The Edmonton Journal's David Staples is taken with AEG and its downtown LA development--he's written two stories about the firm and project in the last few days. The Albertans are all worked up because AEG has been hired to advise on a new arena complex in Edmonton being developed by the Katz Group, which owns pharmacies and the Edmonton Oilers. The Katz Group seem to have hired AEG to give them some development and arena cred, and the Journal reporter seems to see LA Live as a sign of what's coming.
It's always instructive to hear an outsider's perspective, and Staples's take is adorably Canadian--he complains that the Staples Center has "poor sight lines for hockey from the upper deck." (He also calls Inglewood "suburban," and says office workers hit "the thriving hot spots in Pasadena, Westwood and Burbank." Aw.) And he more than once compares LA Live to the West Edmonton Mall (it "has all the garish charm but undeniable popularity of...").
And while he gives plenty of air time to the architecture critics and urbanists who hate LA Live, Staples also believes AEG's work is "one of the few North American arena-based developments that have helped revitalize a chunk of a major American downtown in recent decades." [Rendering of proposed hockey arena via Edmonton Journal]
· Katz hires pop king's backers for downtown arena project [Edmonton Journal]