At a ceremony this morning, developers Related California and CORE joined with Los Angeles officials to officially break ground on The Grand, a long-awaited mixed-use development across the street from the Walt Disney Concert Hall.
The $1-billion project, located on a full block bounded by 1st Street, 2nd Street, Olive Street, and Grand Avenue, will consist of a 39-story apartment tower - featuring 349 market-rate apartments and 87 affordable housing units - and a 20-story, 309-room Equinox hotel. Both towers will rise above a 176,000-square-foot retail podium, containing restaurants, stores, and a movie theater.
Disney Hall architect Frank Gehry is designing The Grand, which will use stepped building heights and offset masses to create terraces for amenity decks and outdoor dining. A pedestrian walkway will cut north-to-south through the property at ground level, allowing pedestrians to move between Grand and Olive, and also preserving a view corridor of the iconic concert hall.
“With The Grand, we’re not just building buildings, we’re building places,” said architect Frank Gehry. “We are trying to make a place for people not only to live, but also to gather after concerts or performances, and my hope is that it will spawn other growth in the neighborhood. My dream is that from time-to-time, we will be able to close Grand Avenue and have street parties with projections on Walt Disney Concert Hall. The project is meant to complement and enhance the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Colburn, The Broad and the other buildings that make up the rich and exciting cultural district that is emerging on Grand Avenue.”
Crews began clearing away the "tinker-toy" parking structure that previously occupied the project site last year, the first step in an approximately three-year construction period anticipated to conclude in late 2021.
Though originally conceived as the first phase of the larger Grand Avenue Project, the two-tower development will, in fact, be the fourth element of the project to begin construction, following the 12-acre Grand Park, the 19-story Emerson apartment tower, and the Broad contemporary art museum. A final phase of the development is set to replace another publicly-owned parking lot at the corner of 1st and Olive Streets. All elements of the project will be located within walking distance of a new Metro Rail station now under construction and 2nd and Hope Streets.
In a separate project, the Colburn School has announced plans to construct its own Gehry-designed project at 2nd and Olive - 200,000-square-foot expansion featuring classrooms, housing, and three performance venues.