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A fleet of delivery trucks has brought new furniture to the long-vacant Trinity Auditorium in Downtown Los Angeles, signaling the first visible signs of progress since 2014 in the Chetrit Group's effort to convert the 104-year-old building into a hotel.

The nine-story building, alternatively known as the Embassy, is slated for a transformation into an 183-room Empire Hotel, with plans calling for a rooftop pool and bar, as well as a variety of food-and-beverage venues.  However, the conversion has been stalled since 2014 due to a conflict between the property owner and the labor union Unite HERE Local 11, which has successfully prevented Chetrit from obtaining alcohol permits for both the Trinity Auditorium and its sister project, the Hotel Clark near Pershing Square.

Since then, the building has remained unopened, despite the fact that construction of the hotel's interior is largely complete, with furnishings already in place.

What the new furniture means is not entirely clear.  A survey of recent permit activity for 851 S. Grand Avenue indicates that work is in progress for building utilities, including electrical work and new elevators.

The past several years have seen the surrounding blocks transform through a series of ground-up developments, highlighted by a series of high-rise buildings along nearby 9th and Olive Streets, as well as the opening of a Whole Foods Market just one block north.

Image courtesy of Dan Seco
Image courtesy of Dan Seco
Image courtesy of Dan Seco
Image courtesy of Dan Seco
Image courtesy of Dan Seco
Image via Hunter Kerhart Architectural Photography
Image via Hunter Kerhart Architectural Photography
Image via Hunter Kerhart Architectural Photography
Image via Hunter Kerhart Architectural Photography
Image via Hunter Kerhart Architectural Photography
Image via Hunter Kerhart Architectural Photography
Image via Hunter Kerhart Architectural Photography
Image via Hunter Kerhart Architectural Photography
Image via Hunter Kerhart Architectural Photography
Image via Hunter Kerhart Architectural Photography

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Studio Gang-Designed Tower Proposed in Chinatown

The 26-story building would rise at 643 N. Spring Street.
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A curving mixed-use tower designed by Studio Gang is set to rise in Chinatown.

The project, first reported by Curbed, calls for replacing a series of small commercial at 643 N. Spring Street with a 26-story, 270-foot-tall building that would feature 300 apartments, 149 hotel rooms, and public open space.