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How the pandemic both hampered and aided LA hotel development
August 9, 2021
The Real Deal Excerpt

Last May, Lightstone Group started work on its $500 million, 755-key hotel project in Downtown Los Angeles, a dual-branded AC and Moxy.

One of the first steps was to pour a mat slab — a 12-hour continuous process to create a thick concrete plate that would serve as the 42-story building’s foundation.

The pandemic gave construction workers a hassle-free opportunity to do this. Given that Downtown was a ghost town, Lightstone could shut down lanes surrounding the site to accommodate 750 concrete trucks.

“The logistics of that in a non-Covid environment would have been really overwhelming,” said Mitchell Hochberg, president of Lightstone.

Lightstone was one of the few developers that actually managed to build a hotel in L.A. during the pandemic, a welcome exception in a sector that many had written off.

The secret? Don’t actually open while the pandemic is still raging, and lock down construction financing well beforehand.

In L.A. County, new hotel construction through June of this year was down 22 percent compared to last year, according to Atlas Hospitality Group, a hotel brokerage. In some cases, newly built hotels are ready, but they’re keeping their doors shut.

More : How the Pandemic Both Disrupted and Aided Hotel Development in LA
 

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Bisnow Excerpt
Convention Center-Adjacent Hotels Set To Open Next Year Face Uncertain Landscape
September 23, 2021

At the northeast corner of Figueroa and Pico in Downtown Los Angeles, an exterior elevator runs up and down between floors of the under-construction Fig + Pico hotel as workers wearing hard hats move around the site. The glassy, Gensler-designed, 37-story hotel shares the intersection with the Staples Center and the Los Angeles Convention Center.

The dual-branded project, which will hold a 380-room Moxy Hotel and a 347-room AC Hotel, broke ground in January 2020 and is expected to open in late 2022. Moxy and AC are Marriott brands.

Though the project only got about three months into construction before the city of Los Angeles locked down due to the coronavirus pandemic, developer Lightstone avoided major negative impacts to the building of the hotel. But the property will be coming on the scene in Downtown as there is much uncertainty around when business travelers and conventions will bounce back to pre-pandemic levels.

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In addition to developing the LA property, Lightstone will oversee food and beverage with a partner. Marriott will manage the hotels.

Early impacts of the pandemic didn’t hit the project hard, Hochberg said. Los Angeles didn’t halt construction when the pandemic hit like many other cities did, so work on the Fig + Pico property was able to continue with coronavirus protocols in place.

More : Convention Center-Adjacent Hotels Set To Open Next Year Face Uncertain Landscape
 

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This hotel operator is on a building spree.

Lightstone Celebrates Topping Out of Two Additional New York City Marriott Moxy Hotels, Moxy Lower East Side and Moxy Williamsburg
Excerpt

NEW YORK, Sept. 30, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- National real estate investor and developer Lightstone today announced the topping out of construction of two Moxy hotels in New York City. Moxy Lower East Side and Moxy Williamsburg, set to open in late 2022, add to Lightstone's growing hospitality portfolio, which includes four open Moxy hotels: Moxy Times Square, Moxy Chelsea, and Moxy East Village in New York, and Moxy South Beach in Miami. Located at 145 Bowery Street, between Grand Street and Broome Street, Moxy Lower East Side reached its pinnacle at 18 stories. Moxy Williamsburg, located at 353 Bedford Ave, between 4th Street and 5th Streets, reached its full height at 11 stories.

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Moxy Lower East Side and Moxy Williamsburg are complemented by three additional New York properties including: the 612-room flagship Moxy Times Square property that opened in the Fall of 2017; the 350-room Moxy Chelsea that opened in February 2019; and the Moxy East Village, a 286-room hotel that opened in September 2019. Lightstone debuted its first Moxy property outside of New York with the opening of Moxy Miami South Beach earlier this year. Earlier this month, Lightstone celebrated the topping out of the firm's dual-branded project, Moxy Los Angeles Downtown and AC Hotel Los Angeles Downtown. Located in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles and scheduled to open in late 2022, the 37-story, 600,000-square-foot mixed-use tower will consist of a 380-room Moxy hotel and a 347-room AC hotel. By the end of 2022, the company's portfolio will feature seven Moxy properties in total.

More : Lightstone Celebrates Topping Out of Two Additional New York City Marriott Moxy Hotels, Moxy Lower East Side and Moxy Williamsburg
 
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