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LOS ANGELES-The Grand Avenue Committee and the Related Cos. have unveiled architect Frank Gehry’s design for a 1.2-million-sf mixed-use project that would be the first phase of the $1.8 billion Grand Avenue project in Downtown L.A. The design envisions a neighborhood that would occupy a full city block of three acres comprising a world-class hotel, residences, retail, restaurants and public amenities directly across the street from the Walt Disney Concert Hall, which Gehry designed.

The design features two towers and 250,000 sf of retail space, including a 50-story tower at the corner of Second and Grand that would house an approximately 275-room hotel on the bottom level and 250 condominiums on the upper floors. At Olive and First streets, a 25-story residential tower will comprise 150 lofts and condominiums along with 100 affordable apartments.

The development along Grand Avenue is being planned under the auspices of the Los Angeles Grand Avenue Authority, a joint committee of county and city officials. The development will be built on county and city land by the Related Cos.

The hotel and condominium tower will face Walt Disney Concert Hall. The design features street-front retail, plazas and walkways with pedestrian connections to downtown’s cultural center, the new civic park, Grand Avenue, First, Second and Olive streets.

The Related Cos. expects to begin demolition of the parking garage across from Walt Disney Concert Hall late this year and to begin construction in early 2007. Public review of the initial Gehry design will begin with a meeting on May 25.

The design is intended to create “a vibrant city center,” according to Eli Broad, chairman of the Grand Avenue Committee, which has overseen the management of the redevelopment project for the past five years. In addition to the Disney Hall, the project will be near the Music Center, the Colburn School and MOCA.

Proceeds from the Grand Avenue development will fund a new civic park with gardens, greenery, and a place to host major cultural events. The county and city have committed the Related Cos.’ $50 million ground lease payment for Phase I to fund the 16-acre park.

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