Back in 2008, the people of Beverly Hills (barely) approved a plan that would allow a new Waldorf Astoria hotel to be constructed at the high-profile Santa Monica/Wilshire intersection, next to the Beverly Hilton hotel, which would be renovated and joined by two new buildings holding 110 condos. Now the Waldorf Astoria is under construction, but Beny Alagem, the owner of the Beverly Hilton, wants to change the plan to create one rather tall new tower by starchitect Robert AM Stern on one condo tower plot and a "garden" on the other, says the Beverly Hills Courier.
The already approved plan has the condos spread between an 18-story building and an eight-story building, with the former along Santa Monica and the latter along Wilshire. Alagem would like to combine the condos into one, 26-story building along Santa Monica Boulevard, so that there can be room for a 1.7-acre open space—"a green buffer with a beautiful and expansive garden at the gateway to Beverly Hills," he tells the Courier—on the site of the shorter building.
The tower would be designed by Robert AM Stern and the garden would be by landscape architects SWA and include a restaurant, according to a promotional video for the plan.
This version wouldn't add any units to the project, it would just stack them on top of each other. And as an added bonus, says the Courier, "The proposed change also streamlines access to the site by eliminating an entry and exit point along Merv Griffin Way while likely slimming down the resulting traffic."
Less gridlock is great, but a 26-story tower is pretty tall for BH. The Waldorf Astoria, which will be built right next to the Hilton, will only be 12 stories. Alagem's planning to put the new plan on the ballot, so that, much in the way that Bev Hillsers decided on the original proposal back in 2008, they can have their say on this new plan too.