$3B Mixed-Use Projects Starts Construction in L.A.

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Construction work is underway on The Grand, one of the largest vertically-integrated, mixed-use projects under construction in the nation. The multi-phase 3.6 million square foot development spanning three city blocks will cost an estimated $3 billion to develop. Phase I has been designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry for the project developer, Related Companies. Demolition of the parking garage at Grand Avenue and First Street will commence in February 2008 following remedial site work. Transformation of the existing County Mall to a new, 16-acre civic park will begin next fall.

Situated on a full city block bordered by Grand Avenue, Olive, First and Second Streets, Phase One of the large-scale urban site totals 1.3 million square feet. It will feature a vibrant mix of hotel and residential towers, retail, restaurants, entertainment/nightlife, and public amenities that will create a destination that is pedestrian-friendly and attractive to residentsand visitors.

The architectural centerpiece of The Grand will be an iconic 48 story tower located at Second Street and Grand Avenue, including a 295-key Mandarin Oriental Hotel crowned with 266 for-sale luxury residences. Designed by Gehry, The Mandarin will be similar to the AAA, Five-Diamond hotel in New York at Related's Time Warner Center , which sold out The Residences at The Mandarin Oriental New York that were branded as "Five Star Living."

At First and Olive Streets , a 19-story Gehry-designed residential tower will combine 126 market rate condominiums and 98 units of affordable housing. Adjacent to the city's leading cultural and performing arts venues -- whichinclude Gehry's impressive Walt Disney Concert Hall -- The Grand will featurea nexus of exciting retail concepts and exceptional cafes, restaurants andbars. The 250,000 square foot retail pavilion will showcase a distinctive collection of boutiques and restaurants that will be instrumental in regenerating downtown LA as a shopping destination. A carefully selected mix of cuisines and price points will provide the zenith of fine dining and service to catapult the city's burgeoning cultural district to the top of the downtown entertainment scene.

The new, 16-acre civic park will be anchored by landmark cultural and civic buildings. It is envisioned as an urban gathering place for Angelenos, as well as the City's venue for public events. The park will feature terraces, lawns, gardens and plaza areas that will become the centerpiece of The Grand's landscaped public spaces, which will be woven into the neighborhood with both street-front and multi-level retail, plaza, terraces and walkways offering expansive view corridors and pedestrian connections to downtown's cultural center.