The UC Board of Regents granted full approval for the construction of a 250-room hotel located in the heart of the UCLA campus last month.
The Board’s Committee on Grounds and Buildings unanimously approved support for construction of the 294,000 square foot Luskin Conference and Guest Center, which will be located in center campus and in the current site of a parking structure. With construction slated to begin Sep. 2013 and expected to conclude in winter of 2016, the project’s estimated cost is $152 million.
Named after Meyer and Renee Luskin, the UCLA alumni who donated $50 million toward construction, the project will include a conference center and hotel guest rooms as well as an underground parking garage with 125 spaces and a catering kitchen. Development will also include improvements to pedestrian areas and nearby roads located in Gateway Plaza.
The Luskins’ donation will be distributed into two pools of funding, with $40 million spent on construction and $10 million going towards programs the center will support, such as rental costs for campus departments and programs using the space.
According to a press release, the hotel will be exclusively for clients visiting the university as it offers reasonably priced meeting spaces and hotel rooms for these guests, with rates estimated at $185 per night. Furthermore, the campus-based nature of the hotel is not expected to affect any outside businesses in the Westwood area.
The campus still needs another $112 million of the costs to be financed, which UCLA plans to retrieve from sources outside of student fees and state funding.
Finalized design plans and an environmental impact report, which include public opinions about the project like the controversy surrounding its potential to take revenue from local businesses, have been compiled. On Sep. 13, the Regent’s committee reported its official certification of the Environmental Impact Report under the California Environmental Quality Act as well as their adoption of the report’s findings into the Luskin Center’s plans.
The Luskins have aided in the establishment of the Meyer and Renee Luskin School of Public Affairs and the Luskin Center for Innovation at UCLA. Along with creating endowment funds for both undergraduate student scholarships and graduate student fellowships at UCLA, the Luskin family has donated to the children’s clinic at the UCLA Medical Center and Orthopedic Hospital, as well as the UCLA Alumni Association and related advisory boards.