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Inside the $100M Overhaul at Downtown's Cecil Hotel

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Hundreds of micro units are on the way

The deep overhaul at the once notorious Cecil Hotel in the Historic Core aims to transform the building via a renovation is expected to cost $100 million. The building will be a mix of a fancy, boutiquey hotel and 301 units of micro apartments, the LA Times reports. In total, the renovation is expected to cost developer Simon Baron Development $100 million.

Though SBD holds the 99-year ground lease on the property, the 301 micro units will be designed and run by a New York-based company called Ollie and billed as a "micro-housing and coliving specialist," says a release from Ollie. This project makes the Cecil project "the largest coliving community on the West Coast."

The small units—150 to 325 square feet—will have space-saving features like "beds that fold into sofas." Residents will have access to lots of activities, like group meals on the rooftop and guest lecturers, and 30,000 square feet of shared amenities, including a rooftop pool and a gym that planned post-renovation. (Both would be available to residents as well as hotel guests.) *The LA-based firm Omgivning is the architect for the project.

The building's lobby.
Benjamin Page

Ollie's micro apartments come fully furnished, and include free Wi-Fi, cable, and housekeeping services. They will also have their own private restrooms, which not all rooms have currently. While the units won't have kitchens, an Ollie rep says he's hoping they'll be able to add a food-prep area in some form. (Burners are a no-go due to "restrictions aimed at preserving the rooms as residential hotel units.")

Rents would be cheaper than most studio apartments because they're micro, but they would also be more than the current rents are now. Using current market rents as an indicator, a rep for Ollie estimated the units would run less than $1,500 a month.

Of the 301 units that are currently a residential hotel, only around 30 are occupied right now. Those tenants should receive relocation funds (either temporary or permanent), an attorney for the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles tells the LAT.

Work on the Cecil is slated to begin in spring 2017 and last about two years.

Cecil Hotel

640 S. Main Street, Los Angeles, CA 90014