Developer Michael Rosenfeld met with the community on Wednesday to explain his plans for the former Hotel Californian.
Paul Wellman

After decades of debate, promises, and posturing, actual construction ​— ​of a limited sort ​— ​has commenced on the lower reaches of State Street in connection with the Entrada hotel project, now on its third owner since approval was granted by City Hall more than 10 years ago. Los Angeles developer Michael Rosenfeld hosted a public meet-and-greet with the local populace in the Funk Zone last Wednesday, one day after he’d submitted yet another set of project plan revisions to City Hall for approval. The day after, Rosenfeld had a small crew of workers doing the prep work necessary to widen the sidewalk on the west side of State Street and to reduce the number of lanes available to traffic.

Rosenfeld ​— ​already several months behind on his agreed-upon schedule with City Hall ​— ​needed to engage in some high-visibility road work to convince city officials to take seriously his new design plans. And even Rosenfeld’s suggested changes have undergone modifications since several members of the city’s Historic Landmarks Committee (HLC) responded negatively four weeks ago. At that time, Rosenfeld had proposed reducing the amount of public open plaza space provided by his 123-room hotel development from 16,500 square feet to 9,000, eliciting a sharp response from HLC. Now, he’s asking for 12,600 square feet of open plaza space, still a reduction but not nearly so drastic. To accommodate the additional plaza space, Rosnfeld has cut back the amount of commercial space he’d hoped to develop right along State Street by State and Mason.

Construction work on the road narrowing is expected to last through August. Beyond the design changes, Rosenfeld is seeking City Hall approval to change his building schedule. Currently, he is required to adhere to a strict but staggered timeline starting with renovations to the Californian Hotel. Rosenfeld, who says he’s spent $5 million on design, permitting, and prep work thus far, is asking that he be allowed to work on the parcels on both sides of State Street simultaneously


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