Luxury Hotelier to Run Friars Club Site

An international hotelier will manage a planned luxury residence on the intersection of Santa Monica and Charleville Boulevards, the onetime site of the famous Friar’s Club. Hong Kong-based Rosewood Hotels is set to operate a 17-unit condo building at 9908 S. Santa Monica Blvd. 

That is according to project developers Cliff Goldstein of GPI Companies and Genghis Hadi of Nahla Capital, declared that the high-end structure will be, “The Western gateway into Beverly Hills.” 

Bringing on Rosewood is the latest twist in a mixed-use project anticipated for nearly a decade. 

“Candidly, it has taken a bit of time to work through the city,” said Goldstein, founder and managing partner of GPI Companies. 

GPI Companies bought the land in 2014. But project iterations have faced opposition including from Councilmember John Mirisch.

Asked why the project did not break ground until June – and construction crews were first mobilized in July – Goldstein replied, “Beverly Hills is a special place. And this project required special attention.”

“This is not by any means an off-the-shelf development,” Goldstein added. “It is unlike anything Los Angeles County has ever seen.” 

More than condos

The project is valued at $55 million, according to city records. 

“And give an opportunity for the community to give us feedback before we approve it at our next board meeting.”

In an increasing partnership between the district and the city, Beverly Hills police officers and firefighters will conduct emergency safety drills on campus at Hawthorne Elementary School the morning of Aug. 12, and “it might be a little noisy,” said Superintendent Dr. Michael Bregy.

 Beverly Hills first responders will practice advanced tactical drills, provide on-scene medical treatment for victims, with visually and audibly simulated discharge of weapons. The training exercise will provide a review of on-campus protocols, and police and fire department response during a major emergency. 

“We want to work with our police department on all of our schools, and we want our schools to be as familiar as possible to our police department,” Bregy said. 

Bregy also informed the community that the district is awaiting COVID-19 guidelines from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health before the first day of school next week. “As we are excited about starting the new school year, absent of those guidelines, I just want to remind people that masks are absolutely a choice and an acceptable part of our culture,” Bregy said. “And it has been, and it’s worked really well. As we’ve had masks required on and off, we’re going to start the same way with the school year, with preference.”

While masks remain optional, Bregy noted other layers of protection in place, including temperature checks, quality of ventilation and the “highest grade” MERV 13 air filters used at schools. 

“You’ve got to keep in mind that it’s not over,” Bregy said. “And you need to do what you need to do to feel safe. Nobody knows their kids better than their parents.”

“We’re kind of entering a new school year with parents allowed to be parents, and to make the decisions that are best for their family,” he added.

President Wells encouraged the public to attend in person or virtually for the next board meeting on Aug. 23 for the signing of a district community pledge and the approval of the new Mission Statement, Vision Statement and Values and Governance Handbook. 

“We’re looking at a community pledge, and that will be forthcoming as well for everybody to see,” President Wells said. “We really are excited about this upcoming year. I think that the work that we’ve done as a team and focusing in on what is our common goal and our common purpose, has really brought clarity to our thinking as we’re looking at the strategic plan and this upcoming year. I can say for certain that this board and the Cabinet, we couldn’t be more excited about starting this year and we are so behind this educational excellence for our school district.”