It's not them, it's you: Related Cos., developer of the enormous and long-delayed Grand Avenue Project, is breaking up with SBE Entertainment, proprietors of the SLS Hotels and douchey nightclubs like Hyde. Part of the repercussion of this uncoupling, says the Downtown News, is that the hotel in this totally landscape-altering, Frank-Gehry-designed venture will not be a super-trendy SLS Hotel. Related says that the split has been a done deal since early January, and that timing turns out to be pretty suspect.
In December, it came out that SBE owner Sam Nazarian used coke and paid up to $3 million to a convicted felon who may have been extorting him, but Related hasn't said officially that that's why they're parting ways. Coincidence, maybe. The DN has just updated their story with this from Nazarian's lawyer: ""They have no right to back out of the deal, and we are considering all legal options."
Back in 2013, SBE was "the partner Related needed" to build this part of the massive project (two towers plus a retail/entertainment center and public space) all at once instead of piece by arduous piece. But whatever, SBE, that's the past; this is now.
Related is moving on quickly, planning to have a a new hotelier on board "within several months." In a written statement, Related California's president says that they are looking for "brands that have 4+ star ratings with an emphasis on 'luxury lifestyle'" to fill the spot—a perfect fit for increasingly ritzy Bunker Hill. As of last month, developers expected groundbreaking on the Grand Avenue Project (aka The Grand) in 2016. The first part of The Grand, super-fancy The Emerson apartments (formerly known as Parcel M), opened in late 2014.
· Related Splits With Nazarian's Company on Grand Avenue Project [DN]
· Frank Gehry's Big New Grand Ave. Plans Get Their First Approval [Curbed LA]