As the Farmers Field NFL stadium snags all the headlines (the City Council is set to sign off on the project tomorrow), it's accompanying LA Convention Center redesign is getting a little side-eye from a group of architects advising Mayor Villaraigosa. The Daily News reports that "Several members of the 'Vision Team,' a group of eight architects assembled by Villaraigosa to consult on the project, believe the plan has major flaws, including having visitors enter the new hall through a dark, unsafe space created by stretching the building over Pico Boulevard. They believe this will so negatively impact Pico Boulevard and the Pico-Union neighborhood that an overhaul is required." Developer AEG has commissioned Populous to redesign the Convention Center (and rebrand it as LACOEX) in order to accommodate the new stadium--plans call for a new West Hall straddling Pico Boulevard and joining up the South Hall with the Farmers site (the idea is to make the Convention Center more attractive by creating a contiguous space).
But no one seems to care much about the architects' report: City Councilmember Ed Reyes, a member of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Proposed Downtown Stadium and Events Center and the rep for the neighboring Pico-Union area, had never even heard of it and it was never given to the Planning Commission, which signed off on the project earlier this month. Apparently, it was "Seen as unrealistic because of budget constraints and the project's fast timeline," so planning staff didn't bother (That timeline is a function of the NFL, which would pick a team to send to Los Angeles in March, and now perhaps also of an imminent AEG sale. This is not the city's first timesaver in the road to approve the project.).
The Vision Team has recommended that "More time and money - at least $50 million - is needed to redesign the convention center hall." A rep for the mayor says the Planning Commission did incorporate some of the recommendations, "such as asking AEG to add architectural features to the garages."
· Architects call for redesign of L.A. Convention Center hall, part of AEG NFL project [LADN]
· Meet LACOEX, LA's Proposed New Elevated Convention Center [Curbed LA]