Guess that pot-tel idea was not a winner--Koreatown's 1928 Hotel Normandie, which briefly in 2010 became the 420-encouraging Dennis Peron's Normandie Hotel, has a new owner who plans to boutique it up. Jingbo Lou is a Pasadena architect and preservationist, and the LA Times reports that he's "launched a $5-million makeover intended to turn the Normandie into a 100-room boutique hotel for travelers who want to stay in the middle of town." A preservationist taking over a cool old building to draw some hipster money to Ktown? Sounds like a plan.
While Lou says he was "shocked at how grand the lobby was, how many original details were still intact," there's also a lot of work to be done on the four story building, which is Renaissance Revival on the outside, but hides Spanish Revival insides (it was designed by Walker & Eisen, a firm that's getting a lot of boutique hotel love lately--they designed the Downtown United Artists Theatre building that's becoming an Ace). Apparently, at the Hotel Normandie, there's stucco covering brickwork, carpets covering terrazzo tiling and hardwood, drywall covering windows, concrete covering a "tall arched doorway in the lobby," and something or other covering several skylights. The ballroom was also cut down over the years. Lou is hoping to reopen shops along both street fronts, on Sixth and Normandie, and says he's in the market for something like a bakery, restaurant, or coffee bar. He'd also like to have an electric bike rental service for guests and neighbors. He and his partners paid $4.4 million for the hotel.
· Hotel Normandie in L.A.'s Koreatown to get $5-million makeover [LAT]
· Koreatown Pot Hotel Opening Tonight, But Is Foreclosure Imminent? [Curbed LA]