Seven-Story Hotel Planned for Torrance, Calif.

A seven-story hotel with a graceful Asian theme that will cost at least $20 million to build has won unanimous approval from the Torrance Planning Commission.

The 215-room Miyako Hybrid Hotel, designed to cater primarily to the South Bay's rapidly expanding Asian business market, won gushing praise Wednesday from the public and commissioners.

The hotel is slated for a vacant 2.74-acre lot on Western Avenue south of 213th Street that nearby resident Howard Fischkes described as a longtime eyesore and dumping ground.

"It's going to be a great asset to the city of Torrance as one approaches from the east," he said. "It's going to be good not only for the city, but merchants and residents who live in the area."

The hotel, within walking distance of Old Torrance, will provide an estimated 225 jobs.

Construction of the hotel, the largest built in the city since the 487-room Marriott more than two decades ago, is scheduled to begin in July. Completion is tentatively slated for early 2009.

The hotel owner, Kintetsu Enterprises Co. of America, conducted extensive demographic research, a market study and consulted with businesses within a 5-mile radius to determine what amenities the hotel should provide, said Wayne Williams of Los Angeles-based Williams & Associates, an asset management firm for the hospitality industry that served as a consultant on the project.

The company also owns a Little Tokyo hotel and operates another 16 in Japan.

"They understand the needs of businesses in the area like Honda and Toyota," said local resident Ferdinand Fam.

The sleek 90-foot-high hotel includes an elegant curved shrine- like arch on the roof and over the entrances.

Amenities include a spa, sauna, gym and massage facility open to the public as well as guests, a 120-person banquet room and a possible "high-end Japanese fusion restaurant."

Fish ponds and Japanese-style gardens will be built in the rear of the hotel, while materials and fabrics used in its interior will have a subtle Asian motif, too.

"The Miyako Hybrid Hotel (name) refers not only to the fusion of Asian and Western design elements, but the infusion of environmentally sound design features into the construction and design of the hotel," Williams said.

Those include a "green" roof, which could incorporate soil and plant materials for insulation and solar panels to generate energy, as well as reclaimed water for landscaping, low-flush toilets, waterless urinals and the like.

A four-story, partially subterranean parking garage with 256 parking spaces will be built directly across from the hotel on Mullin Avenue on a separate 1-acre lot.