Proper Hospitality residences star in Hollywood development

LOS ANGELES—Proper Hospitality is ready for its close up here on Sunset Boulevard this month with the opening of Hollywood Proper Residences, a long-term-stay model that complements its Proper Hotels transient concept being debuted in San Francisco in 2017.

The 200 luxury suites, half furnished/half unfurnished, occupy a 22-story tower as part of Columbia Square, a $400-million, mixed-use development brought out of the ground via Kilroy Realty Corp. on the site of former CBS broadcasting facilities on Gower St.

Founded by real estate company The Kor Group’s CEO Brad Korzen and Principals Brian De Lowe and Alex Samek, Proper Hospitality currently manages Avalon-branded hotels in Beverly Hills and Palm Springs, and will manage the Hollywood Proper Residences as well as additional Proper Hotels as they come on line in San Francisco, Downtown Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Austin, TX, in the near future. The latter will also have branded, for-sale residences at the top of the 35-story new-build.

According to De Lowe, who also serves as Proper Hospitality’s president, the management entity was launched in January 2015 to support the Proper brand, which is geared toward “the higher-end, creative-minded customer,” he said. “It’s the customer who’s looking for a culturally rich experience that you can often find in a boutique or a lifestyle hotel, but without any of the compromises that you sometimes encounter in those properties. It’s that customer who can afford to stay in a five-star, luxury hotel but who finds that those properties often are lacking on the culture side for interesting food and beverage, great design and connections to the city.”

The Columbia Square property, designed by Kelly Wearstler Interior Design, offers stays ranging from seven days to a year or more. Both furnished and unfurnished one-bedroom residences range from 753 to 1,053 sq. ft. Two-bedroom spaces range from 1,204 to 1,402 sq. ft. and include walk-in closets, private balconies and terraces. 

Four penthouses—two with private plunge pools—range from 2,172 to 2,582 sq. ft. with three and four bedrooms and wraparound terraces. 

“Kelly has done the furnishings of all the units but, for these [penthouses], they’re especially decadent and all individually designed,” said De Lowe.

Introductory rates for seven-night minimum stays come in at $395 per night for one-bedroom and $650 a night for two-bedroom furnished units and $5,000 per night for penthouses. For month-long stays it ranges from $6,850-$11,700 for one bedroom and $10,250-$14,300 for two-bedroom furnished units with penthouses from $22,500/month. Unfurnished units run $3,500-$6,700 for one bedroom and $6,500-$9,100 for two bedrooms.

Each guest has access to a rooftop pool with cabanas, outdoor dining, bar, fitness center with open-air yoga patio and a European-style coffee and wine bar serving casual fare. A Proper app makes available personal services from the property’s concierge and a “culture calendar” keeps guests plugged in to local activities.

The Proper Hospitality executives began brainstorming the extended-stay/residential model more than 30 months ago with CEO John Kilroy and EVP David Simon of Kilroy Realty Corp., which focuses on commercial real estate and has been what De Lowe described as “a massive catalyst” for shifting the paradigm on development in the city.  

“They saw a similar opportunity that we saw in building not just a luxury, residential tower but including traditional, unfurnished luxury apartment units in the tower, as well as furnished residences,” said De Lowe. “We came on board and we’ve been involved every step of the way through the design and programming process along with Kelly Wearstler.” 

According to Simon, other tenants committed to the mixed-use development include Viacom, Neuehouse, and Fender Musical Instruments and “Hollywood Proper completes the picture by welcoming short-and long-term residents to the neighborhood….”

While not the same operating model, the Hollywood Proper Residences will likely provide insight for the executive team as it moves ahead to open San Francisco Proper next spring on Seventh and Market Sts. 

Being redeveloped from the historic 1909 Renoir Hotel, the 135-key hotel was Proper’s first project put in motion.

“There’s been tremendous growth in the neighborhood,” said De Lowe, noting an influx of tech companies, including Twitter, have helped pioneer the Mid-Market area into the emerging and now renamed Central Market district. “Our building’s a beautiful, historic, flatiron-shaped building that sits on its own block right at the heart of that neighborhood.”

The company operated the hotel as it was going through its entitlement/development process before shuttering it for the revamp. Historic Preservation and New Markets Tax Credits were made available to advance the new hotel.

The executive said Proper’s growth strategy would encompass a range of options, including acquisition, new builds and adaptive reuse. 

“For us, finding the right neighborhood and ensuring that we help design buildings that really fit within those neighborhoods and communities is what’s really important…we talk a lot about ‘innovation districts,’ the idea of wanting to come into neighborhoods that are experiencing change and that are vibrant. A lot of times that’s through a combination of new, creative workers moving into the neighborhood, as well as artists, new food and beverage. We really like that particular neighborhood in San Francisco,” said De Lowe. “In addition, we felt San Francisco was the most lacking in properties for the audience Proper Hotels and Residences is going to be geared toward, that higher-end creative customer. In a city with so many amazing, talented, creative people, we felt there was not a hotel that catered toward them,” said De Lowe. 

The executive indicated the company is looking to build the Proper brand, both with physical assets and consumer awareness and with along both accommodations lines.

 “We have a history at Kor of designing and developing not just lifestyle hospitality but also high-end residential projects…what we’re seeing in the residential space is that a lot of the characteristics and attributes of lifestyle hotels are being desired by tenants within high-end residential projects. We’re pretty uniquely suited for [creating]high-end, lifestyle, extended-stay given our background,” suggested De Lowe, adding several third-party developers have approached the company to discuss doing projects similar to Hollywood Proper Residences in their mixed-use developments.