R.D. Olson starts $65M Hilton hotel in California

With a design that might inspire Don Draper to hop a red-eye flight for a West Coast business junket, R.D. Olson broke ground on a $65 million Hilton hotel in Southern California, the firm said in a July 10 press release shared with Construction Dive. 

The Irvine, California, contractor shared Art Deco-style renderings of the lodging project in Arcadia, a 173-room midrise with a rooftop bar overlooking the iconic 1930s Santa Anita Park racetrack, which is slated to host the equestrian world’s Breeder’s Cup later this year. 

Work on the full-service hotel will include the adaptive reuse and extensive structural modification of an existing three-story office building, as well as the ground-up addition of a new, six-story tower, a type of rehabbing R.D. Olson specializes in.  

“We’ve… had much success in past adaptive reuse projects, with close to 250 hospitality renovations completed, so this will be a wonderful addition to our portfolio,” said Bill Wilhelm, R.D. Olson’s president, in the announcement. 

Once completed, the property will total 138,000 square feet, the company said.

The hotel project’s kickoff is a contrary indicator to a recent softening in the office and hotel planning space. That said, the sector did notch up a healthy first quarter in 2023 as travel demand recovered and spurred a robust pipeline of hotel projects.

R.D. Olson counts several national hotel brands in its completed project portfolio, many in California. The firm built the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, Fairmont Hotel in Newport Beach, Pasea Hotel & Spa in Huntington Beach, the Irvine Spectrum Marriott and the Inn at the Mission in San Juan Capistrano. 

It also recently broke ground on a $60 million build for Marriott in nearby Pasadena. 

VG Properties is the developer of the Arcadia Hilton project, with AXIS/GFA serving as architect. Atwater Studios will provide interior design. 

Completion is anticipated for the summer of 2025.

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