After recently approving the Richard Meier-designed 9900 Wilshire project, a contentious development because of worries about increased traffic, the Beverly Hills City Council has effectively paved the way for the new Waldorf-Astoria Hotel/Hilton renovation at Wilshire and Santa Monica boulevards. The final vote will happen next week, but this project would see a renovated Hilton and a 170-room, 12-story Waldorf-Astoria rise at the site, reports the Los Angeles Times. Additionally, there will be 110 condos, known as Waldorf-Astoria residences, that are expected to fetch a whopping $1,500 a square foot, or about $5.6 million for an "average unit." Back in the good old days, this was the site of Trader Vics and its tasty, flaming drinks.
The development also has its detractors, according to the Times, which reports that opponents are talking of a signature-gathering campaign to get this project on the November ballot. Over at the Beverly Hills Citizen, the online newsletter of the North Beverly Hill Homeowners Association, the anger is pretty apparent. Via their site: "City Hall has tossed aside the General Plan and Municipal Code height and density limits to accommodate massive mega development projects. City Hall has spot-zoned to the detriment of our quality of life."
· A Waldorf-Astoria in Beverly Hills is a step closer to reality [LA Times]