Hotel union claims Onni’s Level Furnished Living is operating as an “unpermitted hotel”

The high-rise is home to LA’s most expensive penthouse

Level Furnished Living project (Credit: Onni Group)
Level Furnished Living project (Credit: Onni Group)

It’s safe to say this group is not looking to rent L.A.’s “most expensive penthouse.”

A coalition of Los Angeles groups — including the powerful UNITE HERE Local 11 union, which represents hotel workers — sent a letter to the city planning director Vince Bertoni, asking the department to investigate Onni Group’s Level Furnished Living residences. The groups are accusing the prolific landlord of operating Level as an “unpermitted hotel,” despite the building receiving permits for 303 residential condominiums, Curbed reported.

The 35-story high-rise, located at 888 Olive Street in Downtown Los Angeles’ South Park neighborhood, “combines the style and service of a boutique hotel with the space and comfort of a well-appointed luxury apartment,” according to its website. On that same website, it advertises units for rentals as short-term as one night.

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

Coalition for Economic Survival, Keep Neighborhoods First and UNITE HERE argue that the “commercialization of rental housing and even rent-controlled housing in our neighborhoods into illegal hotel units” is fueling the housing crisis.

A representative from Vancouver-based Onni Group told Curbed the building operates as an “extended stay apartment building,” which is “permitted under the zoning.” Still, the firm is in the process of obtaining a transient occupancy residential permit from the city, in order to be “abundantly conservative.”

Onni Group has maintained a large presence in DTLA – it acquired a six-building campus in the Arts District for $34 million in April, just a few months after it filed plans for a 500-unit complex down the street. It owns several offices, including 800 Wilshire Boulevard.

Level DTLAs home to the city’s most expensive rental: a 18,000-square-foot penthouse asking $100,000 per month. [Curbed] Natalie Hoberman