After being rejected for appearing too “boxy” and not appealing enough to pedestrians, Related Companies’ revamped Grand Avenue vision has finally won unanimous approval from county supervisors. The $750-million plan, which was abruptly halted back in September when Gensler’s toned-down version was deemed greatly “disappointing” by the city, will now move forward with a more playful (and pricey) design by the project’s original architect, Frank Gehry.
Gehry’s revised design, though an estimated $100-million more than the previous scheme’s cost, promises to increase pedestrian connectivity and openness, while forming a vibrant public plaza flanked by two “cascading” towers that offer high-end shopping, office and residential space. To appease early concerns, strategic openings have been integrated throughout the massing to preserve views of the neighboring Walt Disney Concert Hall and highlight the undulating, metallic structure as the area’s main attraction.
"This is exactly what we need," exclaimed county supervisor Gloria Molina. “It's what's going to invigorate the whole Grand Avenue. That was the whole idea."
Supervisor approval is a significant step forward, considering the ambitious development has been in the works now for over a decade - originally being halted by the recession. On Wednesday, Gehry’s design will be presented to the Grand Avenue Authority for approval. A development agreement must be made by January 21st.
Reference: Los Angeles Times