UPDATE: The Los Angeles Times has reported that the Grand Avenue Authority voted unanimously to reject Related California's updated plans for the Grand Avenue Project. Thus, the below information and images are already outdated. Looks like it's back to the drawing board for both the Authority and Related, which potentially means even further setbacks for the long delayed project. The Times indicates that Related will likely receive another three month extension to draw up new plans for the project. Should Related be removed as the project's developer, Los Angeles County will open itself to "major legal liability," as Related has already paid over $50 million towards the construction of Downtown's Grand Park.
Earlier this month, documents from the LA County Board of Supervisors revealed that Robert A. M. Stern Architects (RAMSA) had been commissioned to draw up new designs for the much anticipated Grand Avenue Project. Now, more information has emerged providing insight into Related California's revised plans for Phase 1 of the development. Although the new iteration of the Grand Avenue Project has been reduced in scope from Frank Gehry's pre-recession vision, it remains one of the largest real estate developments in Los Angeles. Phase 1 carries a staggering $650 million price tag.
Phase 1A is scheduled for groundbreaking in March 2015, with completion in September 2017. Cost estimate? A cool $160 million. It will consist of an approximately 48-story residential tower on the southern portion of the site, abutting the corner of Olive and 2nd Street. The 485 foot tall building will contain 380 apartments above 31,000 square feet of commercial space, served by a 400-car underground garage. The project will have studio, one and two bedroom units available for rent. While it is unclear if these renderings represent the final design for the Phase 1A tower, they are labeled with the name of the project's design architect, RAMSA.
Phase 1B is further down the pipeline, with groundbreaking scheduled for September 2017 and completion anticipated in June 2020. Based on the previously listed estimates from Related, Phase 1B will cost approximately $490 million. It will consist of a 250 key, 4 star hotel tower standing above 141,000 square feet of commercial space and a 20,700 square foot public plaza. This portion of the project would be served by a 940-car garage. The Phase 1B tower could contain 50 for-sale condominium units, if market conditions are hospitable to their inclusion. The commercial space includes room for a market, in addition to retail and restaurant space. Related told the Grand Avenue Authority earlier this year that Ralph's Fresh Fare had expressed interest in the location.
Although the document never explicitly states a height or number of floors for the Phase 1B tower, a diagram shows it standing approximately 41-stories and 453 feet above grade. However, the building could wind up significantly smaller should the condominium option not be included in the final plans.
With the details out of the way, how about some more eye candy? Keep in mind that much of this is merely conceptual.
Overall, Phase 1 of the Grand Avenue project will create up to 430 residential units, 250 hotel rooms, and 171,000 square feet of commercial space. Many feared a dramatic downsizing of the project after Frank Gehry's plans were officially discarded earlier this year. It is a relief to see that Related is still pushing forward with an ambitious vision for the site at an appropriately cautious pace.
- Grand Avenue Project - Phase 1 (Grand Avenue Authority)
- Robert A. M. Stern to Design Phase 1A of the Grand Avenue Project (Building Los Angeles)