JLL retained to recapitalize L.A. LIVE hotels

JLL’s Hotels & Hospitality Group, in advance of a major expansion of the J.W. Marriott hotel at L.A. LIVE, has been retained by AEG to explore recapitalization opportunities and secure a strategic partner for the J.W. Marriott and The Ritz-Carlton hotels, two properties located at AEG’s L.A. LIVE sports and entertainment district in Downtown Los Angeles.

“We are seeing incredible demand for luxury hotels both domestically and globally as they outperformed during the pandemic,” said Gilda Perez-Alvarado, global CEO, JLL Hotels & Hospitality. “This offering represents the largest urban luxury hotel offering globally since the pandemic hit in March of 2020 and is a unique opportunity to partner with a best-in-class owner to take the hotel expansion project to the next level.”

The planned hotel expansion will include a new room tower and conference center adding more than 860 rooms and in excess of 150,000 sq. ft. of ballroom and meeting space to the existing JW Marriott at L.A. LIVE. The 5.6-million-sq.-ft. sports and entertainment district is also home to Arena, the home of the Los Angeles Lakers, L.A. Clippers, L.A. Sparks and L.A. Kings; Microsoft Theatre, a 7,100-seat venue that hosts numerous events and concerts each year; and a variety of restaurant and entertainment venues. In addition, the development has a community benefits agreement in place, which has provided significant jobs for the surrounding community.

“As we prepare to embark on the planned expansion of the JW Marriott, bringing in a new strategic capital partner with deep hospitality experience will ensure the best prospects for the success of this vital project,” said Ted Fikre, vice chairman/chief legal and development officer, AEG. “With demand currently very strong for high-quality hotel investment opportunities in marquee locations, we believe now is the right time to identify a partner to help us complete this project well in advance of upcoming major citywide events such as the 2026 World Cup and the 2028 Olympics. There is no doubt that because of their unrivaled reputation and experience in the industry, JLL is the right choice to help us identify a strategic partner who will invest capital in this unique hospitality opportunity.”

The J.W. Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE and The Ritz-Carlton Los Angeles (both shown above) are the marquee properties of the L.A. LIVE mixed-use entertainment district and serve as anchor hotels for downtown Los Angeles and the adjacent Los Angeles Convention Center. Recently renovated in 2020, the 18-story J.W. Marriott features 878 rooms, including 73 suites and 134,000 sq. ft. of meeting space across 44 meeting rooms. The hotel also offers four food and beverage outlets, a fitness center, a rooftop outdoor pool and bar, a full-service business center, a barber shop/beauty salon, valet dry cleaning and concierge services. The five-story Ritz-Carlton offers 123 guestrooms, including 22 suites and features the 24 Sky Lounge and a full-service restaurant. Additional hotel amenities include the Ritz-Carlton Spa, the exclusive Ritz-Carlton Club Level, a full-service business center, luxury car rental and limousine/luxury transportation services. Both hotels are LEED Silver certified.

The JLL Hotels & Hospitality team representing AEG is led by Senior Managing Director John Strauss.

“The hotel industry continues to recover from the pandemic and luxury hotels in particular have fared very well, up nearly 17% over 2019 levels,” said Strauss. “AEG has been a collaborative partner with the City of Los Angeles for more than 25 years resulting in the revitalization of DTLA, including the addition of numerous residential and retail developments. This is an exceptional opportunity for an experienced hospitality partner to continue the vision for L.A. LIVE and DTLA and take advantage of the recovering hotel markets.”