Los Angeles Business Journal

Hyatt Regency Century Plaza to Seek Historical Status

By Jacquelyn Ryan Friday, June 28, 2013

Owners of the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel are seeking historical cultural monument status for the famed Century City site, which they had proposed demolishing only years ago.

Next Century Associates LLC, owners of hotel, filed for the designation with the City of Los Angeles’ Cultural Heritage Commission on June 28.

The 47-year-old hotel is the centerpiece of an approved 1.5 million-square-foot mixed-use development plan. In addition to converting the top five floors of the hotel to condos, the plan calls for the construction of 353 luxury condos, shops and restaurants in two 46-story towers.

The plan is a sweeping compromise to a 2009 proposal to demolish the 726-room hotel to make way for two 50-story mixed-use towers, a plan that sparked a high-profile battle with local preservationists.

Years of negotiations among the developer, neighbors and preservationists resulted in the new plan, approved by the City Council in January.

The hotel, with its curved façade, has served celebrities, dignitaries and U.S. presidents, earning it the nickname the Western White House.

It was designed by architect and engineer Minoru Yamasaki, who was also the architect of New York’s World Trade Center towers.

“The hotel’s designation will forever affirm the collaborative efforts of the city, the developer, and the preservation community in protecting an important icon as the cornerstone of a new vibrant mixed use community,” Michael Rosenfeld of Next Century Associates said in a statement.

The historic status filing was done in cooperation with the Los Angeles Conservancy, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Koretz. For their part, the preservationists are pleased with the plan and decision to seek historical status.

“We are truly excited that we have reached the milestone of designating the hotel as a historic landmark and look forward to this project becoming a reality," said Linda Dishman, executive director of the Los Angeles Conservancy, in a statement.