Mark Bolour of Bolour and Associates describes his plans for the Strand and Pier Hotel with Hermosa Beach residents Monday night. Photo by Kevin Cody
The team planning to build a three-story hotel with a rooftop pool and 120 rooms at the northwest corner of The Strand and Pier Plaza in Hermosa Beach said the hotel will be a reflection of the town, beginning with the name Strand and Pier.
Real estate developer Bolour Associates of Los Angeles, Provenance Hotels of Portland and Hill Glazier Studio (HKS) of Palo Alto presented their ideas for the hotel and invited the public to present theirs at a meeting Monday night at the Beach House hotel, adjacent to the site of the proposed hotel. The standing room only crowd of over 100 people expressed general support for the plan, but reservations about the proposed 45-height. Hermosa’s current height limit is 30 feet, though the nearby Bijou and Waterman’s buildings exceed those heights.
“We are selling an experience [to our guests],” Bashar Wali, president of Provenance Hotels, told residents. He said local artists will be commissioned to give guests “a sense of the community through local eyes.
Provenance’s Hotel Murano in Tacoma is named after the famous Italian glass maker and inspired by Tacoma’s Museum of Glass. Works by Tacoma glass artists are featured throughout the Murano. Provenance’s Hotel Max in downtown Seattle features works by Seattle artists and photographers in each of the guest rooms.
“We are tree huggers. We recycle unused soap, rely on solar power and have electric charging stations at our hotels,” Wali said.
Provenance’s Do Not Disturb door hangers, distributed at the meeting, give guest the option to have bathroom towels rehung rather than replaced to conserver water.
Representatives of Strand and Pier Hotel gathered following their presentation to Hermosa Beach residents Monday evening at the Beach House Hotel. Photo by Kevin Cody
HKS architect Thomas Sprinkle identified historical features of Hermosa that he said would inform his design for Hermosa, including jazz, surfing, volleyball, the bike path, the pier and Hermosa’s “all ages vibe.”
HKS’s other Southern California projects include Terranea in Palos Verdes, Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica and the Four Seasons in Santa Barbara.
The Hermosa hotel’s guest rooms would overlook The Strand and the ocean from the second and third floors, Sprinkle said. A rooftop pool and deck are also planned. The ground floor would include approximately 15,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space facing Pier Plaza. Together with a spa and gym, the hotel would total approximately 80,000 square feet.
The L-shaped 27,000 square-foot property extends 200 feet along The Strand, from 13th Street to Pier Avenue, and east approximately 100feet along the north side of Pier Plaza.
The Strand frontage is presently occupied by the Mermaid, the Deck and Good Stuff restaurants. The Pier Plaza frontage now includes Pier Surf and the former Cantina Real restaurant, which is reopening as Killer Shrimp.
The L-shape wraps around the Hermosa Cyclery shop and an apartment complex, whose property owners attended the meeting. Both property owners declined to comment on the hotel proposal. The developers efforts to acquire the bike shop and apartment properties have been unsuccessful, consultant Dana Sayles of three6ixty said following the meeting.
Parking, Sprinkle said, would be off site. The city owns three parking lots east of the proposed hotel.
Sprinkle stressed that the design needs a height of 45 feet to allow for a 15 foot first floor ceiling characteristic of luxury restaurants and hotels. The second, third and fourth floors would be 10-feet each.
“This is the only city I know of that includes pool umbrellas and safety rails in its height measurements,” Sprinkle quipped.
To build to 45 feet would require approval from voters, who lowered the height limit from 45 feet to 30 feet in a 1991 ballot measure, which passed two to one.
Several people at the meeting expressed concern that if the Strand and Pier Hotel is allowed to build to 45 feet, other downtown properties would be entitled to as well. Several Strand-front properties south of Pier Plaza, including the Sea Sprite Hotel owned by the Greenwald family and Scotty’s restaurant owned by the Mangurian family, have been the subject of hotel development discussions.
Hermosa Beach councilwoman Nannette Barragan said, following Monday night’s meeting, that recent case law has indicated that cities have the power to exempt individual properties from height limits, but that she did not know if that ruling would apply to Hermosa.