The owner of the Hilton Universal City hotel is seeking financial assistance for a proposed expansion of the property, per a motion introduced by Los Angeles City Councilmember Nithya Raman.

"The Hilton Universal City Hotel is in the City of Los Angeles and has some of the highest occupancy levels in the City, given its amenities and proximity to Universal Studios," reads the motion. "With nearly 500 rooms, the Hotel is often at full capacity. Hillcrest Real Estate, the owner and developer of the Hotel, has expressed an interest in expanding the property to add room and amenities that could more fully serve the hotel demand in the area."

Aerial view looking eastAnkrom Moisan

The proposed project at 555 E. Universal Hollywood Drive, which has been in the works since 2017, calls for the construction of a new 18-story tower which would feature 395 guest rooms. Combined with hotel's existing 24-story tower, the Hilton Universal City would have 890 guest rooms after completion of the project.

Pending approval of project entitlements, something which has yet to occur, construction of the Hilton Universal expansion is expected to occur over 30 months.

Hilton Los Angeles Universal CityGoogle Maps

The motion directs the Chief Legislative Analyst to hire consultants to conduct an economic feasibility study for the project, using $150,000 to be provided by the developer. The item has been referred to the Council's Trade, Travel, and Tourism Committee for consideration.

Hillcrest is hardly the first hotel developer to seek help from the city - the backers of a proposed mixed-use complex next to the L.A. River in the Arts District have recently sought financial assistance for a hotel which would be included in the project. Past agreements have involved a partial rebate of transient occupancy tax revenue which would normally be paid to the city.

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