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Historic Restoration Project in Santa Monica Blends Old and New

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The Y-shaped Santa Monica Professional Building is on its way to a cool-looking hotel makeover

Originally built in 1928, the Santa Monica Professional building was devoted to medical uses before switching to office space sometime in the 1950s. Now it's on the cusp of another change: As soon as 2018, the structure will be fully renovated and put to use as part of a mixed-use hotel complex, according to a release from Howard Laks Architects, which is designing the project. (The developer is building owner Alex Gorby.)


Located at Wilshire Boulevard and Seventh Street, the Spanish Colonial Revival building ("with Moorish details," says the LA Conservancy) was originally designed by Arthur E. Harvey; its unique Y shape was intended to "accommodate sunlight and ocean breezes." It's estimated that restoration of the 1928 structure—bringing it up to code, repairing any lingering damage from the 1994 Northridge earthquake, and the like—will cost about $11 million.

The plan to refurbish the handsome building and pair it with a new one to make a hotel complex has been underway for many years, but only at the end of March received final approval from Santa Monica's Joint Design Review Body.

As seen in renderings, new construction will go in around the historic structure, on the parking lot next to the Santa Monica Professional building. At the ground level, "open space between the buildings includes a retail court and cut-through paseo connecting Wilshire Blvd. with 7th Street," the statement from the architects says.

Altogether, the project will have 270 hotel rooms and suites, 13,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, and 6,000 square feet of meeting rooms.

Construction on the complex's 318-space, four-level underground parking garage is scheduled to begin in August of this year; renovations and the above-ground portion of construction are expected to begin sometime in 2017, according to a timeline provided by the architect. The completed hotel is planned to open in the fall of 2018.