By Sen Sugano
The Doubletree Hotel.
The hotel on the corner of First and Main in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo has seen several name changes over the years. Once a public/private partnership to spur private investment in this Japanese-American enclave, the hotel has since been struggling to fill rooms to keep vacancy rates low. In 2007, 3D Investments purchased the then Japanese-owned New Otani Hotel for $54M. They invested in the site, improving the hotel conference areas as well as guest rooms to lure business. But now, two years later, 3D Investments is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
As part of the bankruptcy filings, 3D Investments plans to move forward with a new branding of the hotel to the Hilton-owned Double Tree. Back in November of 2010, Eric Richardson of Blogdowntown wrote:
In a status update filed with the court this week, owner 3D Investments told the court that it has not formally had its franchise license agreement accepted by the Hilton-owned hotel brand, but that it has entered into a letter of intent and has completed negotiations on a 15-page property improvement plan.
In the wake of these new revelations, there are many things that are left unclear. For instance, how will the new hotel name and further property improvements planned for the site affect the community? Will the hotel keep its Japanese theme? Will the hotel management continue to offer facilities for community groups at a discounted rate?
Although it’s just a change in name, 3D Investments’ bankruptcy filings and decisions regarding its Little Tokyo assets have the potential to greatly affect this already small community. And because of this, it is their responsibility to keep local stakeholders in the loop.