Developer snags $30M loan for Hotel Cecil conversion

Simon Baron’s plans for notorious DTLA landmark years in making

Los Angeles /
Dec.December 14, 2020 01:30 PM
Slate Property Group co-founder Martin Nussbaum and the Hotel Cecil (Slate, Google Maps)
Slate Property Group co-founder Martin Nussbaum and the Hotel Cecil (Slate, Google Maps)

Simon Baron Development secured a $30 million mezzanine loan for its ongoing work to convert the notorious former Hotel Cecil in Downtown Los Angeles.

A joint venture of Slate Property Group and Atalaya Capital Management provided the debt, said Martin Nussbaum, a Slate co-founder. The loan is subordinate to a $15 million mortgage Centennial Bank provided in August that replaced existing debt, he said.

In 2016, New York-based Simon Baron acquired the 99-year-ground lease under the Beaux-Arts building at 640 South Main Street. The 600-room hotel was built in 1924, and Simon Baron successfully lobbied to have it declared a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in 2017.

Shortly after acquiring the ground lease, Simon Baron said it would convert the 16-story building into a boutique hotel and a 301-unit micro apartment. For the planned micro units, it teamed up with co-living startup Ollie. Those plans appear to have fizzled — Ollie’s technology, assets and management contracts were scooped up by a rival earlier this month. Simon Baron president Matthew Baron said new plans have not been set.

“We will determine in the next year or so one of the best uses for the project,” he said.

The building has a notorious past that dates back to the 1980s. That’s when serial killer Richard Ramirez stayed there for a time. Another serial killer, Jack Unterweger, was also a resident in the early 1990s.

In 2011, it was renamed Stay on Main. But two years later, a Canadian traveler was found dead in a water tank on the roof, in what was classified as an accident. Her death became the inspiration for the fifth season of the FX series, “American Horror Story.”





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