Relevant Group guts interior of historic downtown Morrison Hotel, effectively removing the Morrison’s 111 SRO hotel rooms from Los Angeles’ affordable housing stock
Rushed move—at a time when nearly 40,000 Angelenos remain homeless—paves way for yet another luxury hotel and condo conversion and comes after preservationists filed an application for historic designation for the hotel
LOS ANGELES (June 15, 2022) AHF and its housing advocacy division, Housing Is A Human Right (HHR), are calling on City of Los Angeles Councilmembers and Planning Department officials to deny certain building entitlements to property developer Relevant Group after the developer quickly gutted the interior of the historic Morrison Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles over Memorial Day Weekend to pave way for a luxury hotel and residential complex. The developer’s action effectively removed the Morrison’s 111 SRO hotel rooms from Los Angeles’ affordable housing stock.
Relevant’s action also came soon after preservationists filed an application for historic designation for the hotel, which was built in 1914 and is located at 1246 Hope Street in the city’s South Park neighborhood.
“As a rule of thumb, housing units that are replacing those lost to development should be built BEFORE destroying, demolishing or gutting the original housing units. Here, Relevant Group rushed the demolition of the interior of this historic Los Angeles hotel and its 111 units of affordable housing,” said Susie Shannon, Policy Director for Housing Is A Human Right.
Relevant Group hired Cushman & Wakefield to market the property. A Cushman & Wakefield of California, Inc. prospectus soliciting financial backers into “a joint venture partnership” to be called “Morrison Hotel and Living,” noted:
“A portion of the Property was once the 111-unit single-room-occupancy (“SRO”) building and became famous for its cameo on the cover of the Doors’ “Morrison Hotel” album in 1969. The Property, which includes the original SRO building and adjacent land, is now pending entitlement for 444 hotel keys and 136 residential units (condo or rental). Ownership has purchased land and entitled a 149-unit permanent supportive housing project nearby as replacement for the SRO units.”
“At a time when nearly 40,000 people in the City of Los Angeles remain homeless, we simply cannot afford the loss of 111 SRO units. With that loss, city officials must be reminded that only 38 new housing units will be created in exchange for the 580 hotel rooms/residential units Relevant Group is planning—less than five percent of that total—and still seeking entitlements,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AHF. “The ‘Morrison Hotel and Living’ complex, should it actually come to fruition, will be built on the burial ground of the Morrison Hotel. We ask City Council and the Planning Department to seriously review Cushman’s application for entitlements here and deny them if and as appropriate.”