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Universal Hilton owners revise plans for 15-story expansion

NBCUniversal once opposed the project, but now seems supportive of the changes

Courtesy of Hilton Los Angeles/Universal City

The owners of the Hilton at Universal City are tweaking plans for the hotel’s proposed expansion, giving the planned 15-story tower a new architect and location on the property.

“Today we are excited to move forward with a modified project adjacent to our existing hotel with an enhanced design,” said Mark Davis, president and CEO of Sun Hill Properties, which owns and runs the hotel.

Plans for the new addition were unveiled in December 2017.

The new project is designed by LARGE Architecture, which designed the wavy Argyle apartment complex in Hollywood.

The new designs for the hotel have the addition located to the west of the existing hotel tower and “integrated into the hillside,” Brian Lewis, a spokesperson for the project, tells Curbed.

The original design for the expansion put the new tower in a different spot—east of the existing hotel tower—adjacent to the banquet space, a service road, and the entry to Universal Studios. The new design has the same number of stories, but it’s about 30 feet shorter than originally proposed.

The addition would add 395 rooms to the existing 24-story hotel. (Earlier plans called for adding 365 rooms.)

The original plan for expansion was not well-received by all. Neighbors NBCUniversal, which owns Universal Studios, was miffed that ownership submitted plans to the city without consulting them first.

“When our neighbors shared thoughtful comments about our project, it motivated us take a look at our plans and refine our proposal to further reduce neighborhood impacts,” Davis said.

Of the revised plans, an NBCUniversal spokesperson tells Curbed, the company is “happy to see” the changes, especially the reduction in building height.

“Like our neighbors, we look forward to working with the owners of the Universal Hilton and participating in the EIR and public review process,” the spokesperson said.