Downtown's historic Hotel Barclay, the oldest continually operating hotel in Los Angeles, is poised for a boutique makeover by local real estate development firm Relevant Group.  But before that can happen, the Los Angeles City Planning Commission must review plans for replacing single-room occupancy apartments currently contained within the late 19th century structure.

The replacement housing, which is also being developed by Relevant Group, is planned less than a half-mile east near the intersection of 5th and San Pedro Streets.  The proposed development, slated to replace a parking lot and small building at 409 E. 5th Street, would stand eight stories and feature 150 apartments - all of which would be one-bedroom units - restricted to low-income households.  Plans also call for supportive services at the basement level, as well as a multipurpose room for residents.

Steinberg Hart is designing the boxy 95-foot-tall building, which would offer an interior courtyard and a rooftop deck for the use of residents.  The structure would be built entirely from prefabricated modular units - an increasingly popular building form in Los Angeles.


The project is budgeted at approximately $35 million, according to a July 2019 staff report to the CRA/LA Governing Board.  At the time, construction was expected to begin in November 2019, followed by the conversion of the Barclay in April 2020.

The project received the unanimous support of the Los Angeles City Planning Commission at its January 23 meeting.

Relevant Group is also planning affordable housing in the Westlake community that will accommodate replacement housing for the Barclay and the Morrison Hotel, which is also slated for a makeover as part of a larger commercial development.

Prefabricated modular construction is becoming an increasingly popular tool for lowering the cost of affordable housing construction - as exemplified by recent projects in South Los Angeles and Westlake - but also for hotel construction.  One block west of the Barclay, an 11-story citizenM hotel is now rising at the corner of 4th and Spring Streets will be built from modular units.

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