One of the most exciting new projects in Downtown LA’s redevelopment future is the $1 billion Wilshire Grand Center that has now begun pre-construction work with the dismantling of the existing Wilshire Grand Hotel at 7th and Figueroa. Here will rise LA’s new second tallest skyscraper at 70 stories tall, developed by Korean Air and AC Martin, with a combination of retail, restaurant, office, and hotel with an exciting unique “sky lobby” at the very top. Earlier this week, officials gathered in front of the Wilshire Grand Hotel for a press event to kick off the demolition, which entails bringing the hotel down floor-by-floor, taking a year to complete before construction on the actual tower begins.
When completed in 2017, the Wilshire Grand Center will augment LA’s burgeoning downtown skyline as a new gleaming high rise. According to the Wilshire Grand Center website, a new 900-room four-star hotel will be part of the new tower that “will set a new standard in design, luxury, and hospitality.” In addition, the project will feature a completely unique-to-LA “sky lobby” 70 stories above the city that will provide “sleek, glamorous, upscale rooftop dining and views.”
Although a hotel operator will not be officially announced until early next year, several sources point to Starwood’s Le Meridien as the hotel that will go into the new landmark tower. Currently, Le Meridien is completely absent from the LA market after closing their Beverly Hills location in 2008, which was converted to an SLS. For now, there are only two locations in California: one in San Francisco and another in Palm Springs. If true, Le Meridien would make a huge splash coming back into the LA market in the form of the Wilshire Grand Center and may join a slew of other luxury hotel brands currently scoping out locations in nearby South Park like Virgin Hotels and Kimpton.