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Two years after rejection at the ballot box, developer Beny Alagem is trying a more traditional route toward developing a high-rise condo tower adjacent to the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

Earlier this year, Alagem filed for an amendment to the Beverly Hilton Specific Plan, which governs the buildable area on the triangular parcel at the corner of Wilshire and Santa Monica Boulevards.  While a portion of the plan, a 170-room Waldorf Astoria hotel, has already been built, entitlements still allow for the construction of 110 condominiums in buildings of 8 and 18 stories immediately west of the Beverly Hilton hotel.

The updated plan would combine those two buildings into a single 23-story tower - featuring 140 condominiums - which at 325 feet in height, would be the tallest in Beverly Hills.  The overall square footage of the project, including the amount of retail and conference facilities, would remain unchanged.  The unbuilt tower site, which spans 1.7 acres along Wilshire Boulevard, would be dedicated as an open space easement to the City of Beverly Hills.

The lone rendering of the project shows an L-shaped high-rise structuring at the Santa Monica Boulevard side of the property.  It adopts many of the architectural features of the nearby Waldorf Astoria hotel, which was design by Gensler.

Alagem, who received the existing approvals in 2008, has sought for years to modify the project into a single tower - which would be the tallest in Beverly Hills - and leaving the remaining footprint as green space.  His 2016 ballot initiative, called the "Beverly Hills Garden & Open Space Initiative," attempted to create a similar project to the current proposal while bypassing the city's approval process.  However, following an intense opposition campaign that was driven by Beverly Hills politicians and the Wanda Group, which owns the nearby One Beverly Hills development site, Alagem was rebuffed by nearly 56 percent of voters.

According to the project's initial study, construction of the new tower is expected to occur over 50 months, with a groundbreaking anticipated in 2019.

Alagem's project is among the largest developments in Beverly Hills, following the $1.2-billion One Beverly Hills project, a Richard Meier-designed hotel and condo complex.  However, the Wanda Group - the project's developer and Alagem's former foe - has recently chosen to sell its interest in the still unbuilt mixed-use complex.

Rendering of the Beverly Hilton tower. Image via BH Courier.
Site plan for the Beverly Hilton development. Image via City of Beverly Hills.

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