My Blue Heaven, clockwise: KTLA Studios project; LA Live; Beverly Hills office; Playa Vista office
With the lease on its Santa Monica space coming up, Gensler is looking at various office spaces around Los Angeles, including buildings in downtown. Downtown! Lured by the siren song of a new Target, perhaps. A tipster tells us the current front-runner for the architecture firm, which has designed everything from LA Live's Ritz/Marriott to the proposed KTLA Studios Hollywood project, is a downtown space on Flower Street, above Drago Centro. Lesley Grant, spokesperson for Gensler, confirms downtown is a possibility ("We are looking at downtown, it is among the sites we are negotiating"), but says no decision has been made yet. "We hope to have everything finalized by the end of year," she says, adding they could end up staying in their Santa Monica building, or moving to another LA neighborhood.
If Gensler did move downtown, they'd join other big architecture firms like Perkins + Will, AECOM,and HMC Architects that keep area offices. As for why they're moving from their current offices at 2500 Broadway in Santa Monica: "We’ve been here for almost 20 years, we had an opportunity to relocate," says Grant.
Not that relocating has been an easy process. “It’s been an incredibly hard, massive search,” says Rob Jernigan, Gensler principal and managing director. “We need 45,000-50,000 square feet, and 180 parking spaces?when you look for that, your options [dwindle]." He also added that he was looking for a space that will be “transformative... We don’t want a space that’s business as usual.” Jernigan says he expects to announce the new space next month.
· Gensler Archives [Curbed LA]
*Story updated with Jernigan's quotes