Related California's revised plan for Phase I of the Grand Avenue Project was soundly rejected last month, but other parts of the slow moving mega development are still pressing forward. Kitty-corner to the Phase I site, Parcels M and L have two landscape shifting projects under construction. Work on the Arquitectonica designed Parcel M Tower, which broke ground in January, has now progressed to the lucky 13th floor. When completed in late 2014, the $120 million development will contain 271 apartments and 5,000 square feet of commercial space within 19-stories.
Next door to the Parcel M Tower, the $140 million Broad Museum is finally starting to resemble the renderings drawn up by Diller Scofidio + Renfro. Construction crews are now assembling the steel framework to support the precast concrete panels that will form the Broad Museum's honeycombed exterior. Like the Parcel M Tower, the Broad Museum is scheduled to open late in 2014. Eli Broad recently made headlines when he declared that his museum shall have free admission.
The Broad Museum and the Parcel M Tower will be linked together by a pedestrian plaza, which brings up another interesting possibility. The Regional Connector subway, scheduled to begin construction next year, features a station adjacent to Parcels M and L at the intersection of 2nd and Hope Streets. However, accessing the amenities and cultural institutions on Grand Avenue from the station will require walking uphill. Thus, Metro has drawn up a concept that mitigates this problem by connecting the aforementioned plaza directly to the station via a pedestrian bridge.
While no funding is currently allocated towards the bridge, perhaps some of the institutions on Grand Avenue should consider putting money towards the project. Related California, the Broad Museum, MOCA and the Music Center all stand to benefit from the improved transit link. There is some precedent for this, as LACMA has expressed interest in paying for their own subway portal at the future Wilshire/Fairfax station. Curbed LA reports that a future pedestrian bridge at the Universal City Station will cost an estimated $19.5 million. That is not a particularly daunting figure, assuming that a bridge for the 2nd/Hope Station carries a similar price tag.
- Grand Avenue Project's $650 Million Phase I Revealed (Building Los Angeles)
- Tour the Concrete "Veil" That Floats Above L.A.'s Newest Museum (Gizmodo)
- A Look Inside Eli Broad's Museum, Which Will Offer Free Admission (Los Angeles Times)
- New Concept Developed to Better Connect Regional Connector to Grand Avenue (The Source)