LVMH, the renowned French luxury conglomerate led by billionaire Bernard Arnault, is preparing for the potential demise of its upscale Beverly Hills hotel venture. The company has made an announcement stating that it will scrap its plans for a Cheval Blanc hotel at the northern end of Rodeo Drive if the city’s residents vote against it in a special election. The likelihood of an unfavorable outcome seems to be increasing.

The latest vote count indicates that a majority of residents oppose the construction of the 115-key hotel. The ballot included two critical questions: approval of the zoning amendment allowing the hotel’s construction (Measure B) and approval of the development agreement (Measure C).

Peter Marino Architect

“While there are still some votes to be counted, it now appears that Measures B and C have fallen short of the required margin, overturning the results of a comprehensive, years-long review and approval process,” stated LVMH spokesperson Jessica Miller on Friday. She further expressed pride in collaborating with numerous residents, civic leaders, and business owners who supported the ambitious investment, which would have brought in significant city funding and created a remarkable gateway project for the Golden Triangle.

The hotel project has been a focus for LVMH for nearly three years, as reported by Women’s Wear Daily. The proposed nine-story hotel, designed by architect Peter Marino, aimed to replace at least four buildings at the intersection of Rodeo, Santa Monica Boulevard, and North Beverly Drive. The boutique hotel concept included a private members club and a restaurant, promising to be an exquisite addition to the area.

Peter Marino Architect

Late last year, the Beverly Hills City Council approved the project with a vote of four in favor and one opposed. The council believed that the development would not only revitalize a prime section of Rodeo Drive but also generate an estimated $778 million for the city over the next three decades. However, opposition from certain residents in the affluent enclave began to emerge.

Some locals expressed concerns about potential obstruction of views and increased traffic congestion in the area. Unite Here Local 11, a union representing hospitality workers, also raised objections during the planning process, advocating for the inclusion of affordable housing zoning within the project.

The opposition successfully collected enough signatures to prompt a referendum on the hotel project. The special election concluded on May 23, involving the participation of Beverly Hills’ 22,000 registered voters. The final results are scheduled to be officially certified on June 2, determining the fate of the hotel endeavor.

“If the final vote count confirms the rejection of our project by the voters, we will accept the outcome and will not pursue any future iterations of the hotel project,” added Miller, expressing LVMH’s stance on the matter.