Friday, April 08, 2005

big plans for south park

I didn't have to read between the lines of Tim Leiweke's briefing on Wednesday to understand how LA Live will differentiate itself from all the other developments happening all over downtown. He stated the goal, " put Los Angeles back on the map as the leader in the tourist and convention business". They're not in the business of creating neighborhoods, AEG wants to create a world-class destination. He went on to say, "Every major event in the country should be ours." Talk about throwing down the gauntlet. AEG wants to make sure that the Grammys, MTV Awards, X-Games, WrestleMania, the Source Awards, Billboard Music Awards, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, the Nickelodeon Spoogefest (or whatever it is they call that thing where celebs get slimed) and all other awards shows and events to happen at LA Live. Specifically, AEG's wish list includes: "premieres, music events, post-parties, street fairs and celebrations". The aim is to revitalize the Figueroa Corridor so that it is as well known world-wide as Time Square. The first step is to build everything, then "we'll see if we can sell our city".

This is the Hilton, doesn't it look like a Nokia phone? (click on thumbnail to view larger image)

On what is currently parking lots 3 and 4, they will build LA Live, which includes a Hilton Hotel which will be the tallest building west of the Mississippi (that distinction currently belongs to the Library Tower). That's 1800 rooms, with 100 condos somewhere in the mix, and what I'm guessing will be a really big ballroom (and meeting rooms), linked to the Regal Theatres. I'm looking at my notes and under 40% hospitality, I've scribbled 4 million square feet - is that right? Seems like a lot of square footage. The Hilton will face Olympic Boulevard and the Regal Theatres will be on the SE corner of Olympic and Cherry. There's a small street separating the two buildings, I'm guessing that's where the limos will pull up to start the red carpet arrivals.

This is the Hilton at night, it should look cool next to Staples.
(Click on thumbnail to view larger image.)

The Nokia Theater is a 7200-seat venue which Leiweke says "is perfect for award shows".

Nokia Theatre faces 11th Street and Staples Center and will have the 40,000 square foot Nokia Plaza right next to it. On the other side of the Plaza will be a sports grill and Leiweke said it would be a great public space where, "they can begin and end the Los Angeles Marathon... and a great place to put the Kings outdoor skating rink". I guess that means we won't have ice skating in Pershing Square during the holidays anymore.

I have "Grammy Museum" somewhere in my notes, but I don't know where that fits in on the map below (click on thumbnails for larger view).

Leiweke also said that they've had traffic engineers working on this for the past eight years so he didn't see this development impacting traffic negatively for the area. Sure, And parking will be a breeze, too.

Ground will break on Nokia Theatre and the Plaza in August 2005 and open in 2007 (click on thumbnails to view larger images).

On, LisaStrouss posted her notes on attending the same briefing. She has't followed the project or know much about downtown Los Angeles, so she has an "interesting" take on things. I don't know much about the project, just what I learned from the briefing, but having worked for City Hall and lived downtown since 1990, I know downtown very well. Read LongBeachUrbanists' comments (okay, read all the comments), he/she has been following this project and downtown development for a while, so he/she's got mad knowledge. Also, LosAngelesBeauty has more and better pictures posted on the skyscraper forum. I know what you're thinking, how can they possibly be better? Well they definitely have more.

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