What's the proposal?
If approved by Beverly Hills voters, this initiative would allow for two already-approved mid-rise condo towers slated to sprout up next to the Beverly Hilton to be replaced by a single 26-story structure and a 1.7-acre public park.
Who's behind it?
The ballot measure is backed by Beverly Hilton owner Beny Alagem.
The back story
How much time do you have? We’ll try to make this brief. Basically, in 2008, by not voting against a ballot measure that would have blocked it, Beverly Hills voters signed off on Alagem’s plans to build a Waldorf-Astoria next to the Hilton, along with the two condo towers. Now, Alagem wants to combine those buildings into a taller tower—one that would in fact be the tallest in Beverly Hills. To provide a bit of enticement to voters, he’s also planning to add a park to the project site.
The proposal has run into some fierce opposition. Chinese developer Wanda Group is planning a hotel/condo project right across the street and has fought hard against the measure. Now, a mysterious Sacramento attorney is accusing the developer of illegally funneling foreign money into a campaign to defeat the initiative.
- Approval of the measure would net the city a 1.7-acre park
- Combining the buildings would significantly reduce the amount of time the project is under construction.
- You like Beny Alagem and want him to be happy.
"Beverly Hills voters determined the future of this landmark property back in 2008, and we think it is only appropriate for them to decide again between the already-approved plan with two residential buildings, or this new approach to create an incredibly beautiful open space destination that will be the Wilshire gateway to Beverly Hills for generations to come." -Beny Alagem
- At 345 feet, the proposed tower would be noticeably taller than any other buildings in the area.
- The language of the measure leaves park hours and accessibility to the owner’s discretion. Critics say it’s possible the park could be routinely closed off for private events.
- Passage of the ballot measure could set a bad precedent and allow developers to conveniently avoid the traditional planning process by taking developments directly to voters.
"The developer behind Measure HH is playing a shell game. It's really about a 375 foot condo tower, double the height of the tallest building in Beverly Hills." -No on BH Tower