LOS ANGELES TIMES - MARCH 2014
A striking new hotel under construction on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood will be a swanky outpost of the James, an upscale boutique brand in major urban centers.
The 286-room hotel at the southeast corner of Sunset and La Cienega boulevards is part of a $300-million complex under construction at the intersection. The development, known as Sunset La Cienega, will also have apartments, shops and restaurants.
Developer CIM Group said it formed a partnership with Denihan Hospitality Group to build the James Los Angeles, which will be the first new ground-up hotel in West Hollywood in three decades. Denihan operates James hotels, which can also be found in Chicago, Miami and New York.
“We have had our eyes on Los Angeles for years,” said David Duncan, president of Denihan Hospitality. “We have a strong customer following in the entertainment and fashion industries, and our customers have been asking us when we were going to open a spot” in the L.A. area.
The hotel’s interior design will be “warm modernism,” Duncan said. The James bars and restaurants are intended to be a destination for locals as well as visitors, he said.
A vacant lot a few blocks to the west near San Vicente Boulevard was previously identified as a site for the James, but “we like this location much better,” Duncan said.
The Sunset La Cienega complex will rise on both sides of La Cienega. The sites have been cleared and work has begun on the foundations, CIM Group co-founder Shaul Kuba said. Construction should be finished in 2016.
CIM Group sought the James because “this brand is associated with being cool and hip and fits the demographic we are trying to attract for our hotel,” Kuba said.
The James Los Angeles will occupy two 10-story towers. It will have two restaurants, rooftop and lobby bars and 10,000 square feet of meeting space.
Sunset La Cienega will also have two eight-story residential towers with about 190 units and 40,000 square feet of street retail space. There will be plazas and public spaces intended for pedestrians walking the Strip.