Another developer with plans for a high-rise hotel near the Los Angeles Convention Center is angling for a financial incentive package, according to a motion introduced yesterday by City Councilmember Gil Cedillo.

Last year, Los Angeles-based real estate investment firm Sandstone Properties filed plans to redevelop a currently-vacant building at 1330 W. Pico Boulevard - just west of the Convention Center.  The proposed mixed-use complex - called The Albany - would consist of a 37-story building featuring 730 hotel rooms, a 63,000-square-foot conference facility, and parking for over 800 vehicles.

Sandstone is seeking financial incentives to for the project similar to those offered to other large hotel developments near the Convention Center, and has agreed to pay $150,000 for a consultant to conduct an economic analysis of the project.  Other nearby hotel complexes - such as Lightstone Group's Fig + Pico development - have received incentives in the form of rebates on the amount of transient occupancy tax paid to the City of Los Angeles.

If built today, the Albany would create an estimated 2,000 construction jobs and 700 permanent jobs, according to Cedillo.  The completed project could generate roughly $11 million in annual tax revenue for the City of Los Angeles.

The hotel tower is one of large projects slated for the blocks surrounding the Convention Center, which is itself slated to undergo a $500-million expansion.  That project, which is being jointly developed with AEG, will also include an 850-room expansion of the J.W. Marriott hotel complex.

After its expansion, the Los Angeles Convention Center would encompass 1.2 million square feet of usable floor area, making it larger than the 950,000-square-foot San Diego Convention Center and the 750,000-square-foot Anaheim Convention Center, but smaller than the 1.4-million-square-foot Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco.  Cedillo contends that as the the relatively small size of the Los Angeles facility "highlights the need to particularly focus on increasing the amount of complimentary meeting space around the Convention Center to attract large national and international conventions and conferences."

The motion has been referred to the City Council's Economic Development Committee for consideration at a future meeting.