Troubled California hotel in US$185m luxury makeover

Developer turning former Miramar site into beach resort and bungalows

Published Wed, Sep 17, 2014 · 04:00 PM
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[LOS ANGELES] Rick Caruso, a Los Angeles shopping-mall developer, plans to spend about US$185 million to rebuild a Southern California seaside hotel with a troubled past into a luxury getaway.

The 170-room Miramar Beach Resort and Bungalows in Montecito, near Santa Barbara, will have such amenities as a beach club, spa, restaurants and two swimming pools, said Mr Caruso, founder of closely held developer Caruso Affiliated. The site's former hotel, known as Miramar by the Sea, has already been demolished.

Mr Caruso bought the property in 2007 from H Ty Warner, the billionaire creator of Beanie Babies plush toys and owner of the Four Seasons Hotel New York. The California hotel, on about six hectares, had been out of service for more than a decade as past revival efforts were hampered by local opposition to development and the property market's crash. Former owners include hotelier Ian Schrager.

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