Dutch hotel chain citizenM will break ground later today on its first Southern California location.

The citizenM Los Angeles Downtown, which is being developed in partnership with Los Angeles-based BLVD Hospitality, replaces a parking lot at northwest corner of 4th and Spring Streets in the Historic Core.  Plans call for the construction of an 11-story building featuring 315 guest rooms.

"It became clear very quickly that Downtown is an exceptional destination as we searched for a Los Angeles location," said citizenM founder Rattan Chadha in a statement.  "Our aim is to become part of the neighborhood's fabric while showing visitors to Los Angeles a different side of the city.  In fact, we will use art works drawn from the local L.A. scene, as well as international contributors."

The mid-rise building is being designed by the Dutch architecture firm Concrete in collaboration with the Los Angeles office of Gensler.  A rendering depicts of contemporary 130-foot-tall structure of a similar aesthetic to other citizenM hotels.

The Amsterdam-based chain bills its hotels as "affordable luxury" establishments, located in central neighborhoods of major cities.  Technology features prominently at citizenM locations; lights, televisions, and window blinds are controllable via iPad, and guests have access to free Wi-Fi.

General contractor Mortenson Construction will employ prefabricated modular units to build the citizenM.  Though not common thus far in Los Angeles - with the notable exception of a recently-finished Marriott Hotel in Hawthorne - the use of prefabricated units allows for a faster buildout than more traditional methods of construction.  Completion is anticipated in the second half of 2020, according to a project representative.

Besides the Downtown location, three others citizenM hotels are currently in development in Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington D.C., and Miami.  

"When we mapped out our expansion plans for the U.S., we made a list of the cities where we wanted to be and put stars next to the cities where we needed to be.  Los Angeles was easily one of those few starred cities," said Ernest Lee, citizenM's head of development and investments.

In light of that, the compnay has planned a second Los Angeles citizenM near the Capitol Records Building in Hollywood.

The project is the first ground-up hotel for local partner BLVD Hospitality, whose past work includes the popular Ace Hotel - which inhabits the former United Artists Building on Broadway - and the under-construction Hoxton Hotel.  The company is also developing the Arts District's Soho Warehouse, a new outpost of the private club Soho House.

The Downtown citizenM will have good company at the intersection of 4th and Spring Streets.  On the opposite side of the street, the more than century-old H.W. Hellman building is being converted into rental housing and the new owner of the Continental Building hopes to transform the 12-story edifice into a hotel.  A short distance south, construction is underway for a Cambria Hotel in a 1920s building across the street from Spring Street Park.

Just west at the corner of 4th and Broadway, construction is underway for the 34-story Perla condo tower.