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<i>Frank Gehry is creating a downtown for LA. Looks to be a pretty ambitious plan. Does anyone have any more info regarding his "Atlantic Yards development he is designing for downtown Brooklyn"</i>

 

<b>Los Angeles With a Downtown? Gehry's Vision</b>

 

By ROBIN POGREBIN

 

Published: April 25, 2006

 

It isn't easy to create a real downtown district, vibrant and intense, in a city as sprawling and diffuse as Los Angeles, Frank Gehry admits. But that's what he has set out to do with his design for Grand Avenue, unveiled in preliminary form yesterday. The $750 million project, which includes the first high-rises he has ever designed for his hometown, is the first phase of a $1.8 billion development plan by the Related Companies that will remake Grand Avenue as a pedestrian-based gathering point.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/25/arts/25gran.html?ex=1146110400&en=a369e2f0413a0a37&ei=5087%0A

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Downtown LA has been experiencing little sprouts of redevelopment, but Gehry is right about there not really being a downtown LA. There is only a technical "downtown" district, but it anything like a downtown I've seen in other cities. I was there a couple years ago and went downtown to see the new Catholic cathedral and while driving around it was amazing how very little pedestrian activity there was, and how much disrepair the buildings were.

 

There are a lot of efforts to revitalize downtown LA, and they will probably be successful, but probably not as successful as people think. It is my opinion that the LA culture is so entrenched with driving around in flashy cars and being near the beach or having a large house with your pool that you will never see LA be like a vibrant densely populated big city with a lot of pedestrian activity.

 

Forest City has a nice finished a nice project for downtown LA. It is a historic rennovation of some subway terminal and it is now for sale housing units. Why they don't similar for something attached to Tower City like in the Higbee building is beyond me, but whatever.

 

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My experience with Downtown LA was that it was pretty much a real downtown, though the character changes a lot.  The Bunker Hill /Civic Center area (which is where Gehrys' Disney is at) is "urban renewal', but further south and east there is a true downtown with "urban canyons' that one finds in places like Chicago's Loop...

 

There was quite a bit of street life one of the north-south downtown streets, forget which, as it seemed to be the big Mexican/latino shopping street. 

 

Here is a good little site on the various parts of downtown LA from USC Downtown LA Walking Tours

 

 

 

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While this particular project looks decent, I must say I am sick of Frank Gehry.  I feel like his idea of architecure is to make someone look at one of his buildings and say, "Oh, is that a Gehry?"  The worst of the current crop of starchitects, with Liebskind right behind him.

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LA county has a multitude of cities in it.  LA is more a conglomeration of cities than one city in and of itself.  For starters, LA county has Santa Monica, Venice Beach, Culver City, Westwood, Century City, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Compton, Inglewood, Watts, Redondo Beach, Long Beach, etc... etc...

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^ Yes! See that's what I thought was so strange about LA, and what I meant when there wasn't really a downtown. It has several high density business/residential/tourist districts. If you see a view of LA as taken from the hills, you see a bunch of skyscrapers and something that appears to be a skyline, but when you are down there and driving around you see clusters of skyscrapers and high rises spread very far apart from eachother in the middle of vast sprawling low density. When you are driving on the freeways that go through the city you really can't tell which cluster of buildings is "downtown". 

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A whole neighborhood that Gehry built and designed?  That clusterfuck of twisted mess makes me sick.

 

That said, some of you really need to come out to L.A. and visit downtown before you show everyone how little you know about what's going on here.  I understand this is a board dedicated to Ohio urbanization, but some of these posts reek of SkyscraperCity-mentality.

 

Downtown L.A. is currently undergoing a huge revitalization, especially near the Staples Center with L.A. Live, there is a pretty significant condo boom in and around the historic districts in the southeastern portion of downtown, especially in and around Broadway.  There are also developments in the Skid Row/Toy/Fashion districts, arguably some of the worst areas of L.A.  They are literally building over some of the parking lots that have plagued the city for decades. 

 

If you're interested, I suggest checking out some of the L.A. development threads over at Skyscraper Page in the California forum

 

Hell, here's a link to several of the projects discussions:

For L.A. Live: http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=81005

 

DTLA Housing Construction: http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=68130

 

Highlights on several major developments: http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=87579

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ok, but ease up. i don't read where anyone on these above posts was professing to be an expert on los angeles. keep in mind outsider and occasional visitor views are valid too. ps-interesting links.

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Yeah, I was a little too strong with my phrasing.  My apologies. 

 

Despite having Disney Land and Hollywood, L.A. is not a tourist-friendly city.  You really have to dig deep to find what you're looking for.  Its there, it just helps to have a native along for the ride.  God knows I've found more in L.A. in the four years I've lived here from local friends that you don't find in travel books and TV shows.

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My main takeaway from this article is there's a Skybar in Hollywood? I wonder if it's as good as the one in Bowling Green...

 

Hollywood high-rise plan has some up in arms

By JOHN ROGERS | AP – 5 hrs ago

 

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Hollywood, that mythic land where movie drama was invented, suddenly finds itself caught up in its own real-life drama, one involving high-priced real estate and people taking on City Hall. In this storyline, the issue is whether it is time for a famously spread-out, freeway-centric city's best known tourist destination to begin looking a little more like New York City by adding a towering skyline and pedestrian-friendly sidewalks.

 

The city Planning Commission recently gave its unanimous blessing to a new Hollywood Community Plan that would allow buildings of 50 stories or more in some areas. The skyscrapers, which planners see someday dotting what they call the Hollywood Corridor, would be linked by a section of subway that runs right underneath the fabled Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Planning Commissioner Michael Woo says the proposal is likely to come before the City Council in February or March for the first of several public hearings before a vote is taken.

 

But in the canyons and along the hillsides that make up much of Hollywood's more quiet residential areas, the plan is already getting a raucous public hearing from people who live in homes that run the gamut from sprawling mansions to century-old crackerbox apartments. Several neighborhood associations are banding together, vowing to fight it. The plan's opponents worry that bringing skyscrapers to a section of the city that already has seen traffic proliferate with the arrival in recent years of trendy hotels like the W and hot-spot nightclubs like the SkyBar will destroy the ambiance of their neighborhoods as well as compromise safety.

 

CONTINUED ON YAHOO

http://news.yahoo.com/hollywood-high-rise-plan-arms-160129187.html

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Skybar is at the Mondrian on Sunset.  It has a tacky pool and the drinks weren't even that good.


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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Also unconcerned by curbs on capital outflows, China's biggest developers make a massive bet on downtown Los Angeles https://t.co/SNDiyefTq5


"Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities."-Voltaire

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^Omitted from that article was any mention of the massive growth of the region's rail transit network.  A second downtown subway line is currently under construction connecting the blue and gold lines, extension of the Wilshire tunnel to Century City and beyond is now fully funded, and hopefully high speed rail will be operational by 2030. 

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Today, LA is voting on Measure S, which would put a "two-year moratorium on all real estate projects that require a General Plan amendment, zone change or increase in allowable height." Obviously this would have a huge negative impact on new development, halting many projects that are in the works and others that would have happened over the next two years.

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New LA Skyscraper Soars Past Record in West

The 73-story Wilshire Grand Center opened its doors Friday

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Jun 24, 2017 6:49 AM CDT

 

(NEWSER) – The tallest building west of the Mississippi River opened its doors on Friday in once-stodgy downtown Los Angeles, which is sprouting a crop of new skyscrapers. The 73-story Wilshire Grand Center has a huge spire that brings its height to 1,100 feet, topping the nearby US Bank Tower by more than 80 feet, reports the AP. The Bank Tower had held the height record since 1989. Critics might argue that a spire rising nearly 200 feet above the top of the building should not count, but it meets the criteria of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, which lists the world's tallest buildings based on the "architectural top of the building." The skyscraper is still dwarfed by buildings on the East Coast and overseas.

 

MORE:

http://m.newser.com/story/244764/las-new-skyscraper-is-now-tallest-in-west.html


"Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities."-Voltaire

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Unpopular opinion (maybe, I don't know if anyone actually has strong opinions about this...) but I definitely prefer Wilshire Grand to the Salesforce tower further up the PCH. Los Angeles fascinates me and I'm really interested in watching how much it's changing in the 21st century. If LA can figure out how to take a horrendously sprawled built-environment and still manage to transform it into something cool, it'll be a great blueprint for figuring out how to fix our suburbs and other sprawly cities in the New South and elsewhere in the future.


“To an Ohio resident - wherever he lives - some other part of his state seems unreal.”

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Unpopular opinion (maybe, I don't know if anyone actually has strong opinions about this...) but I definitely prefer Wilshire Grand to the Salesforce tower further up the PCH. Los Angeles fascinates me and I'm really interested in watching how much it's changing in the 21st century. If LA can figure out how to take a horrendously sprawled built-environment and still manage to transform it into something cool, it'll be a great blueprint for figuring out how to fix our suburbs and other sprawly cities in the New South and elsewhere in the future.

 

LA covers a lot of ground, but its density overall is greater than many people realize, especially from downtown west to Santa Monica.


"Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities."-Voltaire

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^Yeah, that's what I found so interesting when I was out there. There are some great, dense beautiful neighborhoods, and even in the "sprawly" parts of SoCal, it's still way denser than any sprawl in the Midwest, it's just so filled with wide roads that it's impossible to walk in a lot of places. You'll have a mall shoehorned under a highway interchange and essentially butting up to a major road, but if you live a half mile away it would still be a pain to walk over there.


“To an Ohio resident - wherever he lives - some other part of his state seems unreal.”

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Block size and street widths are major impediments to walkability in LA, that is for sure. I don't think it's as unwalkable as many people claim, though. Downtown LA is quickly becoming a true urban center for the region, and it's very exciting to see all the new high rises and the renovation of the beautiful historic buildings on Broadway, Main, Spring, etc. Downtown is getting three new subway stops when the Regional Connector opens, and there are still talks of a Broadway streetcar to link with the South Park/Staples Center area. DTLA is probably the size of the entire downtown basin of Cincinnati or Downtown/central city Cleveland, and it is extremely walkable. Outside of there, the city is walkable in pockets, just like what exists in Ohio cities. The Hancock Park/Larchmont area feels almost identical to a Hyde Park in Cincinnati. Santa Monica has a dense, pedestrian friendly core that transitions seemlessly into residential neighborhoods, and a similar situation exists in Pasadena. I live in Los Feliz, and I can walk to quite a few restaurants, coffee shops, grocery stores. I take transit to work and only really drive on weekends. It's not the quintessential urban experience of New York, but it's very doable to have a pedestrian oriented existence here. You might have to work a bit harder in terms of uncomfortable crossings or what not, but you rarely have to deal with rain, and never have to deal with the cold or the snow. And that actually does vastly improve the pedestrian experience.

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I've been following the transformation along Broadway and it has gotten me really excited. That's one of the prettiest downtown strips in the country and I'm excited to see that it's becoming more than cheap shops and Hispanic churches or otherwise just not generally thought of as a place for Angelenos to hang out. The next time I'm out on the west coast for work I need to take a few days off and really dig into the urban experience there.


“To an Ohio resident - wherever he lives - some other part of his state seems unreal.”

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My brother's landlord just jacked the rent on the 1BR he shares with his girlfriend from $2,000/mo to $3,200/mo.  Right across from the Hollywood & Argyle Metro station.  His girlfriend refused to ride the subway and apparently never rode it in the year they lived there. 

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For a complete rundown on Downtown Los Angeles projects, please see below.  It is incredible how much stuff is going on in DTLA.

 

http://www.ladowntownnews.com/development/building-l-a-updates-on-downtown-projects/article_56a40fb4-9c98-11e7-8f8d-93b0c82f2544.html


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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I've been to LA one time but never really walked around.  The most interesting part of downtown LA to me and I'm sure everyone here is the old urban core which is next to the newer high rise area.

 

I never realized just how dense and huge that area is.  It isn't like San Fran or something like that, but it has to be in the running for largest old core downtown in the USA besides say NYC, Chicago, San Fran.

 

It seems a bit run down though.  I was reading through and don't know what they call that area?  The Arts District?  I wonder how development is happening in that area compared to the "newer" area?

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I've heard that area referred to as the Historic Core, and there's a lot of cool stuff happening there. I'd check out Bringing Back Broadway, which is kinda-sorta like 3CDC but I think they're more of an advocacy group than a real estate developer. Broadway is an insanely impressive street and it's great to see all the old movie palaces getting new life breathed into them.


“To an Ohio resident - wherever he lives - some other part of his state seems unreal.”

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^Transit, my friend, Transit!!  It has been LA's game changer.

 

The Wilshire subway will have a lot of outbound riders in the morning from all of these new residents.  Also, the Calfornia HSR line will be in operation by 2029.  So eventually, someone living in the downtown will be able to walk out their door and be in San Francisco about 3 hours later. 

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I've heard that area referred to as the Historic Core, and there's a lot of cool stuff happening there. I'd check out Bringing Back Broadway, which is kinda-sorta like 3CDC but I think they're more of an advocacy group than a real estate developer. Broadway is an insanely impressive street and it's great to see all the old movie palaces getting new life breathed into them.

 

 

our hero, the man america needs, and deserves, nicholas cage, lived downtown there years ago all alone in the biscuit building, before he finally flipped it to vincent gallo for $$$ meeeleeions. i dk who lives there now, or even if its cool factor time has passed, but i would think it does not get any hipper city el lay than that!:

 

https://la.curbed.com/2012/2/3/10399108/vincent-gallo-selling-former-nic-cage-biscuit-lofts-penthouse

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^I saw an account elsewhere by someone who rented an entire floor of that building back in the 80s, when it was a "real loft".  He said they had a room for a ping pong table and another just for badminton. 

 

I know I wrote here about visiting people who lived in "real" NYC lofts in the 90s and as late as 2000 or so.  The one guy split an entire floor of a warehouse with another guy for $800/mo just feet from one of the Manhattan Bridge piers. 

 

When I was a kid I remember one of my uncles throwing a party on a flat roof and getting lifted through the roof hatch.  They ran the speaker cable up though the hatch and had the speakers pointed out at the city.  Now rooftops are way too slick to actually be cool. 

 

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I've been to LA one time but never really walked around.  The most interesting part of downtown LA to me and I'm sure everyone here is the old urban core which is next to the newer high rise area.

 

I never realized just how dense and huge that area is.  It isn't like San Fran or something like that, but it has to be in the running for largest old core downtown in the USA besides say NYC, Chicago, San Fran.

 

It seems a bit run down though.  I was reading through and don't know what they call that area?  The Arts District?  I wonder how development is happening in that area compared to the "newer" area?

 

That area is referred to as the "Historic Core", like Big Dipper said. The main CBD area with the skyscrapers is called Bunker Hill, although many of the new skyscrapers are going to the southern portion of downtown, called South Park.

 

The Historic Core is definitely the most interesting part of DTLA, and its revival is speeding along, though there is a long way to go. Off the top of my head, I can think of about 4 new high rises that are either under construction or will be soon on parking lots in the HC, and there are also lots of renovations occuring in the historic buildings as well. It's kind of strange how different each of the streets feel in this part of downtown. Kind of similar to the difference between Main and Vine in Cincy, I guess. Spring Street is the primary residential street in the HC. It has lots of restaurants, shops, bars, pocket parks, bike lanes, etc. One street over, Los Angeles St. is lined with low rise wholesale vendors and feels very gritty. Broadway is very much in transition right now. Some of the theaters have already been converted to retail use (Urban Outfitters, Apple, Nike), and some have been restored back to their original splendor, but there are still a ton of the Hispanic churches and businesses there as well. If you go to Broadway on a Saturday or Sunday morning, it is VERY lively and vibrant- the crowd is just overwhelmingly Hispanic, and the vendors are a bit...junky (not trying to be insensitive, but there are many shops in this area that sell miscellaneous items in rundown storefronts). In 5 years, I think most of the Historic Core will really resemble the Union Square area of SF. The changes happening in DTLA are very exciting. It's mind boggling how many towers are either currently under construction or will be soon. 

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^The utter destruction of Bunker Hill is truly one of the most heartbreaking stories of the urban renewal area. I can't even imagine how expensive homes in Bunker Hill would be today if it had survived the leveling for all the skyscrapers. It looked like it was the LA equivalent of Mt Adams. As much of an engineering feat it was to level down the various hills in the downtown area, a lot of texture got lost in the process.


“To an Ohio resident - wherever he lives - some other part of his state seems unreal.”

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Yeah, the demo of the Victorian homes on Bunker Hill was a real shame, but it's kind of impractical to think that a district of wood single family homes would exist immediately adjacent to a Downtown of a major city. All of the skyscrapers in Ohio's cities replaced older structures. Downtown Cincy has basically been leveled and rebuilt 3+ times. The structures in Bunker Hill weren't built to last like the brick tenements of OTR or the Lower East Side. If you want to check out a little neighborhood that resembles how Bunker Hill used to look, check out Angelino Heights. It's a subsection of Echo Park, and it contains some really beautiful Victorian homes.

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The city of LA doesn't help finance ADUs, and I actually don't think the city really helps finance any projects. The State of CA passed a law essentially making ADUs by-right projects on single family zoned properties, and the city had to defer to the state law until it had one of its own. Making these by-right has drastically sped up the approval process, and has made these projects more affordable by removing fees associated with entitlements. Having worked in project planning for the city, most of the ADUs I came across were proposed by individuals who saw the potential to monetize part of their lot. What kind of financial assistance do you think the city would provide?

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