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Redundancies on Rodeo Drive: Candy & Candy Lays off Beverly Hills Staffers

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[Pic of the Candy Brothers via Evening Standard; Rendering of 9900 Wilshire, right, via 9900beverlyhills.com]

No surprise here: Candy & Candy, the British development firm founded by brothers Christian and Nick Candy--the team behind the now-stalled Richard Meier designed 9900 Wilshire Boulevard--confirm that there were layoffs at the Rodeo Drive office on Monday. Or, as they say in England, redundancies. Via the press release: "Nick Candy of Candy & Candy Ltd says; “We are disappointed to be losing some of our talented and dedicated employees. The decision comes as a result of the firm’s key Beverly Hills project, 9900 Wilshire, being put into default as result of Kaupthing Bank going into administration. This has not been an easy decision but in this market we have to operate as efficiently as possible. If the default is remedied by the owners’ of the site, Project Lotus LLC (CPC Group and Richard Caring), then Candy & Candy (as the development managers to the project) plans to go back to the City of Beverly Hills City to seek entitlement for a revised development, combining a luxury hotel and condominiums. There are numerous hotel brands interested in operating hotel on this world-class, prestigious site.” The "if the default is remedied" phrase seems to leave suggest that it anything is possible for the site. It was back in October that the brothers bought out the Icelandic bank's stake in the project amid news that Credit Suisse Group had filed a notice of default on the loan. Additionally, last fall the Candy brothers said that given the poor condo market, a hotel would be added to the development. This project, like the planned new Waldorf-Astoria/Hilton renovation, are just two prominent planned Beverly Hills developments.

Press release

Candy & Candy Inc announce staff reductions at Beverly Hills office

Beverly Hills based interior design and development management firm, Candy & Candy Inc., announced to its staff recently (Monday 2nd March 2009) that it would be making staff reductions across the team.

Nick Candy of Candy & Candy Ltd says; “We are disappointed to be losing some of our talented and dedicated employees. The decision comes as a result of the firm’s key Beverly Hills project, 9900 Wilshire, being put into default as result of Kaupthing Bank going into administration. This has not been an easy decision but in this market we have to operate as efficiently as possible. If the default is remedied by the owners’ of the site, Project Lotus LLC (CPC Group and Richard Caring), then Candy & Candy (as the development managers to the project) plans to go back to the City of Beverly Hills City to seek entitlement for a revised development, combining a luxury hotel and condominiums. There are numerous hotel brands interested in operating hotel on this world-class, prestigious site.”

The existing entitlement for the 9900 Wilshire site comprises of 235 luxury condominiums cannot be built in this current climate because a 100% residential project is not economically viable. It is anticipated that the new entitlement process
will take a minimum of six to twelve months; therefore, it is not economically viable to require a full team of designers and construction experts during this time.

Owners of the 9900 Wilshire site, Project Lotus LLC (CPC Group and Richard Caring), are currently in negotiations with the lending group to restructure the underlying debt on 9900 Wilshire.

March 2009

9900 Wilshire

9900 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA