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LOS ANGELES-The LA Unified School District has agreed to pay $76.5 million for the Wilshire District’s Ambassador Hotel, where movie stars danced away the nights for more than half a century and Robert F. Kennedy’s life was later cut short by an assassin’s bullet.

The district plans to use the site, along Wilshire Boulevard near Vermont Avenue, to build a sorely needed high school and perhaps a middle school for the area. Though the vote is a key step toward buying the parcel, it will likely take school officials several months or even years to formulate a development plan that is acceptable to local homeowner groups, businesses and preservationists.

Some homeowners in the area want to see the 23-acre site include new retail and office space while others are adamantly opposed to anything but construction of educational facilities. Business leaders have called for a mix of uses, while some preservationists have floated plans that would restore the now-empty hotel to its original splendor.

The hotel was designed by Myron Hung, who also designed the Rose Bowl and the Huntington Library. It opened during the Great Depression and thrived well into the 1960s, but the area’s changing demographics and other factors eventually resulted in its closure about 15 years ago.

Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated at the hotel by Sirhan Sirhan in June 1968, just minutes after learning that he had won that evening’s presidential primary in California. After the hotel was shuttered in the 1980s, it was purchased by a partnership that included New York developer Donald Trump.

Trump’s group wanted to build the world’s tallest high-rise on the site, but those plans ran into local opposition and then became mired in legal action between the developer and the school district. The property was eventually sold to another partnership, Wilshire Center Marketplace, which later declared bankruptcy even as its negotiations with the district continued.

The district’s purchase must still be approved by a Bankruptcy Court judge. No date for a hearing has been set.

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