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AEG plans to add skyscraper to LA skyline

April 19, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Downtown Los Angeles is still lacking an NFL stadium or team, but developers are confident the city will become home to a professional football team.

With much fanfare, the next enhancement in downtown L.A.'s makeover was unveiled Tuesday. It is a 22-story hotel across the street from the J.W. Marriott and Ritz Carlton tower that will house the two Marriott brands, Courtyard and Residence Inn.

Local leaders said it will boost local revenue and provide 3000 jobs.

"When you think about construction jobs it will create," said L.A. City Councilmember Jan Perry. "People will be able to pay their bills, pay their mortgage. It makes it greater."

The cost of this 377-room, 300,000-square-foot hotel is $120 million. For the developers it amounts to a bet that the proposed NFL stadium will become a reality and that L.A. will become a large player nationally in the convention game.

"It's unique that these guys are making a bet before we get it done," said AEG President Tim Leiwek. "But they have faith, and I agree with them."

"Football stadiums by themselves are not all that dynamic," said hotel developer Homer Williams. "But the concept they have, it seems like a good place to be."

Leiweke said the hotel will be the first of five built around L.A. Live and the Convention Center, and that other hotel chains and developers are already lining up to be next.

With an NFL stadium, new hotels, the approved downtown streetcar project and L.A. Live, Leiweke said the city's transformation will be spectacular.

"I think what we'll have is one of the greatest downtowns in the world," said Leiweke. "And what an amazing comeback story from where we were 12 years ago."

Construction on the 22-story hotel is expected to begin in March of next year, with the grand opening March 2014.