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Updated: Seven-story Koreatown hotel sent back to Planning Commission

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Some residents said the project should have been housing

Rendering of hotel
The seven-story hotel will replace a surface parking lot at 687 South Harvard Boulevard.
LA Department of City Planning

A new hotel with 110 guest rooms planned for Koreatown will get a bit more review after the Los Angeles City Council sent the project back to the city’s Planning Commission last week for further deliberation on proposed zoning changes.

The proposed seven-story structure would replace surface parking lot on Harvard Boulevard, just south of Wilshire Boulevard. In addition to the guest rooms, it would also bring a ground-floor restaurant to the area.

But some neighbors told the city’s Planning Commission in March that the project site would have been better used as housing. Commissioner Veronica Padilla-Campos also questioned the need for a hotel in the area, ultimately voting against the project.

“I really cannot get behind this project and take away potential housing of any kind,” she said during the March hearing.

Jordan Beroukhim, planning deputy for Councilmember Herb Wesson, argued that it was not the city’s responsibility to decide what the developer could do with the site. The other members of the planning commission agreed, approving the project in a 5-1 decision.

But in a meeting of the council’s Planning and Land Use Management Committee last month, Beroukhim said that planners had inadvertently approved the project with a zoning change that would not allow for the density required by the new hotel. Now, the full council has asked the planning commission to reevaluate the project with a zoning change that will allow for 110 units.

According to environmental documents filed with the city, the hotel—once approved—could be up and running by 2020.

Plans call for 80 parking spaces in a partly subterranean garage, along with a fitness room and a bit of shared open space for guests to enjoy.

The project is one of dozens of projects on the way to the booming Koreatown neighborhood—including a soon-to-open apartment complex right next door.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that the City Council had already approved the project. We apologize for the error.