Artist’s rendering of downtown hotel. (Los Angeles Times)

A long-time eyesore not far from Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles is in the process of being converted into a luxurious inn that will feature a “park-like atmosphere” with 44 guest rooms, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The $31-million boutique hotel is being developed at 1130 S. Hope St., which is currently the site of a three-story building that’s more than 100 years old and has been long abandoned. According to the Times, prompting the development is a continued increase in demand for hotel rooms in the South Park section of downtown Los Angeles , which is the home of Staples Center, L.A. Live and the convention center.

Spearheading the project is a local development partnership that includes Kevin Burke, an insurance professional who purchased the property for $2.1 million last year; and designer Sam Marshall. The Times reports the city Planning Department will receive a proposal on the boutique hotel this week and that initial work on the site should begin in early 2013.

According to the Times, plans call for the building’s exterior brick walls to be preserved and the interior to be completely replaced following decades of neglect.  The once-derelict space will provide an open-air, landscaped courtyard that will front a new tower with dozens of guest rooms.

One of the more interesting design elements of the project relayed by the Times is an open-air swimming pool with landscaping that will sit atop the ninth floor and be overlooked by a trio of elevated suites. The space is designed to feature plants and trees, similar to those of the courtyard.

Marshall told the Times the design is “about creating a park-like atmosphere that is communal.” While the boutique hotel will be upscale, Marshall indicated the plan is for it to have a laid-back style that will help foster a sense of community.

Luxury is a place you can feel comfortable,” Marshall concluded.