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HOLLYWOOD-HEI Hospitality Fund of Norwalk, CT has jumped into the $326-mllion Hollywood & Vine redevelopment project, a change that will help to “dramatically upgrade” the retail and housing redevelopment at the historic intersection, according to Los Angeles city officials. The city’s Community Redevelopment Agency approved changes to the project Thursday, including HEI’s entry, that reduce the number of hotel rooms to 296 from the previous 300, increase the number of rental units to 350 from the previous 262 and increase condominium units to 145 from 98.

HEI has joined the development team for Hollywood & Vine as an equity partner for a portion of the project that would include a proposed W Hotel, approximately 32,054 sf of retail space and a spa, the 145 condominium units and parking for the project. HEI’s participation was one of a number of amendments to the Hollywood & Vine plan that were approved by the CRA Thursday and will now go to the L.A. City Council for approval.

The Hollywood & Vine redevelopment project area will be developed on a 4.6-acre site on the block bounded by Hollywood Boulevard on the north, Argyle Avenue on the east, Selma Avenue on the south and Vine Street on the west. The project site is adjacent to the Hollywood/Vine Metro Rail Station. It excludes the Taft Building at the southeast corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street.

The changes approved by the CRA board Thursday amend an original agreement from 2003. Besides HEI, entities signed onto the agreement include Foster City-based Legacy Partners, which will develop the apartment portion of the project, and Dallas-based Gatehouse Capital. Gatehouse will jointly develop the hotel and condominiums with HEI.Along with the amendments to the project, the CRA on Thursday agreed to assist the developers in obtaining tax credits and bond financing. The agency also increased its contribution to the project to $4.8 million from the previously estimated $2.5 million.

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