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Grand Avenue Developer Ditches Gehry Project, Will Start With Just One Residential Tower

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Wave goodbye to the pre-bust-era, Frank Gehry plans for the Grand Avenue megadevelopment. They are dead. Developer Related Cos. has been pushing this project back for years and years now (*because the project combines multiple city, county, and Community Redevelopment Agency parcels, the project is governed by a joint powers authority that Related must report to and meet deadlines from)--it was originally approved in 2007 and was supposed to include a huge Gehry-designed hotel, housing, and retail complex, in addition to the Grand Park (opened last fall). Related finally broke ground on the first building, a 19-story apartment tower designed by Arquitectonica, just last week, but It's been clear for a while now that that the larger plan is dead. Now they're finally ready to move ahead with a new plan: They'll begin work on Parcel Q, across from Disney Hall, reports the Downtown News, but, since they're unlikely to get financing on a huge megadevelopment, "the company will propose moving forward first with a residential tower on a portion of the site, likely near Second Street and Grand Avenue. The rest of the property would be developed in later stages, adding different uses according to evolving demand."

It's not clear what even that first tower will look like yet, although 20 percent of its units will have to be affordable. The building "could go taller than 19 stories ... and the firm is considering a hybrid building that would blend condominiums on the upper floors with apartments in the rest of the structure." Gehry's contract with Related "expired years ago," and they say they've not reentered talks with him, so we also don't have any idea who will design the tower.

The joint powers Grand Avenue Authority will likely consider the new plan at their next meeting on January 28.
· Developer Unveils New Plan for Grand Avenue [Downtown News]
· Grand Grand Ave. Plans to Be Brought More in Line With Reality [Curbed LA]