Multi-use Skyscraper Planned for Downtown L.A.


LOS ANGELES (CNS) - An Australian developer is pushing ahead with new plans for a $500 million skyscraper in downtown Los Angeles that would house both condominiums and a hotel, it was reported today.

Crown Group has been planning to develop property it owns at Hill and 11th streets since 2018 but recently reworked its proposal to include a trendy hotel in a newly designed 43-story tower meant to evoke a California redwood tree, the Los Angeles Times reported. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has slammed residential sales, shuttered many hotels and made construction more challenging, Crown Group is betting that demand for its building will be revived in time for the planned 2025 opening.

Executives are working to secure city permission to build the tower and hope to start construction by the end of next year, according to The Times. The developers hope to stand out among the competition with a design by Koichi Takada Architects that includes a pointy tree-like top, a rarity in Los Angeles, where until 2014 high-rises were required to have flat roofs to accommodate emergency helicopter landings.

The 73-story Wilshire Grand Center hotel and office building that opened downtown in 2017 was one of the first tall buildings to have a curving glass crown. The top two floors of Crown Group's tower at 1111 Hill St., head of U.S. development Patrick Caruso said, will be an “exclusive residents' retreat” with indoor and outdoor dining and entertainment facilities including a garden.

At the street level, a canopy is meant to offer the impression of the branching roots of a redwood tree and visually ground the building. The lower seven floors will be wrapped by a “breathing green wall” of plants to screen the parking on those levels. A restaurant, bar and swimming pool for hotel guests and residents will sit on the eighth floor on a deck outside the main tower. The first floor will also have a restaurant.

The operator of the 160-room hotel hasn't been selected, but Crown Group Chief Executive Iwan Sunito said he expects it will be a `lifestyle” brand meant to appeal to “trendy, cool millennials.”

Demand for hotel rooms in the neighborhood was strong before the virus outbreak, said hotel consultant Bruce Baltin of CBRE. “Downtown L.A. was doing very well and absorbing all of the rooms that came into it very quickly,” he said. Baltin predicted a national economic recovery by 2023 and said there “will be plenty of demand” for downtown hotels by then.

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