1958 Lanai Towers development plan defeated by the community.
HOTEL DEVELOPMENT TIMELINE
1905: Frank Havens’ Claremont Hotel company begins construction.
1914: Havens’ sale to the Ritz Carlton terminated due to the outbreak of World War.
1915: Hotel completed in time for Panama Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco. 176 of 320 rooms open.
1937: Hotel acquired by Claude Gillum for $250,000. Allowed to serve alcohol.
1954: Hotel sold to Harold Schnitzer who leased to Murray Lehr until l971.
1957: Frank Lloyd Wright designs wedding chapel for the hotel; never built.
1958: $2,000,000 “Lanai Towers” proposed in the same location as currently proposed condoplex. Defeated by popular opposition. Key Route train tracks removed.
1962: Proposal to build apartments next to hotel. Never built.
1965: Excessive noise from pool area including parties, events, and garbage trucks resolved only after Stonewall neighbors file lawsuit that results in permanent noise injunction.
1971: Harsh Investment Corporation takes over, builds pool, adds tennis courts.
1973-8: Hotel fails to acquire permission to build tennis courts on Berkeley ½ acre at Domingo & Russell; Hotel annexes ½ acre to Oakland & builds courts. Promised landscaping never materializes.
1986-7: Major Use Permit for renovating Spa, new pool. Stonewall neighbors file lawsuits to get the hotel to comply with stipulations on Domingo/Russell tennis courts to no avail.
1990: Alameda County Flood control repairs creek culverts on edge of Hotel property.
1991: Berkeley Oakland Hills fire burns over 3,000 homes and kills 25 residents in the hills surrounding the hotel. The hotel survives because of the shift in winds.
1998: Schnitzer sells hotel to the very large corporation--KSL.
2000: KSL proposes 91 new rooms along front of the hotel; 75 apt. units in four-story buildings; 3-story parking structure (one story underground) with 6 courts on top; traffic lane for "stacking" buses and cars feeding into parking. Never realized.
2001: Berkeley/Oakland Neighbors of the Claremont initiates the Landmark process. Landmark Preservation Advisory Board advises landmarking the Claremont Hotel property as well.
2002: Oakland City Council declares the hotel building a City Landmark.
2003: California State Historical Resources Commission nominates Hotel, with 12 acres, for the National Register of Historic Places, places both on the California Register of Historic Places. Owner objects to placement on National Register. Property listed on the California Register of Historical Resources.
2007: Morgan Stanley purchases the hotel and 3 others for $6.6 billion. By 2011 Morgan Stanley owes $1.5 billion and files for bankruptcy.
2012: Paulson & company purchases the group of hotels for $1.5 billion and tries to sell acquisition for $80 million the following year.
2014: Richard Blum and equal partner FRHI buy properties for about $155 million. FRHI is owned by Qatari government fund and Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal.
2015: FRHI sells most of its hotel holdings to AccorHotels (operator of 3700 hotels internationally). Accor pays Qataris $2.9 billion for a group of hotels, a price considered “very high” by Barclays.
2016: $80 million development proposed including towering 43 unit condoplex with underground parking on Hayward Fault visible above nearby homes; single-family home on Tunnel Road; 15% club expansion (+250 members); another pool; 7,000 square foot addition to club facilities with a new children’s club, club building, and cabana; illuminated basketball court facing private homes on Claremont Avenue; 98 additional parking spots; a road routing traffic a stone’s throw from private homes behind the hotel, and competition tennis courts with 400-seat stadium seating on the north side of the property.
2017: Competition tennis courts and 400-seat stadium seating defeated by Stonewall neighbors by reaffirming 1965 permanent noise injunction.
2017: Sham Historic Resource Evaluation commissioned by the developer and presented to Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board claiming the 8/2/2002 National Register of Historic Places documentation did not intend to include 1-acre slated for condoplex. Countless neighbors, Oakland Heritage Alliance, and Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association call out developers on misleading, false, and clearly deliberate omission.