Hotel Barclay Renovation Into Luxury Boutique Hotel

Boutique Makeover Planned for DTLA's Hotel Barclay

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A pending presentation to the CRA/LA Governing Board has revealed plans for a renovation of the historic Hotel Barclay in Downtown Los Angeles.

The Barclay, which was completed in 1897, was the first hotel in the city to provide electricity and telephone service to each of its rooms, according to the Los Angeles Conservancy.  The six-story building, designed by Morgan and Walls, featured 32 rooms on each floor upon its opening, with 60 private bathrooms and 10 shared facilities.

Though the property is considered the oldest continually operating hotel in Los Angeles, the six-story building has in recent decades served a residential population.  The Barclay contains 155 single-room occupancy units, of which 26 are currently occupied.

Relevant Group, the Los Angeles-based developer of the Dream Hollywood, is working with Rockefeller Kempel Architects to convert the Barclay into a 145-room "luxury boutique" hotel with 11,685 square feet of ground-floor retail.  The project, which is described as a speakeasy destination with "modern, trendy" offerings, is expected to begin construction in April 2020.

The Barclay sits a block west of the intersection of 4th and Spring Streets, where construction is now underway for two additional hotels - a 315-room citizenM and a 180-room Cambria.  Rebel Hospitality - the new owners of the Continental Building - have also filed plans with the City of Los Angeles to convert the property from apartments to a 140-room hotel.

To facilitate a conversion of the Barclay, Relevant Group and the Delijani family - which purchased the Barclay last year for $21 million - are required to replace the building's 155 existing SRO units at an off-site location, in accordance with the Wiggins Settlement Agreement.  The bulk of those replacement units would be located at 409-411 E. 5th Street, where Relevant filed plans earlier this month to construct an eight-story, 150-unit building serving individuals earning at or below 30, 40, and 50 percent of the area median income.  

Construction of the approximately $35-million housing project is expected to begin as early as November 2019. The presentation to CRA/LA also provides more information on Relevant Group's plans for the Morrison Hotel.

The 105-year-old building, located at the northeast corner of Pico Boulevard and Hope Street, is famed for its appearance on the cover of The Doors' 1970 album "Morrison Hotel."  Relevant Group has filed plans to convert the vacant SRO building into a 69-room hotel and construct two high-rise towers on adjacent sites featuring an additional 381 hotel rooms and 135 housing units. 

Construction of the project is expected to begin in October 2020.

Though vacant for over a decade, the Morrison is outfitted with 111 units of SRO housing, which - in accordance with the Wiggins settlement - Relevant Group is required to replace that housing at an off-site location.  Accordingly, the developer has targeted a property at 1316-1328 Linwood Avenue in the Westlake community for the construction of a second 150-unit building, which would account for the 111 Morrison replacement units and the Barclay's five remaining replacement units. 

The $38-million project - which would serve individuals earning at or below 30, 40, and 50 percent of the area median income - is expected to begin in June 2020.

Article written by Steven Sharp at Urbanize LA.

On The Rise at RKA


We are excited to announce a recent promotion on our team. Chris Daubert has accepted the position as Principal and we couldn’t be more thrilled!

For the past 5 years, Chris has been an incredible asset to Rockefeller Kempel Architects. His professionalism, work ethic, talent, and drive have all paved the way to this moment. He is a natural mentor and leader and is well-respected amongst his peers and colleagues.

From early on, Chris remembers being interested in more of the technology and hands-on classes in school. “There was something about building and drawing homes in AutoCAD that I really grasped onto.” From there he studied at the University of Buffalo followed by USC where he obtained his Masters and was the honorable recipient of the AIA Henry Adams Certificate of Merit Award. This medal is awarded by the university to recognize one top graduating student that they believe has displayed excellence throughout their academic career.

This promotion is only the beginning of Chris’s long-term career goals. He says, “The ultimate goal is to have my name on the door. A lot will happen from now until then, but along the way, I hope to put my mark on the environment with prominent architectural buildings here in Los Angeles. To me, we have the unique ability as architects to impact lives through design.”

In his time at RKA, Chris has worked on a range of projects. “The diversity of my portfolio, along with becoming licensed before the age of 30, is something I take a lot of pride in.” And it is obvious that Chris has a natural aptitude for leadership coupled with a willingness to help, guide and mentor. “The ability to stay focused yet assertive during the good and bad times are core values all leaders should have. When a problem occurs, you need someone who remains calm but also steps up to the plate and takes ownership of the situation.”

When asked about what he believes makes RKA a great firm to work for, Chris believes that “being challenged with something new, especially with the diverse range of each project, lends itself to learning how to adapt based on the project’s needs. There is no ceiling here, we promote from within, and the partners support each architect to grow and learn as much as you can so that everyone can climb the ranks.” He also appreciates that you see the process through from start to finish and have the ability to build a client relationship to a level that is not normally achieved with a non, full-service firm. RKA allows each team member to flex the breadth of their experience and talent on each project, making it as hands-on as possible under the vetted guidance of the firm partners.

Chris is one to watch for as he continues his forward momentum in the industry. We are extremely lucky to have his incredible talent on our team. He steps up to the plate with each project and leadership opportunity while consistently exceeding expectations. It is obvious that in addition to his architectural talent, he genuinely cares about each member of the team and the culture of the organization. His professionalism, expertise, steadfast humor, and natural ability to lead is truly an inspiration as he raises the bar for others to follow in his footsteps. We cannot think of someone more deserving for this promotion and we’re excited for what the future holds for someone of his caliber. Chris Daubert is one to watch for as he is on the rise!

 Author: Andrea Obando

RKA featured in Southbay Magazine

RKA’s very own Design Partner Christopher Kempel, AIA is featured in Southbay Magazine’s July issue. Check out Chris’ “Men In Business” profile below:

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