At midnight tonight, the latest agreement to build the enormous Grand Avenue project around Disney Hall will expire, and last week the Grand Avenue Authority "unanimously rejected the conceptual plan for the $650-million project," reports the LA Times. Wrangling between the city/county-run authority and developer Related Cos. has been going on for nearly a decade--plans for an assortment of hotel rooms, condos, retail, and restaurants have been delayed and reimagined over and over, although one single apartment tower managed to break ground late last year--and most recently Related said it was working on a scaled-back plan that would no longer include the original Frank Gehry-designed buildings. The latest vote could kill the project altogether, at least with Related at the helm. (Happily, the county did manage to get Related to pay for the huge Grand Park, which opened last fall, although that could also put them on the legal liability hook.)
Members of the authority "said they did not see how [the latest plans] would be a high-caliber project for Grand Avenue." County Supe Gloria Molina disliked the "boxiness" of the design, and said of one piece on Grand Avenue, "There's nothing there that lends itself in any aspect to a design that promotes any kind of pedestrian activity, any street activity or anything ... It is still a continuation to me of the fort-like conditions down Grand Avenue." Related says the plan was meant to be "refined" with the assistance of the authority, and that they're still committed to the project. Now the authority is scrambling to vote today on extending the deal with Related.
· Grand Avenue project at turning point [LAT]
· Grand Avenue Developer Ditches Gehry Project, Will Start With Just One Residential Tower [Curbed LA]