The City Council signed off on a proposed 168-room Marriott hotel in South Los Angeles Friday, reversing a decision by the local planning commission that had initially denied a permit for the development over concerns that the city-owned land should be used instead for affordable housing.
The proposed seven-story building would be located on a 34,000-square-foot, city-owned site that has been vacant since 2010. It was formerly the site of the Bethune Library, and is located near USC.
The council voted Jan. 17 to override the denial of a permit for the hotel by the South Los Angeles Area Planning Commission. On Tuesday, the council’s planning committee sided with the developer in providing the permit and the full council voted 10-1 in favor on Friday.
The Marriott would be the first union hotel in Council District Eight. It would provide up to 60 permanent jobs and 1,000 construction jobs, according to the city’s economic and workforce development department. Department officials noted that there is only one other three-star hotel located within a two-mile radius of the USC campus.
The hotel is projected to bring $1.6 million of annual revenue to the city, according to the department.
In 2019, the City Council entered into an agreement with a developer to build the Marriott on the site. But the local planning commission last month sided with the city’s zoning administrator in denying a conditional use permit and site plan review amid concerns that the lot should be used to provide affordable housing.
Several public speakers addressed the council two weeks ago and again at Tuesday’s committee meeting opposing the hotel. But on Friday, several speakers showed up to the chamber to voice support for the project.
Strategic Actions for a Just Economy, a tenants advocacy group, called the council’s decision a disappointment.
“We spent over 10 years advocating to ensure this public land is used for public good,” the organization said on Twitter. “Simply put, this corporate hotel development does not meet the needs and desires of the community.”
Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson, who represents the area and is chair of the committee, introduced the motion asking the council to “assert jurisdiction” over the local planning commission’s action.
On Tuesday, Harris-Dawson called the project one of “much controversy” but said the Eighth District “needs to be able to participate in the economy of Los Angeles.”
“When the World Cup comes to L.A., were we to go along with the folks opposed to this project, what the district would get out of that economic activity is increased traffic, people parking all through their neighborhoods, trash and everything else — and not get one dollar of benefit from that economic activity,” Harris-Dawson said.