Earlier this year, residents of Downtown Los Angeles began thinking "development," when Mai's Mexican Restaurant unexpectedly closed its doors.  Those suspicions have now been proven correct.

According to a case filing from the Los Angeles Department of City Planning, a new hotel tower is planned for the slender .21-acre property at 631-635 South Spring Street.  The project would consist of a 28-story building, featuring 176 guest rooms, approximately 1,600 square feet of ground-level commercial space, and restaurants on its second, third and fourth floors.  The proposed tower would also include a rooftop terrace with an outdoor swimming pool and a bar.

Construction of the hotel as currently proposed will require multiple discretionary approvals from the city, including a transfer of floor area rights and a master conditional use permit for alcohol sales.  More notably, the developer has requested variances which would allow the project to move forward without an on-site parking garage.  Hotel guests and commercial tenants would instead utilize existing parking structures in the neighborhood.  However, the development would create a total of 18 bicycle parking spaces within an adjacent public right-of-way.

The proposed hotel is the latest in a slew of high-rise developments emerging in Downtown's Historic Core.  One block north, Joseph Hellen has announced plans to build a 40-story apartment tower adjacent to the Spring Street Arcade.  One block east on Main Street, Barry Shy has filed plans with the city to construct a 38-story tower at the intersection of 6th and Main Streets.  Others developers working on high-rise projects include Izek Shomof, Equity Residential and Holland Partner Group.