The last company set to run the 300-room hotel at the massive and very delayed Grand Avenue Project lost the deal after a sordid cocaine-and-extortion scandal in Las Vegas, so now developers Related Cos. are running in the opposite direction toward a clean-living operator: Equinox, the "luxury fitness company," will open their second hotel ever in the project, shortly after their first hotel opens in a Related Cos. project in New York in 2018. The Downtown News reports that Related (a "significant investor in Equinox") presented the plan this morning to the joint powers authority that oversees the project, which has been in the works for more than a decade and will sit on publicly-owned land.
The GAP, which was originally supposed to start opening in 2011, covers an enormous swath of Bunker Hill; so far, Related has only managed to finish Grand Park and an apartment tower called The Emerson, but since late 2013 they've been making a solid push on what's called Parcel Q, a mixed-use complex designed by Frank Gehry that would include a residential high-rise, retail, restaurants, a hotel, and a central plaza on a site across Grand Avenue from Disney Hall. The project was originally proposed with Mandarin Oriental as the hotel operator, but that deal fell apart years ago. Most recently, the douchey SLS brand was attached, before its owner Sam Nazarian got caught up in some shit with the Nevada Gaming Commission. (Related never gave a reason for parting ways with the SLS.)
Just a few months after SLS got the boot, Equinox announced its intentions to go into the hotel business, with design assistance from Yabu Pushelberg. In addition to the hotel, Related has announced Parcel Q's first two retail tenants: an Equinox gym and a SoulCycle spinning cult outpost. So obsessively healthy!
Meanwhile, Related is still trying to raise $250 to $300 million to build the damn thing. They've presented their plan to "more than 50 potential investors," and say they're narrowing the pack down now.
· Gym Operator Equinox Picked to Run Hotel in Grand Avenue Project [DN]
· Grand Avenue Megaproject Has Broken Up With the SLS Hotel [Curbed LA]
· Frank Gehry's Big New Grand Ave. Plans Get Their First Approval [Curbed LA]