Bulgari Resort Planned at Benedict Canyon Celeb Brouhaha

Gary Safady and returned from Bulgari Resort Los Angeles, 9704-9712 ​​West Oak Road (Getty, Bulgari Hotels)

A plan to build a luxury hotel in Benedict Canyon has sparked a pitched battle among Los Angeles celebrities.

Gary Safady, a real estate developer and film producer, has filed plans to build a 58-room hotel on a 33-acre hillside at 9704-9712 ​​West Oak Road in Beverly Crest, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The vision for the Bulgari Resort Los Angeles and eight single-family homes has sparked fire from movie executives and celebrities who have clashed over the future of one of Los Angeles’ wealthiest neighborhoods.

At the center of the debate is the 33-acre former home of billionaire businessman Kirk Kerkorian. The property was sold in 2015 for $19 million.

This is where Safady plans to build his luxury resort, which would include a 10,000-square-foot spa, gym, theater and eight-seat sushi bar, as well as a restaurant by the star-studded Italian chef. Michelin Niko Romito.

Supporters of the project include actors Mark Wahlberg, Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis, Gerard Butler, Orlando Bloom, Adrien Brody and Jon Lovitz, as well as rock musician Gene Simmons, according to letters written on behalf of the project.

Opponents include several hundred well-heeled neighbors, including Doors guitarist Robby Krieger, TV host Phil McGraw and actors Jacqueline Bisset and Stefanie Powers, according to signed testimony opposing the hotel.

The area, shaded by oaks, sycamores and willows, is lined with panels decrying the resort project. Home prices in Benedict Canyon range from $3 million to $100 million.

Supporters launched Enhanceourcanyon.org. Opponents created Saveourcanyon.la.

Safady has invested nearly $2 million in mayoral lobbyists to support his project, according to city disclosure records.

Opponents hired a lobbyist at City Hall and a law firm, spending at least $74,000 on lobbying activities at City Hall, according to city records. Councilman Paul Koretz, who represents the neighborhood, voiced his opposition to the project, as did mayoral candidates Karen Bass and Rick Caruso.

Safady said his project compares favorably to the swanky neighboring Bel-Air Hotel and the Beverly Hills Hotel, two large upscale hotels that attract more visitors than the Bulgari and are each set on just 12 acres of land.

“We have technical experts working on it to make it a bespoke eco-luxury hotel with homes,” he said.

Benedict Canyon Drive is used as an alternative to Highway 405 between the San Fernando Valley and West Los Angeles.

Adding a hotel to the area would only make traffic problems worse, opponents say. Reviewers complain about potential traffic and noise, especially if it was hosting weddings, bar and bat mitzvahs and more.

The project was originally proposed in 2018 with 99 rooms and branded “The Retreat”. It has since been overhauled with fewer rooms and dubbed “The Bulgari Hotel”.

A meeting of the planning committee is scheduled for this week to decide on a zoning change necessary for the construction of a commercial project in the residential area. Final approval would be required from the Los Angeles City Council.

If completed, Le Bulgari would be one of eight hotels operated by a hotel company under LVMH, a French holding company created by the merger of fashion house Louis Vuitton and Moët Hennessy. The hotel’s maximum occupancy is said to be 715 people, including 130 employees per shift, according to city records.

— Dana Barthelemy

Comments are closed.