Q&A: Larry Korman of AKA Beverly Hills
November 07, 2012 | by —Alexandra Calamari | Homepage
On November 1, the AKA Beverly Hills officially opened its doors on Crescent Drive, providing long-term visitors to Los Angeles with a luxurious alternative to traditional hotels or furnished residences.
Catering specifically to those who value privacy and high-design, suites are over 800 square feet, and come complete with LED TVs, furniture custom made by Ed Asfour, a full kitchen with stainless steel appliances, and a design scheme by renowned LA architects Koning Eizenberg, not to mention countless amenities. (Rates start at approximately $325 per night based on a 30-day stay.) We turned to Larry Korman, CEO of Korman Communities, the developers of AKA, for the scoop on this high-end property. 155 N. Crescent Dr., Beverly Hills
How did you select the location?
LARRY KORMAN: Beverly Hills first came to us because of all the production companies we deal with in New York City. You do not need a car, which is a huge positive in Los Angeles, and you can walk everywhere. Beverly Hills not only has great shopping but also some of the best places to eat, and a Whole Foods is a block away from this property, so really everything you need is right here within walking distance. So I think it started with location, one—being in Beverly Hills, and two—being in this very special location within Beverly Hills.
Who is the property designed for?
LK: I think for the individual who wants privacy. They want a space to be self-sufficient where there’s a living room, a bedroom, a king-sized bed, a walk-in shower with shower doors. They want a full kitchen with stainless steel appliances, they want all the things they would have in a private residence including the privacy and that’s very different from what you would get from a traditional furnished apartment or condominium or hotel suite.
Tell us about the renovations done to the property?
LK: Part of the design was to create something that was a traditional AKA property, which is more on the minimal, contemporary side, yet was very respectful of the neighborhood and the location. The real ‘wow’ of this property will be the third-floor terrace—it’s the size of a football field with four intimate pods, and they’ll have fire pits, water features, and beautiful lush landscaping.
What are some of the most unique amenities AKA offers?
LK: There’s going to be a [50-seat] projection room that’s part of the arrival experience. I don’t want to say too much about it, but that’s going to be a surprise for February/March. There’s going to be a high-end private fitness center just for the residents, and there’s going to be a room where production companies can do readings for scripts. There’s going to be reciprocity with Spago—there’s a private resident entrance for Spago, and Spago will also do room service for our residents. There are going to be a lot of bells and whistles that are very unique to AKA that are not traditional amenities or services that you would see at a typical hotel.
Will there be any dining options within the property?
LK: There will be a cool place in the lobby that’s floor-to-ceiling wood, which slides to one side and is a really cool espresso bar for our residents. In the PM, it slides the other way and is a place where we can shake martinis, and make some inventive cocktails that we developed with Death & Co in our other properties.
Fashion shoot: December 2013 issue of Los Angeles Confidential magazine.