Yesterday developer Related Cos. stated that because of difficulties securing a construction loan, the ground-breaking for the Grand Avenue project, the Frank Gehry-designed mixed-use downtown development, would be delayed until next year. This project joins other downtown projects like Park Fifth or the Zen Tower that have seen delays or been shelved. But let's recap how this one went down:
--According to the Los Angeles Business Journal, Related "cited a need to release construction drawings before it can secure a construction loan, noting that its previous intent to secure the loan with partial drawing was not viable in the current credit market."
--Which isn't necessarily a bad thing. According to the LA Times, the setback will allow "Related to finalize thousands of pages of construction documents before work begins. Because nearly 70% of building costs for the project will be for concrete and steel, completion of those documents may allow the developer to avoid overruns later."
---And don't write it off. Blogdowntown: "While delays are never good news, this one isn't likely to turn into anything more. The financing market is in the tank and has been for months now."
---And the park? Yes, the civic park included in the Grand Avenue plan will move forward despite the push-back for the project.
---Parallels between Grand Avenue and Disney Hall? Commenters on the site pointed out similar delays in funding and construction of Gehry's Disney Hall project. Two vastly different projects, but it's still interesting to go back and read coverage of Disney's construction. Via a 1996 NY Times article: "Downtown Los Angeles needs saving, and Disney Hall, according to county planners, is to be among its saviors." Which raises another question: How badly-or not-does Downtown need Grand Avenue at this point?
· Breaking: Grand Avenue Project Construction Delayed Until 2009 [Curbed LA]