Rent and Covid force Standard hotel in WeHo to close

Trendy 139-key boutique property was first Andre Balazs opened under the brand

The Standard hotel in West Hollywood (Getty, iStock)
The Standard hotel in West Hollywood (Getty, iStock)

The trendy Standard hotel in West Hollywood will close on Friday after 22 years in business, seemingly done in by higher rent prices and the battering effects of the coronavirus on the industry.

A spokesperson for the chain said the leaseholder, Ferrado Group, raised the rent in 2019, rendering it “unsustainable to operate the hotel,” according to the Los Angeles Times. The 139-key property is located at 8300 Sunset Boulevard. On its website, the company also announced the closure, calling the West Hollywood location “the birthplace of the Standard’s culture.”

It was the first hotel that Andre Balazs opened under the brand. Stars including Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz, and Benicio del Toro were among its first financial backers. There are now six Standard hotels under the brand, including one in Downtown L.A., two in New York and one in Miami Beach.

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The pandemic has dealt a crushing blow to the hospitality industry across the U.S. and around the world, with Los Angeles hotels and resorts continuing to feel the sting.

The Standard is the second high-profile luxury hotel in L.A. to shutter in recent months. In the fall, the Luxe Rodeo Drive closed. As of late September, about 60 hotels in L.A. and Orange counties were more than 30 days behind on their mortgages.

Hotel transactions in L.A. also dried up last year. The number of hotel investment sales plummeted from 50 in 2019 to just 23 in 2020. The pace of sales could pick up this year, depending on the discounts available to investors, experts say.

As for Balazs, he stepped down as chairman of the Standard International brand in 2017. But he hasn’t quit L.A. For his latest venture, Balazs plans to convert hotels into private clubs, starting with the historic Chateau Marmont only a few blocks away from the Standard. [LAT] — Dennis Lynch 

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