While the Sunset Strip used to be known for its rock music, Businessweek says the sound that best identifies it these days is that of “buildings being demolished and new ones developed.”
Those new ones are hotels. In an article published today, writer Nadja Brandt cites the impending closing of Larry Flynt’s Hustler store at 8920 Sunset Blvd. near Hilldale (rumored to be replaced by a hotel) and quotes an official of Combined Properties Inc. as saying the firm and its partner, AECOM Capital, will begin next year to demolish the iconic House of Blues on the Strip at North Olive to erect a hotel and condominiums.
The story also notes other hotels under development or being planned by CIM Group (Sunset at La Cienega) and a partnership of Marriott International and Ian Schrager (the southeast corner of Sunset and Doheny).
Why hotels? The story cites a study by STR Global Inc., a hotel research group, that reports WeHo hotel occupancy rates were up 6.4 percent last year to 82 percent. That compares with 77 percent in greater Los Angeles as a whole.
While many residents will decry the increase in traffic, an increase in hotel rooms will put more money in the city’s already full coffers if occupancy rates remain high. Hotel room taxes are the largest single source of city revenue, projected to contribute $20 million to the city’s General Fund this fiscal year.