Tensions Rise over Luxury Condo Tower in Beverly Hills

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Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills Luxury Condo Tower

A feud between two real estate lords is quickly escalating over a Beverly hills luxury condo tower. In one corner, we have Beny Alagem, a recognized high-end hotelier, owner of the Beverly Hilton Hotel and Waldorf Astoria in Beverly Hills, and founder and former Chief Executive of Packard Bell Computers.

The Israeli American entrepreneur might be a heavy weight in the world of luxury real estates, but his opponent sports even deeper pockets and credentials. Wang Jianlin is the world’s 19th-richest person and the chairman of Wanda Group, China’s largest real estate developer.

The Story of the Multimillion Dollar Luxury Condo Tower Feud

Beverly Hills – The Battlefield of Ultra-Luxury Estates

Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills  Luxury Condo Tower

The two paramounts are colliding here, in the opulently stylish community of 35,000 inhabitants midway between downtown Los Angeles and the Pacific Coast. Beverly Hills touts itself as the ‘Garden Spot of the World’. The city name certainly spurs thoughts of ‘upscale urban village’.

Price tags don’t come cheap in this corner of the Californian paradise. A night in town at the 14-story Beverly Wilshire hotel can run your piggy bank dry of $600 a night. Disclosure, that’s the price of a room without a view.

One of the most sought-after home destinations in the South Pacific enclave, the real estate market in Beverly Hills always runs a high fever. In 2016, according to a report by Sotheby’s International Realty, the average value for all houses sold for more than $3 million was a whopping $8.5 million.

The Israeli-American Millionaire

Beverly Hilton  Luxury Condo Tower

In the present circumstance, a developer who’s trying to rally the support of the hard-to-impress Beverly Hills community for a luxury condo tower should run a campaign of exquisite strategy.

Beny Alagem has been typically insistent in promoting his November ballot measure among the voters. Votes in his way will allow the developer to score a record with the tallest for a luxury condo tower in the area by joining together two planned condo sky scrapers. Alagem has already spent an inordinate amount of money on the PR campaign. A price tag of $3,1 million, or to be more accurate, $140 for each registered voter.

The Israeli businessman promoted his project as an open space initiative. Namely, a 1,7 acres oasis of greenery in the white-hot Californian desert.

How Did the Mayor Get Sidetracked by the Real Estate Feud?

Beverly Hills is a stickler for its ‘human-scale’ architecture and small-town feel. For example, a home owner couldn’t throw another floors on its two-storey high house unless he receives approval from the community council.

Obviously, the elected representative and city leader, Mayor John Mirisch should stand up for the same principles. The politician is publicly denouncing Alagem’s proposal plan. However, at the same time he’s uncharacteristically championing another mega-dollar project. The $1.2-billion One Beverly Hills development plan belonging to Wanda Group.

The Chinese Billionaire

Wang Jianlin Luxury Condo Tower

Wanda Group is a financial mammoth. In 2014, the Chinese developers purchased land just across the street from Alagem’s project. If granted approval, the planned 193 luxury condos plus a 15-story hotel-and-condominium building will dramatically alter the Beverly Hills skyline.

Which begs the question: Is the mayor rubbing shoulders with the Chinese developer? Or is the Californian politician just insulted by Alagem going straight to the voters and sending his signature-gatherers to ’stalk’ the Beverly Hills citizens?

Ultimately, it seems like Beverly Hills is casting its votes. What will it be? A luxury condo tower on the right side of Merv Griffin Way or a luxury condo tower on the left?

Image sources: 1, 2, 3

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