City officials pave the way for a 167-key Marriott to rise near USC

Orion Capital is slated to buy the site and develop the hotel

Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson and the University of South California (Credit: iStock) 
Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson and the University of South California (Credit: iStock) 

A hotel may soon stand where affordable housing was once planned.

On Tuesday, the Los Angeles City Council voted to advance a project that would bring a 167-room Courtyard Marriott hotel to a lot on the western border of the University of Southern California’s campus, Urbanize reported. Orion Capital, a local investment firm, would build the project.

In 2011, the city acquired the 33,000-square-foot site at 3685 South Vermont Avenue, formerly occupied by the Bethune Library, from the CRA/LA, a local agency with some authority over development.

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City officials then began soliciting bids from developers who could build affordable housing on the site, which is in a rapidly gentrifying area. They struck a deal with an entity called NCNVision LLC, a joint venture between National CORE and Nvision Development Group, last May.

But the exclusive negotiation agreement expired before NCNVision’s plans to build 114 units could become a reality, and the property has remained empty since Bethune Library relocated more than a decade ago.

City Council’s vote to advance Orion’s proposal comes on the heels of a new report from the Economic & Workforce Development Department, which recommended the city sell the vacant plot to the firm. [Urbanize]Natalie Hoberman