the future,” Garvey said. “Right now, it looks like they want the 2008 plan built. If that result holds, that is exactly what we will do.”

Wanda Properties, the U.S. subsidiary of Wanda Group which has proposed the One Beverly Hills development next door to Alagem’s site, spent $1.2 million in a campaign effort to oppose Measure HH. The No on HH campaign even created its own unattractive rendering of the tower. This tactic was effective because of the fact that the building was not shown in full scale in any of the Alagem camp’s renderings, which instead focused on the garden. [Variety]  — Hannah Miet