Walking down Valley Boulevard, it’s hard not to notice a vibrant new development at the corner of East Palm Avenue. The new structure – an upcoming hotel featuring 288 guest rooms, a meeting space with a ball room and two restaurants with a full service coffee shop – is part of a continuing effort to redevelop Valley Boulevard into a vital economic center filled with a variety of restaurants, shops and hotels. “Valley Boulevard has seen a huge economic boom during the last decade,” notes Teddy Yang, Hospitality Operation Director for Hazens Investment. “I have been in San Gabriel for over 30 years, and I have never seen anything like this.”
Teddy Yang and his colleagues are part of a large development company known as Hazens, which is currently building a new Sheraton hotel in the heart of San Gabriel. With construction still underway and nearing completion (the hotel is preparing to open around late October or early November), hotel staff were willing to give us a behind-the-scenes preview of their latest development.
Centered on a white vibrant art deco theme, the Sheraton stands relatively tall at five stories compared to its neighboring properties. With sharp lines and a white exterior grounded by a dark base, the building certainly portrays a level of elegance – and with purpose. “We usually see art deco in a lot of downtown buildings in Los Angeles, and we’d like to bring that elegance to the city of San Gabriel,” said Yang.
Billed as a luxury destination, the Sheraton Los Angeles San Gabriel was built with the principal aim of attracting domestic and international travelers that may have otherwise made their stay in Los Angeles. “The hotel is positioned to service not only the San Gabriel community – the locals – but also the domestic and international travelers coming to Los Angeles,” said Wanda Chan, General Manager of the Sheraton Los Angeles San Gabriel. “We’d like to bring people who currently stay in West Los Angeles or in the heart of downtown here to San Gabriel.”
Once inside, guests can expect to see a continuation of the art deco theme – or, as Yang notes, “the modernization of art deco” – throughout the hotel’s interior. Featuring tall ceilings, the lobby will feature an abundant use of marble, glass and metal. “We’re aiming to bring some translucency to the lobby, so when the light fills the room, it’s going to be gorgeous,” notes Yang.
When it comes to dining, the Sheraton will offer an American steakhouse and a Chinese Sichuan home-style restaurant – the former of which will include a large collection of wine. More pertinent to some residents of the community, guests can also grab a coffee at the hotel’s full service Starbucks. “The community does not have a Starbucks within a mile radius of this area, so building a Starbucks makes sense,” said Yang.
The hotel will also feature 19,000 square feet of meeting space, including an 11,000 square feet ballroom. “I’m personally excited about our event space that will allow us to service the community. Any social gatherings, associations, parties or weddings can be held here,” Chan said.
As for the guest rooms, Yang and Chan both note that each room will feature large windows and tall ceilings, with décor based on the theme of water and waves to soften the room’s tone. “Water and waves inspire the décor in our rooms. Our suites already feature a lot of art deco, which feature plenty of symmetry and geometric patterns. To soften those lines, we’ve included several organic patterns,” Yang said. Usual amenities, such as USB charging, mid-sized refrigerators, an outdoor pool, a spa and a 24-hour gym are also to be expected.
With construction still underway, the Sheraton Los Angeles San Gabriel plans to open this fall as the latest addition to Valley Boulevard. “Having a second luxury hotel in the city will benefit tourists and residents alike,” said Angelica Frausto-Lupo, Economic Development Manager for the city. “The transient occupancy tax revenues, expected to be over $2 million a year, will have a direct economic benefit to the entire San Gabriel community.”