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At the crossing of Wilshire and Santa Monica Boulevards, a luxury hotel tower is now taking shape.

The 12-story Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills, which is developed by Alagem Capital Group, is rising next-door to the iconic Beverly Hilton Hotel.  Budgeted at $200 million, the project will consist of 170 guest rooms and suites, high-end stores, restaurants and ancillary functions.

Renderings of the project, which is being designed by a team lead by Gensler and Pierre-Yves Rochon, portray a mid-rise structure in the Streamline Moderne style.

Completion if the Waldorf Astoria is expected in 2017.

The five-star hotel is the first phase of a larger development approved by Beverly Hills voters in 2008, which will later include a luxury condominium complex.  Alagem Capital Group is currently pursuing a follow-up ballot initiative which would consolidate two proposed buildings into a taller 24-story structure.  The remainder of the property would be preserved as green space.

Image: Beverly Hills Garden & Open Space Initiative

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The people-friendly makeover imagined for Western Avenue through Mayor Eric Garcetti's Great Streets Initiative could be getting a little bit grander in scope.

The project, dubbed "Welcome to Western," is intended to bring commercial facade improvements, new street trees, and public art installations to Western Avenue between 3rd Street in the south and Melrose Avenue in the north.  LA Más, the non