The Grand Way, a $150-million mixed-use development incorporating a pair of high-rise office towers, a hotel and retail center, has begun construction in El Segundo, about 1 1/2 miles from Los Angeles International Airport.
Located at Grand Avenue and Continental Boulevard, the project's first phase will include a 14-story office tower, retail pavilion and a 216-room Compri hotel. This will be the first large mixed-use project in the El Segundo area.
Construction plans call for topping out the high-rise in 180 days and opening of the entire Phase 1 next August.
The hexagonal-shaped tower will serve as the project's landmark for what developers call the El Segundo "superblock" because it is the location of such corporations as Hughes Aircraft Co. and Rockwell International.
El Segundo Mayor Jack Siakek called The Grand Way "One more jewel in the superblock." He also said that since the project is within walking distance of many offices, it will reduce vehicle traffic.
Phase 2 plans call for a twin, 250,000-square-foot tower with an additional 48,000 square feet of retail space to be built in 1988.
Robert E. Brewer, president of Palo Alto-based Sutter Hill, majority owner of the project, said that "It is precisely the elements of hotel, office and restaurant space that will assure the success of the Grand Way."
According to second-quarter absorption studies carried out by Grubb & Ellis Co., the project's broker, office vacancy rates in El Segundo are now 7.3%, lowest in the South Bay area, where the average vacancy rate is 18%.
The two existing multistory hotels in El Segundo will be joined by the Compri hotel, owned by Phoenix-based Doubletree, and a Courtyard hotel by Marriott, which is also under construction. Another hotel also has been proposed.
The Courtyard hotel will be one of three moderately priced hotels being built in the Los Angeles area. The others will be located in Buena Park and Santa Ana.
All three will open late this year. Marriott has plans to build up to 30 Courtyards in California over the next five years, with 10 to 12 in the Los Angeles area.
The Courtyards in El Segundo and Buena Park will be located on 3.8 acres each and have 146 rooms. Courtyards are designed to resemble a contemporary residence in both architecture and scale. Room rates will average in the mid-$60s on weekdays and upper-$40s on weekends.
The new Compri is designed as a business person's hotel with meeting and conference rooms, as well as an athletic club. Room rates will average $45 to $65. In addition, the hotel will provide guests with admission to the Compri Club, a private facility designed for the business traveler.
Project architect Charles Kober Associates has designed the retail pavilion to connect with the first-phase office tower and the hotel's Palm Court entry. A nearby eight-level structure will provide space for 2,500 cars.
Separate motor courts will allow access to both the office building and retail pavilion.
Altoon & Porter Architects are consulting architects.
General contractor for the $53- million first phase is a joint-venture of Koll Construction Co. of Los Angeles and Tarnutzer Construction Co. of Irvine.
Financing for the project's first phase was arranged by Century City-based George Smith Financial Services, the mortgage brokerage division of Grubb & Ellis Co. Westinghouse Finance was the lender. Construction financing was provided by Bank of America.
Fong & Associates, of Costa Mesa, is landscape architect.