Tag Archives: Frank Gehry

Optimism in LA

The coronavirus continues to wreak havoc on our everyday lives but there are some individuals and businesses determined to ride the storm and work toward development and growth.  One such example is The Grand – a complex being built at a cost of $1b in downtown LA. Featuring residential units, a luxurious hotel featuring over 300 rooms, restaurants, stores, 430-seat cinema complex, a residential 436 luxurious unit tower and more, is located across from the Walt Disney Concert Hall. 

Designed by architect Frank Gehry, it is currently 50% complete. This, despite the fact that many other local facilities are emptying out at a rapid speed.  Gehry himself – being 91 years old and thus classified as high risk – is hardly visible at the site as his aides try to shelter him! But it’s still forging ahead.

Also invested in the project is Core USA (which is a venture between China Harbour Engineering Co. and CCCG Overseas Real Estate, a subsidiary of one of China’s largest state owned companies – the China Communications Construction Group). An investment of $290m in the Grand has been made by this venture.

In related optimistic local business news, thanks to the Fresh Air Eats promotion, many restaurants are faring better including Downtown Lafayette. With the space to adequately social distance, Mary Buckley – one of the owners of Bistro 51 reported her optimism.  On the first weekend on the venture she reported:

“Last weekend was phenomenal, better than we expected. We knew it was going to be a great experience. But we didn’t realize how well it would be received.”

The Fresh Air Eats program is set to be in operation through October 4th 2020.

Downtown LA: The New Place to Be

We have seen already in the last few years – and increasingly over the last few months too – the rise in popularity of DTLA.  There is so much construction going on in the area, while at the same time, there are a ton of extra people moving in.  as such, the area is becoming quite the hub for technical companies which are moving headquarters to the area. There are more offices being leased and rent growth has increased.  With all this, there is a lot more developed planned for the near future.

So why the popularity?  Is it sudden?  What’s the story?  Some people in the commercial real estate industry are actually tracing it back to a new addition that occurred around 10 years ago – the opening of Ralphs Grocery Store on Ninth Street.  According to Peter Johnson, OUE Limited Senior Vice President of Leasing said that Ralphs was needed as there was “residential growing [but a severe lack of places] to go shopping.”  Ralphs seemed to be the answer – a store that really was able to “promote downtown residential life.”

Construction work is set to begin later this year on Frank Gehry’s renderings of ‘The Grand.’  This is to be a ‘mixed use development’ featuring dining, entertaining, hotel, residential and retail components.  A public plaza will offer five levels of parking.

Los Angeles’ Development News

los-angelesFrank Gehry recently designed a project comprising a 234 foot tall tower for the eastern edge of the Sunset Strip.  This was just unanimously accepted by the LA City Council, which means following its completion, the area will be privy to two residential towers, a shopping center and terraced gardens.

In 2019 a Park Hyatt hotel will open in downtown LA as part of the Oceanwide Plaza project.  Comprising 184 rooms, it will be located right by L.A. Live and the Staples Center.  Developed by Oceanwide Holdings, the plan for the area is also over 500 luxury residences and a 166,000 sq. ft.  open-air retail and entertainment galleria.

The good news with all of this construction is that the environment will not necessarily be negatively impacted.  In fact, over the last 10 years or so, the region has developed a reputation for becoming a “hub of green building activity.”  One example of this was back in 2002 when LA became the first US city to request LEED certification for practically all of its new municipal buildings.  Seven years later this requirement escalated from a mere certification to LEED Silver which renders an even greater commitment to establish sustainability from each new municipal building that appears in the skyline.

These green efforts are continuing as by 2020 all new residential construction statewide is being ordered by the California Energy Commission to be zero net energy by 2020 and by 2030, new commercial construction to follow suit.