Developers Unveil $2bn Beverly Hills Masterplan


US development group Alagem Capital and London-based real estate investor Cain International have unveiled plans for a masterplanned mixed-use project in the storied Los Angeles suburb of Beverly Hills worth US$2 billion.

The Foster and Partners-designed scheme, located in the 90210 zip code, will feature a hotel comprising 42 suites and 37 residences as well as two plant-covered residential buildings with 303 apartments.

The precinct, dubbed One Beverly Hills, will replace an existing garage on Santa Monica Boulevard that was built to serve the Beverly Hilton, which opened in 1955.

The joint venture partners picked up the mostly undeveloped 7-hectare site in 2018 from Beijing-based Dalian Wanda Group for $445 million, opening the path for a different design concept.

Alagem Capital chief executive Beny Alagem said the site, considered one of the most desirable real estate development opportunities in the US, and has been held and passed over by a swathe of international investors in recent years.

“Most were intent on building a deluxe residential and hotel complex that had been approved by the city but were unable to follow through on their plans, usually for financial reasons,” Alagem said.

 One Beverly Hills from Santa Monica Boulevard
▲ Renderings of the project show a pair of rounded, glazed residential buildings reaching 28 and 32 stories, wrapped by curvilinear white balconies and greenery. Image: DBOX

One of the difficulties of the site has been Merv Griffin Way, a motorway that cuts through the site to link Wilshire Boulevard and Santa Monica Boulevard.

Alagem said key to the success of the project would be the ability to build over the motorway, with a platform the proposed landscaped gardens above.

The development will also hold 1,900 underground car parks, to be used by visitors to the precinct’s planned 4-hectare botanical gardens and sculpture parks.

Foster and Partners designed the masterplan with architecture firm Gensler acting as executive architect.

Principal Norman Foster said that the concept would form part of “a green approach” to the development, designed to reach LEED Platinum and WELL certifications.

Elsewhere, in downtown Los Angeles, Sydney-based Crown Group is pressing ahead with its first US project— a US$500 million Koichi Takada-designed high-rise apartment and hotel tower.

Crown Group said it was progressing entitlements with Los Angeles City Hall for the proposed 43-storey tower, which is earmarked for the southeast corner of South Hill and 11th streets.

Melbourne developer Jonathan Hallinan, founder of luxury apartment developer BPM, has also been vocal on his intentions to break into the Los Angeles development scene, with prospective site acquisitions on the cards and subsequent high-rise residential projects.

While the fundamentals for development in Los Angeles have remained relatively robust over recent years, driven by the Californian lifestyle, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has led economists to believe home values will plummet during the next year.

According to a recent forecast by Corelogic, prices will fall about 6.6 per cent in the year through May 2021, the first annual decline since 2012, with a 6.3 per cent tilt expected in Los Angeles.

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