For more than a decade, the huge, multi-use Grand Avenue Project has been stuck in the fetal stages (except for one lone tower). But now things have finally started to move on the hugely ambitious plan to put residential, retail, hotel, and public space on Parcel Q, across Grand from Disney Hall. That got moving again last year when starchitect Frank Gehry, who designed the original plan, was taken off the project and the new plans (from Gensler and Robert AM Stern) were very firmly rejected by the LA County Supervisors (the word "uninspired" was used.) After that, Gehry was pulled back in to save the day and boy, did he ever. People have been calling the latest plans the best yet and the supes officially agreed today when they signed off on the designs, calling them "exactly what we need" and proclaiming that this design will shake up the street in the best way possible, according to the LA Times. The County Supervisors' approval means that there's just a couple more steps (approval from the Grand Avenue Joint Powers Authority next week and a renewed development agreement by January 21) before the $750-million complex can get into the environmental review phase, one of the most significant hurdles on the ever-lengthening road to completion.
The most recent designs show two high-rise towers—a 37-story residential tower (with a twenty-eighth-floor skydeck and pool!) on the corner of Second and Olive and a 25-story SLS hotel/office building closer to First Street—plus a pedestrian-inviting public plaza, all arranged like "boxes of presents stacked under a Christmas tree."
· Supervisors Praise Gehry's 'Exciting' New Grand Avenue Project Design [LAT]
· First Look At Frank Gehry's Wide-Ranging New Grand Ave. Plans [Curbed LA]