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Downtown’s low-income Barclay Hotel to become ‘4.5-star, luxury’ boutique hotel

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The hotel sits at the border of Skid Row and the Historic Core

A photo of people on the sidewalk walking by the lettered arch over the entrance to the hotel.
Hotel Barclay as seen from Main Street.
Liz Kuball

About a year after selling for $21 million, plans for Downtown LA’s Barclay Hotel have come to light.

The building’s owners, an LLC connected to the Delijani family, have teamed up with the Relevant Group—developers of the Thomson Hotel and the Dream Hotel in Hollywood—to renovate the 122-year-old structure, according to a presentation slated for the CRA/LA’s governing board. (The presentation was first spotted by Urbanize LA.)

Built in 1897 and designed by Morgan & Walls, the landmarked, Beaux Arts-style hotel sits where the Historic Core meets Skid Row and presently operates as a 155-unit single-room occupancy hotel; these types of residences typically serve low-income tenants.

Representatives for the Relevant Group did not immediately return messages seeking comment, but the company’s website says the Barclay would be renovated as a “4.5-star, luxury boutique hotel with 145 rooms.” The structure at Fourth and Main holds “the potential to create a much sought-after speakeasy destination,” the website says.

The Deijani family is the longtime owner of a number of historic Downtown theaters, including the Tower Theatre on Broadway, which is undergoing restoration and seismic retrofits to become an Apple store.

Because of its location and present use as an SRO, the Barclay is subject to a 2006 legal settlement aimed at ensuring that residential hotel units are preserved in Downtown, Barbara J. Schultz of the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles told Curbed when the property hit the market.

As part of that settlement, the residential hotel units in the Barclay have to be replaced, either on site or at a different location nearby, and the owner must pay relocation fees to the residents of the 26 units at the Barclay that, according to the presentation, are still occupied.

The replacement units for the Barclay will be provided by two new-build projects—one on Linwood Avenue in Westlake and another on a site on Fifth Street in Skid Row. Relevant Group is in the process of securing city approvals for both projects now.

The Linwood and Fifth Street locations will also provide new affordable units for another SRO-to-hotel project from the Relevant Group—the Morrison Hotel. The plan there involves renovating the Morrison into an 80-room luxury hotel and building a new structure next door for a total of 450 hotel rooms, according to the presentation.

The 111 residential hotel units at the Morrison have been empty since 2008, so no relocations fees will be required.

The replacement units for the Morrison and the Barclay will be under affordable covenants for 55 years, and available to people making an average of 46 percent of the area median income. When the covenants expire, the apartments can flip to market-rate.