The approximately $4.5-million project, paid for by California Plaza property owners CIM Group, Omni Hotels, and Rising Realty Partners, will leave the sunken plaza without much of its namesake element. The 43-foot-wide pond that was once as the center of the space has been removed, and will be replaced with landscaping, potted plants, trees, and outdoor furniture.
The revamp resulted from increasing maintenance costs for the Watercourt's signature water feature, which had started to leak into the concrete and steel structure supporting the plaza.
The Gensler-designed project has the support of the organizers of Grand Performances, the live event and conference series which uses the Watercourt as a venue. The addition of grass in lieu of a pond will expand the amount of usable space at the Watercourt. The water feature, though aesthetically pleasing, placed a 43-foot gap between performers and the audience, according to a letter sent by Grand Performances to the CRA/LA Governing Board in 2018.
In the future, Grand Performances will operate in the shadow of yet another high-rise complex. A team composed of MacFarlane Partners, Peebles Corporation, and Claridge Properties is currently pursuing the development of a mixed-use complex at the corner of 4th and Hill Streets known as Angels Landing. That project, which will connect to the upper level at California Plaza, calls for the construction of two towers featuring housing, hotels, and retail space.
- California Plaza Watercourt (Urbanize LA)