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Supervisors OK latest plans for Frank Gehry’s downtown L.A. Grand Avenue Project

L.A. County supervisors have conditionally approved the latest Frank Gehry design for the residential and hotel project planned for downtown L.A. across from Disney Hall.
(Courtesy of Gehry Partners, LLP)

Los Angeles County supervisors Tuesday gave their conditional approval to the newest look for the Frank Gehry-designed residential and hotel complex planned across from Disney Hall in downtown L.A.

With no discussion, the Board of Supervisors approved schematic designs for the $1-billion development by New York-based Related Cos.

The vote signals another milestone for the long-stalled development, first proposed more than a decade ago and envisioned by civic leaders as part of a plan to transform Grand Avenue into the “Champs-Elysees of Los Angeles.”

Slated to break ground next year, the Grand Avenue Project includes a 20-story hotel tower and 39-story residential tower, as well as 215,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space.

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It will rise on Parcel Q, a county-owned plot of land that currently holds a parking garage.

“Today is another step forward in our project to revitalize Grand Ave.,” Supervisor Hilda Solis said in a statement, adding that the project would bring new jobs and residences to the area.

Related Cos. was chosen in 2004 to develop Grand Avenue and completed both the 12-acre Grand Park and the Emerson, an apartment building next to the Broad museum.

But plans for the mixed-use Gehry development stalled after the recession.

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Since then, the developer has repeatedly reworked the project, changing hotel operators and offering new designs at the request of elected city officials.

The overall look of the project hasn’t changed much in the newest designs, said Brad Bolger, a general manager in the county’s chief executive office.

One distinction is that the number of parking stalls in the project has dropped from 1,350 to 800, according to a county report on the project.

The supervisors’ approval is conditional because the Grand Avenue Joint Powers Authority — a group composed of representatives from the county, city and Community Redevelopment Agency L.A. — wants more details on a number of issues, including the parking plan.

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The authority gave its conditional approval of the development last week.

The county also has an oversight role and must sign off on several phases of the design process. More detailed designs are expected next year.

The city and county of Los Angeles are providing subsidies to the project, including tax breaks valued at nearly $200 million.

dakota.smith@latimes.com

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Twitter: @dakotacdsmith


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