Since Beverly Hills narrowly passed a 2008 measure clearing the way for a new hotel and two residential towers near the Beverly Hilton, there’s been almost no actual movement on the project. Well, the wait is over and things are finally coalescing for an insanely glamorous, over-the-top, 12-story Waldorf Astoria hotel that should open in just three years, according to the LA Times. Now that neighbors have been mostly placated about traffic concerns (all those Saudi princes will take the 720, right?), city officials just need to approve final designs before construction can begin. The $500-million project (that number includes the condo towers) comes from Beverly Hilton owner Beny Alagem, who bought the hotel from Merv Griffin in 2003. Just the Waldorf will cost north of $200 million and require the demolition of the building that once housed Trader Vic’s.

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This will be the first Waldorf in Southern California and they’re pulling out all the stops:
· The hotel will have 170 rooms, with 128 standard rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows and landscaped private balconies; the other 42 will be fancier suites.
· Standard rooms will run between $660 and $840, suites will obviously be more.
· The architecture is from Gensler and is meant to evoke the Streamline Moderne style with curving white stone and bronze accents; interiors will be from Pierre Yves-Rochon.
· The lobby will be three stories and built in an Art Deco style. It will include a giant clock, similar to the one in NYC’s Waldorf.
· Alagem plans on making much better use of the grounds around the Hilton by putting parking underground; this should free up four acres of open space and gardens that he describes as an “urban resort” and a “secret garden.”
· There will be parking built under the new buildings for a total of 1,800 parking spaces.
· An upscale restaurant, jewelry store, spa, and rooftop pool are also part of the plans.
· Opening is slated for 2017.

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The two condo towers, including one possibly rising to 18 stories (very tall for BH), will have a combined 110 units. The towers will be built after the hotel is finished and require the demolition of the Hilton’s Oasis Court, the Lanai guest room buildings by the pool, and the south parking structure.

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