DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES - The 54-story Convention Center hotel was the tallest and brightest addition to the Downtown Los Angeles skyline in 2010. So it came as no surprise when the $900 million development was named the Project of the Year last night at the 10th annual Downtowners of Distinctions Award.

The awards, presented by Los Angeles Downtown News, honored efforts that benefited their districts and Downtown in general. More than 300 people came out to celebrate projects from the hotel to new restaurants to an injunction that cracks down on drug dealers in Skid Row.

Javier Cano, general manger of the 1,001-room Ritz-Carlton/J.W. Marriott Hotel, accepted the prize for developer Anschutz Entertainment Group.

“We’ve had a great reception by the local community,” said Cano. “The customers, the people who plan meetings and conventions have really great things to say about not only the hotel, but more importantly about Downtown. Downtown has really been the reason for the success of the hotel.”

He credited Downtown’s residential population with helping to activate places in the neighborhood, including restaurants that have contributed to their success.

“There is no doubt we are very lucky to be where we area at,” he said.

The evening’s most evocative address came from City Attorney Carmen Trutanich, who last April began work on the Central City Recovery Zone. The injunction that prevents 80 known dealers from stepping foot into Skid Row earned the prize in the district of Central City East.

Trutanich referenced the “nogoodniks” when he spoke.

“You don’t own the Central City. It ain’t your playground anymore,” he said. “Your days as the predators of the vulnerable are over.”

©Los Angeles Downtown News. Reprinting items retrieved from the archives are for personal use only. They may not be reproduced or retransmitted without permission of the Los Angeles Downtown News. If you would like to re-distribute anything from the Los Angeles Downtown News Archives, please call our permissions department at (213) 481-1448.