Korean Air to Spend $1 Billion to Remodel Hotel in Los Angeles

Hanjin Group chairman Cho Yang-ho (left) poses with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti at a ceremony to begin remodeling the Wilshire Grand Hotel in the U.S. city on Saturday. /Courtesy of Hanjin Group Hanjin Group chairman Cho Yang-ho (left) poses with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti at a ceremony to begin remodeling the Wilshire Grand Hotel in the U.S. city on Saturday. /Courtesy of Hanjin Group

Hanjin Group, which owns flag carrier Korean Air, has begun remodeling a hotel it runs in Los Angeles.

Korean Air bought the Wilshire Grand Hotel in downtown Los Angeles in 1989 and received approval from city officials in 2011 to remodel the building.

Last February, Hanjin Chairman Cho Yang-ho unveiled a blueprint for the 15-story, 900-room hotel. Cho vowed to turn the hotel into a new "landmark" for Los Angeles

The airline plans to spend around US$1 billion for the remodeling project, which is to be completed by 2017.

A Korean Air official said the project would "create 11,000 jobs for the city and generate $80 million in tax revenue."

The city decided to exempt Korean Air from lodging taxes for the next 25 years.

The lodging taxes typically account for 14 percent of room charges, and Korean Air estimates that the exemption would save it $79 million.

englishnews@chosun.com / Feb. 17, 2014 12:25 KST