Update, Wed, 11:23 am: The City Council gave its final blessing to Korean Air's office and hotel tower project today, a move which finalizes the developer agreement for the Wilshire Grand, and creates a new sign district for the block around 7th and Figueroa streets. And that, dear readers, means this project is officially approved. Also, hours after the vote, the developer released a web site showing a video of how the architectural lighting--the LED lights on the upper floors--will change and morph. Check out the web site and the video here: The "architectural lighting" video is under Gallery/Videos section. Wouldn't it have been better to show the video to the full City Council before their vote? Eh?
As for the large-scale digital signs, those are on their way, too. Speaking of: At the press event after the vote, Ayahlushim Getachew, Senior Vice President at Thomas Properties, pointed out that the signs in our great Coke Photoshop reveal will be slightly smaller given that the coverage ratio on Level 2 is 80 percent of each facade maximum. Also, the look will be more diffused given the larger spacing of the LED lights, she promises.
And at the same press conference, we asked Jim Thomas, Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer, Thomas Properties, how this thing was going to be paid for. He didn't appear too worried about getting funding for the project. The first phase is expected to cost $365 million; there's a $97 million financing gap, which will be helped by the tax rebate the city is handing out (an initial $54 million). "We don't think financing will be a problem," said Thomas. Off on the money hunt--and advertising hunt (who wants to take over a whole side of a building?)--they go. Construction is expected to break ground by the end of the year. (Demolition of the existing hotel will take a year.)
And here's more coverage on today's vote from KPCC and the LA Times. Update: And here's KRCW's "Which Way, LA" tackling the issue, with Curbed's Dakota talking about the project with City Councilman Ed Reyes and City Planning Commission President Bill Roschen.
· Wilshire Grand Archives [Curbed LA Archives]