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  #41  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2008, 4:36 AM
JDRCRASH JDRCRASH is offline
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Well, the designs haven't been finalized, so it may alter itself gradually.
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  #42  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2008, 4:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDRCRASH View Post
Well, the designs haven't been finalized, so it may alter itself gradually.
That's what they always say about Gehry buildings.
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  #43  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2008, 8:47 AM
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Grand Avenue Groundbreaking Delayed

Developer Says $3 Billion Project Still on Schedule, With First Phase to Open in 2011

By Anna Scott

A groundbreaking ceremony for the $3 billion Grand Avenue project has been pushed back from March until at least the summer, officials with developer Related Cos. confirmed last week. It marks the third time that the public kickoff for the massive Bunker Hill effort has been postponed.

However, Related Cos. President Bill Witte said the development is on track to meet its most recently announced timeline, with phase one slated for completion in 2011. He also maintained that the project's financing is in order.

"The groundbreaking is more of a symbolic event," Witte told Los Angeles Downtown News last week. "It has little to do with where we are in the project schedule. We are continuing ahead, and we have the wherewithal to do it."

Designed by architect Frank Gehry, the 3.6 million-square-foot development - dubbed The Grand - is expected to eventually bring 2,600 housing units, 449,000 square feet of retail, a hotel, a grocery store and a health club to Downtown Los Angeles.

The approximately $1 billion, 1.3 million-square-foot first phase of the development will include a 48-story Mandarin Oriental Hotel & Residences with 295 rooms and 266 for-sale units, a 19-story residential tower with 126 market-rate apartments and 98 affordable units, a 250,000-square-foot retail pavilion and 16-acre civic park. The towers will rise across from Walt Disney Concert Hall on the site of a current multi-level parking lot.

Related initially set the groundbreaking for October 2007, but subsequently moved it to the end of the year. As that date neared, developers said that the ceremony would take place by March. That was recently amended to an unspecified date in the summer.

The repeated delays have led some in the real estate industry to speculate that the project is facing financial uncertainty. That comes amid the nationwide credit crunch and a softening of the housing market.

"These ceremonies are important on a number of levels," said a Downtown figure experienced in large projects, who asked to remain anonymous because he did not want to publicly criticize another development. "If you're not quite there with your funding, it's often far too risky to state that you're going to start. You don't want to take the financial hit if you have to scale back your project in any way."

Marty Collins, CEO and president of Gatehouse Capital Corp., developer of the under-construction $600 million hotel, retail and condominium complex W Hollywood Hotel and Residences, agreed that for large-scale projects, construction financing is typically in place before holding a groundbreaking ceremony.

But, he said, a groundbreaking delay could also reflect various considerations beyond the construction schedule. "Historically, groundbreakings have been events that are tied to the commencement of construction," Collins said, "but more recently, these are largely ceremonial marketing events."

Despite the delays, Witte maintains that the project is financially stable.

"The most important part of these deals is equity, which we anticipate to be 25% to 30% of the cost" for phase one, he said. "That is in place. As we begin site work, we will then get a construction loan to provide the balance of the financing. The issues in today's markets are not construction loans per se, but rather the equity that underpins them. As far as we are concerned, we have the necessary financing in place."

Securing that remaining funding in the slowing market, however, could come with additional hurdles, said Jack Kyser, senior vice president and chief economist for the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp.

"They are in a somewhat unusual spot," Kyser said of Related Cos. "Right now, you have a financial system that has almost completely seized up. There is so much fear of risk, they are probably going to leap over higher hurdles."

Still, he added, the developer is probably in a better position than most.

"Related has a track record." Kyser said. "They will probably get their funding, but they're going to burn a little more midnight oil than they planned on."

Staying the Course

Despite the uncertainty in the real estate industry - including in Downtown, where several condominium projects have slowed or changed course to rental units - Witte said there are no plans to downsize or alter The Grand.

"Nobody who's in real estate today isn't somewhat concerned about the environment," said Witte, "but I do believe that even in this climate, Downtown is faring as good or better than other sub-markets. The way things have played out, we would rather be where we are than opening at the end of '08. We also know that we are getting very, very strong responses for an incredibly high-caliber level of retail and restaurants. We're doing better than we thought we might."

Last month, Related began lead paint abatement on the parking garage at Grand Avenue and First Street, which the company expects to demolish on schedule next month, Witte said. Construction on the $50 million park is expected to begin in the fall, with the opening slated for 2010. The hotel and retail pavilion are scheduled to debut in early 2011, and the residential towers are anticipated to open that summer.

In the meantime, Ninth District Councilwoman Jan Perry, who has been closely involved in the plan's development, said that any speculation about the project potentially changing course is "premature."

"I think most projects built in this city of this magnitude always experience bumps in the road," said Perry, who noted that Related paid for the park up front. "This is not a situation that is unusual."

Related will likely hold off on setting a specific date for the groundbreaking ceremony until demolition of the parking garage is complete, Witte said.

"Because this is such a protracted schedule, we want to be really into the ground-up construction before the groundbreaking," said Witte. He added, "If we start and there's a two-month delay, you'll all be calling again, asking what's going on.

"No matter what we do, we assume that we're going to get questions about the status of the project until we're finished."

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Source: Los Angeles Downtown News
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  #44  
Old Posted Mar 1, 2008, 9:04 AM
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Grand Avenue Designs Approved

Related Cos. One Step Closer to Securing Phase One Financing

by Anna Scott
http://www.downtownnews.com/articles...ews/news04.txt

The Grand Avenue plan took a small step forward Monday, Feb. 25, when city, county and redevelopment officials approved updated designs for the first phase of the Bunker Hill mega-development. The move allows developer Related Cos. to move forward with seeking an estimated $600 million-plus construction loan.


"It's a necessary milestone for us," said Related of California President Bill Witte.

Plans for phase one of the $3 billion, Frank Gehry-designed project, dubbed The Grand, call for a 48-story Mandarin Oriental Hotel & Residences with 295 rooms and 266 condominiums, a 19-story residential tower with 126 market-rate apartments and 98 affordable units, 250,000 square feet of retail, an Equinox health club, a nightclub and a 16-acre civic park. Completion is expected in 2011.

Designs had previously been approved for phase one, but the new documents provide a more detailed picture of the project.

"We've gone in and we've designed all of the materials of the façades - glass, stone, etc. - to a very high level of specificity that's ready for detailing," said Brian Aamoth of Gehry Partners, who displayed slides during last Monday's meeting of the Grand Avenue Authority. In addition to identifying materials, the new documents define the buildings' exterior volumes and interior layouts.

During his presentation, Aamoth highlighted the planned multi-level landscaping, terraces and open space with canopies to create shading between the two towers, as well as plans for retail and entrances on multiple sides of the project.

"What would normally be considered the back side of the project, we don't treat as the back side," said Aamoth. "We've taken advantage of all sides of the project to create a porous and active project."

Aamoth also touched on The Grand's relationship to Walt Disney Concert Hall, another Gehry-designed effort, which stands across from the development site.

"In a sense, the way that Disney Hall has a large hall and smaller pieces, we've sort of taken that design approach on this project," Aamoth said. Pointing out the diagonal placement of the two towers, surrounded and linked by smaller structures housing commercial components, he said, "Our intent was to break down the monolithic scale."

The documents presented Monday focused on the structural elements of The Grand. Developers are expected to bring detailed plans for landscaping and art inclusions to the Grand Avenue Authority on June 1.


The new specifications will inform the project's construction documents, expected to total more than 1,000 pages, which help determine building costs and how much is needed in a construction loan.

In December, Related began lead paint abatement on a multi-level parking structure at Grand Avenue and First Street, where the towers will rise. The company expects to demolish the structure by the end of this month, after its new phase one equity partner - Istithmar, a sovereign fund controlled by the royal family of Dubai - is approved by the Community Redevelopment Agency, the County Board of Supervisors and the Grand Avenue Authority.

Last week, Los Angeles Downtown News broke the news that Istithmar had committed to joining Related after the previous partner, California Public Employees' Retirement System, and its investment manager MacFarlane Partners, pulled out.

Istithmar has committed $100 million to the project, which Witte says he expects to account for about 40% of the total equity. Another partner, the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, has committed $42 million with another $20 million expected, Witte said. Related will take responsibility for the balance, he said, "and we may elect to bring in another partner."

Related currently has almost $90 million invested in The Grand. The developer previously predicted its total equity cost would be approximately $300 million, which Witte says was a "rounded up" figure.

A formal groundbreaking is slated for the summer.





The latest designs for the Grand Avenue project were presented and approved last week. The first phase of the Frank Gehry-designed development is scheduled to open in 2011.
Renderings courtesy of Related of California
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  #45  
Old Posted Mar 6, 2008, 6:19 PM
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This is a positive step forward.
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  #46  
Old Posted Mar 9, 2008, 12:17 AM
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Grand Avenue Partners Get First Approval

News Brief

The Community Redevelopment Agency board last Thursday approved developer Related Companies' new key equity partner, Istithmar - an investment fund controlled by the royal family of Dubai - in the first phase of its $3 billion Grand Avenue project. Los Angeles Downtown News last month was the first to report that Related joined with Istithmar after a previous partner, California Public Employees' Retirement System, and its investment manager MacFarlane Partners, pulled out of the Bunker Hill project officially known as The Grand. A third investor, the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, was also approved Thursday. Related of California President Bill Witte has said that Istithmar has committed $100 million to the project, expected to account for about 40% of the initial equity. Mandarin Oriental has committed $42 million with another $20 million expected, while Related will assume responsibility for the balance and may bring in another partner. The new partnership must also be approved by the County Board of Supervisors and the Grand Avenue Authority, expected to happen by the end of this month. Once approvals are complete, Related can move forward with demolishing a multi-level parking structure at First Street and Grand Avenue. The developer is also in the process of finalizing the project's construction documents, a necessary step before securing the estimated $600 million-plus construction loan. Phase one of The Grand, designed by Frank Gehry, will feature a 48-story Mandarin Oriental Hotel & Residences with 295 rooms and 266 condominiums, a 19-story residential tower with 126 market-rate apartments and 98 affordable units, 250,000 square feet of retail, an Equinox health club, a nightclub and a 16-acre civic park. Completion is expected in 2011.

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Source: Los Angeles Downtown News
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  #47  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2008, 12:23 AM
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I was under the impression that this was the final approval of investors needed. But it sound like we need to wait until the end of the month before the project can move forward.
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Old Posted Mar 10, 2008, 3:54 AM
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^

It appears so:

"Related will assume responsibility for the balance and may bring in another partner."
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  #49  
Old Posted Mar 18, 2008, 9:27 AM
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Funding Puts Grand Avenue Plan in Starting Position

With $100 million from a Dubai fund, construction of the massive mixed-use development in downtown Los Angeles will begin next month, officials say.

By Cara Mia DiMassa, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
March 18, 2008

Armed with $100 million from Dubai and a refined design plan, officials Monday said construction will finally begin next month on the Frank Gehry-designed residential and shopping plaza along Grand Avenue that is considered a linchpin to downtown L.A.'s revitalization.

The announcement comes after months of delays and questions about the viability of such a massive development in the midst of L.A.'s real estate slump.

But those doubts were eased significantly Monday when the government agency overseeing the redevelopment approved the investment of Istithmar, a fund controlled by the royal family of Dubai.

The fund stepped in with $100 million after one of Grand Avenue's big early investors, California Public Employees' Retirement System, exited the project, saying the organization was already too heavily invested in the downtown real estate market.

The investment from Dubai gives the developer, Related Cos., the money needed to secure construction loans -- allowing it to finally tear down a parking structure across from the Walt Disney Concert Hall, where the first phase of the development will be built. The $2-billion plan calls for shops, condo towers and a boutique hotel -- as well as a civic park -- on city and county land on Bunker Hill.

"There will always be challenges on this project." said Bill Witte, chief executive of Related California, which is overseeing the project. "But we feel very good about where it is now."

Construction was expected to begin last fall, but the time required for design development and project approvals caused delays.

A lot is riding on the project. Grand Avenue is seen by downtown boosters as a way to bring night life and an upscale feel to the city center.

Russell Brown, president of the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council and executive director of the Historic Downtown business improvement district, said he had been hearing for months concerns that Grand Avenue was in trouble.

"But any large project takes a while to work things through," Brown said. "In many ways, these haven't been routine delays. To be able to go through those hurdles, in spite of that uncertainty, expresses a great amount of confidence in downtown, and in L.A. I think it's going to be an amazing event."

Craig Webb of Gehry Partners said details of the project were fleshed out from the initial schematic design. Those refinements, he said, included figuring out the facades of the project's two towers, doorway locations and stonework patterns -- "pretty specific stuff."

The towers -- which would house residences as well as a Mandarin Oriental hotel -- would be "skinned" with a combination of glazing, stone and precast concrete.

In addition, Webb said, "we've been working on the interiors of the apartments, getting into very fine details about the kitchens and the bathrooms -- all the stuff that makes a building go together. The full building from top to bottom."

Now, Webb said, another firm will take the designs and translate them into thousands of pages of construction documents.

Two aspects of the design -- the landscaping and public art components -- are still in the works, Witte said. He said he expected the Grand Avenue Authority, which is made up of city and county leaders, to consider those elements in May.

Plans for a public park that is part of the project's first phase are also in the initial stages. Officials hope to unveil a proposed schematic design for the park at a meeting in late April, where they also plan to discuss how the park will be operated and programmed. Witte said he expected construction to begin on the park this year.

There remain skeptics who wonder whether downtown L.A. is being overdeveloped with condo projects. In addition to Grand Avenue, there are a slew of residential towers rising around Staples Center, a 76-story tower proposed next to Pershing Square and other older office buildings being renovated for apartments.

In the last year, about a third of all proposed housing developments downtown have been put on hold or canceled. They include the 50-story Zen tower on 3rd and Hill streets, the Mill Street Lofts in the industrial district, the multitower Metropolis off the 110 Freeway and the conversion of the former Herald Examiner building.

At the meeting Monday, some officials noted downtown's changing landscape.

"We need to continue to wish ourselves good luck," said L.A. County Supervisor Gloria Molina.

The three-phase Grand Avenue project ultimately could include eight condo and office towers, retail stores, a boutique hotel and public park. The first phase includes two towers at opposite ends of the block east of Disney Concert Hall -- set that way to preserve sightlines to the venue from many parts of downtown. The taller tower -- 48 stories -- would include rooftop pools, 264 high-end condo units, a 289-room Mandarin Oriental and an Equinox health club.

The second, 19-story tower would include nearly 100 rental units -- designated as affordable housing -- and 126 condominiums. Phase one also includes the civic park northeast of the concert hall.

The second phase is to be built on the block south of Disney Hall, with preliminary plans calling for two 30- to 35-story residential towers, one five- to six-story residential building and more retail stores and parking. The third phase would go two blocks east of the concert hall. Preliminary plans call for a 35- to 40-story residential building that would include some retail shops and possibly a 15- to 20-story building with office space or condos.

Brown said he had recently returned from Bilbao, Spain, where he saw the Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim Museum and a trolley system built throughout the city. Brown, who has been working on a similar street car system for Los Angeles, said the trip convinced him of "the extent to which significant architecture and public spaces can really revitalize whole city centers."

He predicted that the public park and Grand Avenue's retail spaces, which could potentially include a gym, bookstore and grocery store, "will start to pull together parts of the community on the northern part of downtown that have never been there before."

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Source: Los Angeles Times
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  #50  
Old Posted Mar 18, 2008, 3:07 PM
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I'm glad; looks like we MIGHT break ground on schedule this time.
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  #51  
Old Posted Apr 25, 2008, 11:01 AM
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Kathleen McMullin asks a question about the park model.

Presented Park Plan a Start, but Illustrates the Need for a Cohesive Transit System

By Eric Richardson
April 22, 2008

County Supervisor Gloria Molina welcomed the crowd gathered to hear of plans for a redone Civic Center park with a warning: dreaming is nice, but at the end of the day something's got to be built with the money the project has in hand.

Her remarks set the tone for a meeting that lacked grand reveals, and instead talked of building a basic foundation onto which pieces could be added as additional funds were raised. Given the lack of architectural fireworks, programming that included large events was given a prominent placement.

Though neither were addressed, the presentation's focus on crowds illustrated how vital both the streetcar and Regional Connector will be to the park's success.

The Civic Center park sits tucked away between government buildings, running from the Music Center on the west to City Hall on the east. With the 101 freeway a significant barrier to its north, the park isn't naturally at the center of anything. While the Grand Avenue Project will bring residential development a block away, the bulk of Downtown's residents aren't within an easy walk of the park site.

Those who want to come to the park to read a book, eat at the cafe or throw around a frisbee will have to find their way to the site. The proposed streetcar system, in its role as a "walk extender," offers the best potential to make the park somewhere that residents will visit. Without it, the space's location quickly becomes a deterrent to casual use.

Large events will draw a crowd from beyond Downtown and bring their own set of challenges. The park flows down from the Music Center to City Hall with an emphasis on open views, creating an ideal space for concerts and rallies. In the process, though, the site crosses three major north-south streets: Spring, Broadway and Hill. All three are heavily used by bus lines.

A major event that extended through the park and led to the three streets' closure would currently cause a major disruption in transit traffic that travels through Downtown. A below-grade Regional Connector, as a second grade separated trunk line through Downtown, offers the ability for transit lines to run to the edges of the Central City.

Passengers headed across town would be able to transfer to the rail, sail under the disruption above, and reboard their bus on the other side. Alternatively, routes could simply bypass around Downtown, offering a connection to the rail system as a way to let those traveling into the core reach their destination.

All this, though, will take some time. Plans for the park have much to be finalized, and construction is tentatively scheduled for a Spring / Summer 2009 start and a mid-2011 conclusion.


At Hill street the plan would leave current parking ramps intact, simply putting some green over top of them. Pedestrians would have to travel around the ramps, as they do today, disrupting a continuous flow down the middle of the site.


The enhanced park plan would re-activate the old State Building footprint, already once a park. The basic plan would leave it in its current state.

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Source: Blogdowntown
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  #52  
Old Posted Apr 25, 2008, 11:02 AM
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Some more photos of the park model...


From Flickr, by alossix


From Flickr, by alossix


From Flickr, by alossix


From Flickr, by alossix


From Flickr, by alossix


From Flickr, by alossix


From Flickr, by alossix


From Flickr, by alossix


From Flickr, by alossix


From Flickr, by alossix


From Flickr, by alossix


From Flickr, by alossix


From Flickr, by alossix


From Flickr, by alossix


From Flickr, by alossix


From Flickr, by alossix


From Flickr, by alossix


From Flickr, by alossix


From Flickr, by alossix


From Flickr, by alossix

And here are some photos of the Grand Avenue project model...


From Flickr, by alossix


From Flickr, by alossix
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Old Posted Apr 25, 2008, 4:27 PM
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The tower? I love it!

The Park?
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  #54  
Old Posted Apr 26, 2008, 1:24 AM
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Grand Avenue Park Price Could Rise

Developer and Officials Unveil Designs, Say 'Enhanced' Facility Would Surpass $50 Million

By Anna Scott

Developer Related Cos. and local officials last week unveiled initial designs of a proposed 16-acre Downtown Civic Park, part of Related's $3 billion Grand Avenue development. They also acknowledged that providing more than the most basic amenities could push the price tag well beyond the long discussed budget of $50 million.

Related and the county last week went to the state seeking $30 million in funds for the park project.

Hundreds of people milled around the light-filled mezzanine of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on the evening of Tuesday, April 22, and stayed well after dark to peruse models, view a presentation and discuss plans for the park that will stretch from the Music Center at Grand Avenue to City Hall at Spring Street.

In a twist, design firm Rios Clementi Hale Studios presented two options: A "base park," budgeted for the $50 million that Related Cos. has already paid (now $56 million, thanks to nearly $1 million in state funds and interest earned on the initial payment) and an "enhanced park," which would require an unspecified amount of additional funding.

Construction on the basic design is expected to begin next spring and wrap in summer 2011. The enhanced version, officials said, could unfold gradually as county and other officials secure more funding.

"We have a limited amount of money," said Second District County Supervisor and Grand Avenue Authority Chair Gloria Molina on Tuesday. "Let's plan a green space, a public park that is accessible to everyone... with the money we have."

While developers and officials stressed the constraints on plans for the park, critics said the money already in hand should be enough.

"Why are they even thinking about anything more than what they have the money to do?" asked Paul Novak, planning deputy for Fifth District Supervisor Mike Antonovich. "You've got a very speculative real estate project in a down economy with rising construction costs, all of which is being subsidized by taxpayers from Encino to Long Beach to Lancaster. That's a scary recipe."

A Park in Two Parts

The 3.6 million-square-foot, Frank Gehry-designed Grand Avenue project, officially known as The Grand, is expected eventually to bring 2,600 housing units, 449,000 square feet of retail, a hotel, a grocery store and a health club to Bunker Hill.

The approximately $1 billion first phase is slated for completion in 2011.

The Grand, which will rise on publicly owned land, is overseen by the Grand Avenue Authority, comprised of officials from the county, the city and the Community Redevelopment Agency. Related, fulfilling part of its agreement to develop The Grand, serves as project manager for the Civic Park.

Last Tuesday at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, near where the mega-development will rise, Mark Rios, a principal at Rios Clementi Hale, and programming consultant Mary McCue presented their proposals for the park.

The base plan is anchored by the existing Arthur J. Will Memorial Fountain, between the County Hall of Administration and the County Courthouse. It would be renovated and upgraded with features such as programmable pop-jets and dramatic lighting. The design also includes space for public art installations, lawns and gardens designed to host everything from farmer's markets to large concerts, a 3/4-mile pedestrian loop and a series of "sun gardens" and "shade gardens" along the northern and southern boundaries of the park, respectively.

The enhanced park features an open-air event pavilion decked out with colorful canopies at the center of the park, a pedestrian bridge spanning Broadway, improvements to surrounding sidewalks and additions such as extra gardens and a carousel.

While the $56 million currently available will cover the basic design, Related officials and the designers have said that ramps necessitated by the site's dramatic grade changes - 18 to 20 feet between blocks in some places - alone will cost $15 million, while equipping the park for large concerts is estimated at $5 million to $7 million.

Last week the county applied for $30 million in state funds for the Civic Park. Though no price tag on the enhanced park was revealed, Related officials said the grant would allow some elements of the design to be implemented.

Antonovich, an outspoken critic of taxpayer subsidies granted to The Grand's developers, abstained from voting on the grant application.

"I think the park grant application is really a precursor for the developer coming back to the city and county and asking for additional taxpayer subsidies for this project," said Novak. "It certainly tells us they're looking for more money."

Related of California President Bill Witte said he is confident that officials will be able to raise enough money to realize the enhanced design through donations, foundation funding and corporate sponsorship.

Mixed Reaction

Attendees of the design presentation included Downtown residents, workers and the merely curious. Reactions ran the gamut from impressed to underwhelmed.

"It's sort of boring to me. For a Grand Avenue project, it's not very grand," said Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council President Russell Brown, though after hearing the presentation he conceded, "It's actually not as horrible as I initially projected it to be."

Brown's primary complaints, echoed by others, included a non-distinct architectural style even in the enhanced design, as well as a lack of integration with nearby public transportation.

Rios and McCue emphasized programming and activities as the key to the park, discussing large and intimate spaces, outdoor dining areas and restaurants, along with family-friendly events. "What we end up with is a park that needs to be about something," said Rios. "We want it to be a place that is about social engagement."

Others complimented the design. "They've basically laid out the infrastructure fine," said DLANC member and Downtown activist Brady Westwater, though he also voiced concerns about parking and transportation impacts.

Some were excited at the prospect of having a large park in Downtown Los Angeles. "I like it," said Nathan Johnston, 29, an accountant who lives a few blocks from Grand Avenue. "I'll be glad to see the parking lots go."

Local resident Brian Lin, 32, who works in admissions at USC, agreed, citing a growing and "glaring" need for family- and pet-friendly green space Downtown.

Ninth District Councilwoman and Grand Avenue Authority Vice Chair Jan Perry called the base park design "a good first cut." The next step, she said, should be to proceed with construction "and then see what we encounter."

Even if adjustments are made along the way, she said, "I think it's going to redefine Downtown in ways that people haven't even imagined yet."

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Source: Los Angeles Downtown News
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Old Posted Apr 26, 2008, 8:35 AM
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The tower and complex? Flawless. The park? Flawless. The city? Approaching flawless.

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  #56  
Old Posted Apr 26, 2008, 3:57 PM
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Here's an audio recording of the Civic Park presentation on April 22:

http://www.learcenter.org/html/projects/?cm=grand
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Old Posted Apr 29, 2008, 12:50 AM
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Grand Avenue Construction Pushed to 2009

Developer Delays Phase One Completion Another Year

By Anna Scott

Developer Related Companies has announced that it is delaying construction on the $3 billion Grand Avenue project until next year, a company official said Monday afternoon. The company previously planned to break ground this summer.

Under the revised schedule, phase one construction would begin on Feb. 15, 2009, and finish in 2012 instead of 2011 as previously anticipated.

Initially, Related intended to begin construction on the project in October 2007, but the schedule has been pushed back multiple times.

The latest rescheduling stems from the difficulty in securing a construction loan in the ongoing credit crunch, said Related of California President Bill Witte. The previous schedule, he said, was based on the assumption that Related would be able to secure construction financing based on partially completed construction documents.

"As the financial world tightens and tightens, it's clear that's not going to be possible," said Witte.

"Nothing has changed in the timing of the documents," he added. "What has changed is our assessment of whether we can get a loan right now."

The developer plans to finalize construction documents for the Bunker Hill complex, which will include design details and help determine building costs, by the end of the year. Related will then move forward with demolishing a multi-level parking structure at Grand Avenue and First Street, probably in November, Witte said. Related previously intended to demolish the structure this past March, but decided to wait in lieu of the current fiscal situation. He said the parking structure, currently closed, could reopen in the interim.

"No one wants to have a big hiatus between the time we complete demolition and the time we start excavation," said Witte.

Plans for the approximately $1 billion first phase of the Frank Gehry-designed project, officially dubbed The Grand, call for a 48-story Mandarin Oriental Hotel & Residences with 295 rooms and 262 condominiums, a 19-story residential tower with 126 market-rate apartments and 98 affordable units, retail, a nightclub and a 16-acre Civic Park.

Construction on the park, Witte said, will proceed as scheduled, with groundbreaking slated for next spring and completion in 2011. The budget for its "base" design is $56 million, though additional amenities will cost more, officials have said.

Witte said that in June, Related will go before the Grand Avenue Authority, which is overseeing the project, to ask for formal approval of the construction delay.
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  #58  
Old Posted Apr 29, 2008, 5:20 PM
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It figures.
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  #59  
Old Posted Apr 29, 2008, 5:25 PM
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Yea that park could do with some tweaking
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Old Posted Apr 29, 2008, 5:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M II A II R II K View Post
Yea that park could do with some tweaking
Seriously, though, I think its time we let this one die. Its already going to be over 2 years delayed.
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