…By Judah Olanisebee for TDPel Media.
World’s Richest Man Abandons $2,000-a-Night Hotel Project on Beverly Hills’ Rodeo Drive
Bernard Arnault, the world’s wealthiest individual and CEO of LVMH, has decided to cancel plans for an extravagant boutique hotel and members-only club on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.
This decision comes after residents in the affluent Los Angeles neighborhood voted against the construction of The Cheval Blanc hotel project.
Narrow Vote and Costly Campaign:
Last week, a vote took place among Beverly Hills residents, with a slim majority rejecting the hotel project.
The final tally showed that 50.9 percent of voters opposed the development, outnumbering the project’s supporters by a mere 123 votes.
LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the renowned luxury goods company, had invested three years and $2.9 million in a campaign to secure approval for the project.
Accepting the Outcome:
LVMH spokesperson Jessica Miller stated that if the final vote count confirms the rejection of the project by the voters, the company will respect the outcome and not pursue the hotel project in any form.
The decision overturns the previous approval granted by city officials and concludes a comprehensive and lengthy review process.
Opposition and Arguments:
The hotel project faced opposition from various parties, including Unite Here Local 11, a union representing 32,000 hotel and hospitality workers in Southern California.
They compelled the issue to a vote, arguing that the city frequently amends development rules to facilitate commercial luxury projects without doing the same for housing.
Critics also voiced concerns about the project’s impact on views and increased traffic congestion in the area.
Lost Opportunities and Future Plans:
The proposed hotel, designed by renowned architect Peter Marino, would have consisted of 115 rooms across three blocks of Rodeo Drive.
In addition to the hotel, the project included a membership-only club, retail stores, restaurants, and a spa.
The cancellation of the project means lost opportunities for the city, as it would have contributed $28 million and generated an estimated $725 million in taxes and other payments over 30 years.
Next Steps for LVMH:
Although LVMH still owns the property earmarked for the hotel, it is expected to explore alternative uses such as retail or office spaces.
The company owns multiple properties on Rodeo Drive, and while this hotel project may not come to fruition, they remain a significant presence in the area.
The decision to abandon the luxury hotel project on Rodeo Drive marks a significant turn of events, with the world’s richest man opting not to pursue a venture that would have added to the prestigious landscape of Beverly Hills.
Despite the setback, LVMH retains its foothold in the city and will undoubtedly explore other opportunities for growth and development.