Downtown’s Embassy Hotel Stirs, Coughs Up Renovation Plans

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Given how many false starts there have been at the former Embassy Hotel, that old hotel at 831 Grand Avenue owned by New York-based developer Chetrit, news of progress should be treated with plenty of skepticism. But the lumbering hotel, once home to old friend downtown dog and site of a now-canceled luxury hotel, is stirring once again. The Downtown News is reporting that late last month, developers showed a presentation for renovations to the Cultural Heritage Commission. Sounds like standard renovations and facelifts, but here's more via the News: "One of the most significant changes could come to a vacant plot immediately south of the hotel. Fenced off and occasionally overgrown with weeds in recent years, it could house a pool, deck and green space." (Because the hotel is a Historic-Cultural Landmark, all changes must be approved by the Cultural Heritage Commission). According to the News, there's been no budget announced for the project. Meanwhile, these designs sound far different than the ones talked about last fall: Back in November, a source said that Chetrit was trying to get entitlements for 844 Grand--the parking lot across the street--with a plan to build a hamster tunnel aka sky bridge connecting new condos with the hotel across the street.

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