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Grand Avenue Project

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 27, 2010 | By Kate Linthicum, Los Angeles Times
Construction on the long-stalled Grand Avenue hotel, condo and shopping complex may be delayed at least another two years because developers have been unable to secure financing. The $3-billion Frank Gehry-designed Grand Avenue complex was supposed to be the centerpiece of an elaborate effort to rebuild the blocks stretching from the Walt Disney Concert Hall to City Hall. But while backers of downtown development cheer Eli Broad's recent decision to build his new art museum on Grand Avenue and a new 16-acre park nearby, the latest delay is a reminder that the fate of the broader reimagining of the Civic Center area is still uncertain.
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 14, 2014 | By Abby Sewell
Los Angeles County supervisors gave their blessing Tuesday to a reimagined design for a proposed mix of high-end apartments, businesses and public space across from Walt Disney Concert Hall. The $750-million plan to redevelop that portion of downtown's Grand Avenue nearly screeched to a halt in September, when a panel of city and county representatives overseeing the project rejected the design presented by developer Related Cos. Supervisor Gloria Molina criticized the proposal's "boxiness" and lack of appeal to pedestrians, and county Chief Executive William T Fujioka, who also sits on the Grand Avenue Authority, said he was "very, very disappointed" with it. The authority gave Related a four-month extension to return with an acceptable design.
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BUSINESS
January 26, 2007 | Kimi Yoshino
Developers of the Grand Avenue project have signed an agreement to bring the luxury Mandarin Oriental hotel to downtown Los Angeles. The 275-room hotel, which will occupy the first 20 floors of a 28-story tower designed by Frank Gehry, is expected to open in 2010. The three-phase, $2-billion project by Related Cos. is to include eight condominium and office towers, shopping arcades, a 16-acre park and the hotel. -- Kimi Yoshino
OPINION
October 7, 2013 | By Eli Broad and Richard J. Riordan
The Walt Disney Concert Hall, which opened its doors 10 years ago this month, is rightly celebrated as the most recognizable jewel in Los Angeles' cultural crown. But we should remember that Disney Hall came very close to not being built at all. Despite a singularly generous $50-million donation from Walt Disney's widow, Lillian, in 1987, a brilliant design by Frank Gehry and an expenditure of nine years and $30 million, there was no Disney Hall by the early 1990s, and it looked like there never would be. The city was attempting to recover from a devastating earthquake, the image-tarnishing O.J. Simpson trial and the shrinking of the local defense industry.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 15, 2008 | Cara Mia DiMassa, Times Staff Writer
The developer of the massive Grand Avenue project in downtown Los Angeles said Tuesday that it had secured an additional financial partner for the long-delayed project. The Korean investment firm Honua Group will invest $100 million in capital funds in the first phase of the project, which has been subjected to a series of delays as the credit market has tightened. If the project does not secure a construction loan and break ground in February, the developer, Related Cos.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 23, 2008 | Cara Mia DiMassa, Times Staff Writer
The developer of the $2-billion Grand Avenue project announced Friday that a sovereign fund controlled by the royal family of Dubai is investing a significant amount in the Frank Gehry-designed development, which includes residential housing, a five-star hotel and upscale shops and restaurants, all built on publicly owned land. The fund, known as Istithmar, will provide the developer, Related Cos.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 1, 2007 | Jeffrey L. Rabin and Cara Mia DiMassa, Times Staff Writers
The plan to transform a stretch of downtown's Grand Avenue into a Frank Gehry-designed cultural and retail hub is expected to clear another major hurdle today, although key questions about public financial support for the development remain unresolved. The city hasn't decided yet whether to grant Grand Avenue the estimated $40 million in parking and hotel tax breaks that developers say are crucial to building the project near the Walt Disney Concert Hall.
OPINION
February 12, 2007
DOWNTOWN'S GRAND AVENUE project isn't expected to break ground until later this year, but the $2-billion mixed-use development, featuring a Frank Gehry high-rise, has already built a formidable tower of political consensus. Downtown enthusiasts pine for a catalyst to ignite more development near Disney Hall. Community groups like the park that the private developer agreed to underwrite. Labor groups like the "living wage" conditions imposed on the development.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 21, 2006 | Scott Timberg, Times Staff Writer
Despite what it says is a nearly 40% increase in construction costs for phase one of the planned $1.8-billion Grand Avenue project in downtown Los Angeles, the developer said this week that the hike is unlikely to "significantly" affect the design and will probably only modestly expand the budget. The main effect of rising costs, said Tim Carey, a senior vice president in developer Related Cos.'
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 17, 2006 | Cara Mia DiMassa, Times Staff Writer
The ambitious effort to remake downtown's Grand Avenue into a $2-billion cultural and retail hub designed by Frank Gehry is over budget and behind schedule, with the developers saying the project "is not economically feasible" without tax breaks from the city, according to documents obtained Thursday. The developers said they are negotiating with the city for temporary rebates of more than $40 million on hotel and parking lot taxes.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 2, 2013 | By Christopher Hawthorne, Los Angeles Times Architecture Critic
The recent turmoil over the Grand Avenue redevelopment effort leaves a bunch of pretty basic questions unanswered. For starters, who exactly is going to design a planned retail, residential and hotel complex across Grand from Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles? The master plan that the joint city-county committee overseeing the project temporarily rejected last week - before changing course and extending its agreement with developer Related Cos. through Jan. 20 - was designed by the big corporate firm Gensler, with contributions from New York architect Robert A.M. Stern.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 29, 2013 | By Seema Mehta and David Zahniser
The push to transform downtown's Grand Avenue into a Champs-Elysees for Los Angeles has faced years of delays and obstacles. The ambitious plan to create a tony cultural destination around the landmark Walt Disney Concert Hall has already been scaled back because of the recession. Now, with a key deadline set for Monday, the centerpiece of the Grand Avenue project - two towers offering luxury condos, a hotel, and high-end shops and restaurants - is facing another critical test. In a little-noticed meeting last week, county Supervisor Gloria Molina and other officials unanimously rejected the conceptual plan for the $650-million project, with Molina criticizing the design and saying developer Related Cos. had failed to create an enticing public space that went beyond expensive shops and restaurants.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 20, 2013 | By Roger Vincent
This story has been corrected. See note below for details. The Walt Disney Concert Hall has been a boon to downtown business, real estate experts say, even though a key long-planned development near it remains stalled. In a region so deprived of landmark buildings that the Hollywood sign often serves as the symbol for Los Angeles, the Frank Gehry-designed Disney Hall has emerged as one of the city's few internationally recognized structures. "It's a very special place, so it's had a real impact on the credibility of downtown L.A.," said John Cushman, chairman of commercial real estate brokerage Cushman & Wakefield.
BUSINESS
January 10, 2013 | By Roger Vincent, Los Angeles Times
The Broad art museum being built next to the Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles will soon be flanked by another noteworthy structure: a $120-million apartment tower linked to the museum by a shared plaza. A groundbreaking ceremony will be held Thursday for the 19-story apartment complex that is part of the vaunted Grand Avenue Project launched more than a decade ago to transform barren blocks on Bunker Hill. Developer Related Cos., which recently completed the $56-million Grand Park between the Music Center and City Hall, is building the 271-unit apartment tower south of the Broad museum on Grand Avenue between 2nd and 3rd streets.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 1, 2012 | By David Ng
Frank Gehry was in his hometown of Toronto on Monday to reveal his conceptual designs for a multiyear transformation of the city's downtown arts and entertainment district. The architect is teaming with Canadian theater producer David Mirvish, whose sizable art collection will receive a new home as part of the massive endeavor. The mixed-used project will include three high-rise residential towers soaring from 80 to 85 stories and a new facility for the Ontario College of Art & Design University.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 30, 2012 | By Sam Allen, Los Angeles Times
As Downtown L.A. has seen a boom in residential and commercial development in the last decade, one complaint is heard over and over: There is not enough green space in the heart of the city. On Tuesday, Los Angeles County officials announced that is about to change. A 12-acre park stretching from the steps of City Hall to the top of Bunker Hill will open this summer. It will be downtown's largest park and its completion marks the first step in an ambitious effort to revitalize the civic center and surrounding areas.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 17, 2010 | By Cara Mia DiMassa
The vision of a civic park in downtown Los Angeles, running from City Hall to the Music Center, moved one step closer to reality Tuesday, as the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted to approve funding and development agreements on the park. The park is expected to break ground in June. The civic park is the only piece of the multibillion-dollar Grand Avenue project that has been moving forward. The rest of the development, which calls for high-rise condos and retail outlets on mostly vacant lots on Bunker Hill, has been stalled by the economic slowdown.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 11, 2012 | By David Zahniser and Jessica Garrison, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles officials got their first sobering look Tuesday at the costs of dismantling a multibillion-dollar economic development apparatus that they and cities across California have relied on to revitalize neighborhoods for more than half a century. A law eliminating redevelopment agencies statewide could leave the cash-strapped city with more than $109 million in new expenses should the City Council retain the employees and finish the work of its Community Redevelopment Agency, high-level analysts warned.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 27, 2010 | By Kate Linthicum, Los Angeles Times
Construction on the long-stalled Grand Avenue hotel, condo and shopping complex may be delayed at least another two years because developers have been unable to secure financing. The $3-billion Frank Gehry-designed Grand Avenue complex was supposed to be the centerpiece of an elaborate effort to rebuild the blocks stretching from the Walt Disney Concert Hall to City Hall. But while backers of downtown development cheer Eli Broad's recent decision to build his new art museum on Grand Avenue and a new 16-acre park nearby, the latest delay is a reminder that the fate of the broader reimagining of the Civic Center area is still uncertain.
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