Fariborz Moshfegh resubmits plan for 10-story hotel in Hollywood

Project would bulldoze a century-old apartment complex with 40 rent-controlled units

Fariborz Moshfegh revisits controversial plan to build a 10-story hotel in Hollywood
Rendering of 1719 North Whitley Avenue (Daryoush Safai, Getty)

Developer Fariborz Moshfegh has revisited a controversial plan to raze a 100-year-old apartment complex in Hollywood and replace it with a 10-story hotel.

The head of Whitley Apartments, a limited liability company based in Palms, has resubmitted plans to build the 156-room hotel at 1719 North Whitley Avenue, Urbanize Los Angeles reported.

It would replace a two-story, 40-unit rent-controlled apartment complex, built in 1920 on a half acre north of what is now the Walk of Fame.

Plans since 2016 have called for a 10-story hotel with a gift shop and three-level parking garage for 122 cars.

The beige hotel, designed by Daryoush Safai, would include a series of iron balconies and include a rooftop pool deck.

The hotel project was approved in 2019 by the Central Los Angeles Area Planning Commission over the objections of tenants and housing activists. Residents and activists challenged the decision in court, which ordered the City of Los Angeles to rescind the project’s approvals.

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The court decided the findings used in the hotel’s approval had failed to consider how it would relate to the city’s housing element, or state-mandated blueprint for development.

The findings for the project have since been updated to address the city’s housing goal, with the city re-approving the hotel. 

The updated approvals also make the project subject to AB 1218, which requires no net loss of housing even when a new development won’t include homes. The conditions helped the project win the support of L.A. City Councilman Hugo Soto-Martinez, who represents the Hollywood area.

It’s not clear how the proposed hotel on Whitley Avenue won’t result in a net loss of housing, when plans call for the destruction of 40 rent-controlled homes.

The project was appealed by the United Neighborhoods for Los Angeles, its opponent in the earlier lawsuit. The City Council denied the appeal, affirming earlier votes by its Planning and Land Use Management Committee and the Central Los Angeles Area Planning Commission.

— Dana Bartholomew

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A rendering of the proposed hotel project on Whitley Street (Credit: Daryoush Safai)
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