AC Martin's rendering of the top of the Wilshire Grand tower.

(Save the dates:  RealShare Apartments East  comes to the  Hyatt Regency in Miami, FL, on February 26, and RealShare Los Angeles  comes to the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles, CA, on March 27.)

LOS ANGELES-Locally based law firm Paul Hastings has assisted Korean Air Lines, leader of the $1-billion redevelopment of the Wilshire Grand hotel, retail and office complex Downtown, to reach significant milestones in the project. Over the last 12 months, a Paul Hastings team led by partner Mitch Menzer obtained a complex set of entitlements for the project, including a transfer of floor area for up to 2.5 million square feet of development, transient occupancy tax subsidy, a state-of-the-art electronic sign program, a design flexibility program and a development agreement.

Menzer also handled the negotiation of the project-management agreement, advised on financing strategies and is handling the office and retail lease brokers’ agreements and various follow-through on land-use compliance matters for the project. In addition, a team of Paul Hastings attorneys in several offices throughout California is advancing the project into the construction phase. Orange County real estate partner John Simonis and associate Antonella Castro negotiated the general construction contracts and architect’s contract, while Los Angeles real estate partner Rick Kirkbride and associate Lauren Giovannone are negotiating the hotel-management agreement and Pat Ramsey is advising on office-leasing matters. San Francisco-based employment partner Bob Kristoff negotiated the project labor agreement with trade unions and is advising on other labor-relations issues, and San Francisco-based litigation partner Grace Carter is advising on insurance issues.

Korean Air Lines recently began demolishing the existing obsolete hotel and will start vertical construction later this year. Construction will continue through 2014, with a scheduled opening in January 2017.

As reported earlier today, project architect Chris Martin of AC Martin Partners and developer Korean Air Lines have revealed the design of the new Wilshire Grand, which will become one of L.A.’s tallest buildings. The team is displaying in a photographic rendering how the L.A. skyline will look when the $1-billion project is completed.

The 73-story building will feature a unique architectural façade that towers above it and crowns the top with a glass pediment and spire, topping out at 1,100 feet and making it among the tallest buildings in the western US. The project includes a 900-room, state-of-the-art, four-star luxury hotel, 45,100 square feet of retail space featuring world-class restaurants, and 400,000 square feet of class-A office space. L.A. City Councilmember José Huizar was instrumental in working with the City of Los Angeles Fire Department in approving the safety-enhanced, non-flat roof design.

A spokesperson for AC Martin tells that the Wilshire Grand will be the first building in L.A. since City Hall in 1928—also designed by AC Martin—to feature a non-flat roof. “The principals worked with the fire chief and the mayor to work through city ordinances to provide the ultimate in fire safety as well as change the way the downtown skyline looks. This project will be a unique mix of everything that invites tourists as well as a welcoming spot for businesses.”

The spokesperson adds that from a developer’s standpoint, the project demonstrates Korean Air’s commitment to Los Angeles as a global hub. “Korean Air has been a partner to the city for several years, and this is a continuance of that partnership.”

Overseeing construction for the project will be Turner Construction, and leasing will be handled by Cushman & Wakefield.

What impact do you think Wilshire Grand will have on Downtown L.A.? Leave us your thoughts in the box below.