After two years of construction, the Financial District's Commercial Exchange Building has finally returned to its former glory.

The 13-story structure, built in 1924 at 8th and Olive Streets, is being converted by the Sydell Group into the first Los Angeles location of the Freehand Hotel brand.  The $40-million project is transforming the upper floors of the building into a mixture of 226 traditional hotel rooms and hostel-type accommodations.

Killefer Flammang Architects handled design work for the development, which will also create guest amenities such as a fitness center and a rooftop deck.

The Freehand passed a notable milestone earlier this year, when its iconic blade sign was reactivated.  According to Kirk Gaw - a community activist and marketing and sales representative with One One 77 Creative Studio - the sign has not been regularly lit since 1955, when it appeared in the Alfred Hitchcock film "To Catch a Thief."

An image of the lit sign is now displayed on the hotel's Facebook page.

The blade sign - which is the largest of its type in Downtown Los Angeles - will eventually direct passersby to a ground-floor restaurant known as "Exchange."

The Freehand is expected to open this Spring.

Sydell is also converting the long vacant Giannini Place building one block north into a NoMad Hotel.