One of the most important plots of empty land centrally located in Downtown LA’s development landscape is the huge-ass parking lot across from Staples Center in South Park. The 4.6-acre site was purchased about a year ago by Beijing-based Oceanwide from Moinian Group for $200 million, according to the LA Times. That’s an astonishing $43 million per acre. What is set to rise here will not only fill in a huge gaping hole in South Park’s urban landscape, but will also be the next biggest thing in Downtown LA’s development pipeline.
For the past year, downtown boosters have been waiting eagerly (read: biting their nails anxiously) for Chinese developer Oceanwide to break ground on the massive new mixed-use project called Fig Central that will bring to this desolate-but-growing stretch of South Park 504 new condos in three new skyline-altering towers — two 40-story residential twin towers and one 49-story residential/hotel high-rise — and over 180,000 square feet of new shops and restaurants. In addition, there will be over 32,000 square feet of LED billboard displays along the Figueroa side of the project facing Staples.
And the wait is finally over! Just after Thanksgiving last week, the parking lot where Fig Central will rise was closed off and construction fencing (wrapped in blue tarp) went up around the entire perimeter of the project’s site bordered by 11th, Flower, 12th, and Figueroa.
Two large earth movers came onto the scene just before the blue construction fencing went up last week (first spotted by Building LA) signaling that groundbreaking would begin soon. It’s possible that construction could begin as soon as late December but more likely in January as Oceanwide secures construction permits from the city.
Also, a tipster sends in a juicy new detail revealing what the unspecified “celebrity chef restaurant and nightclub” will be as part of Fig Central’s mystery 183-room luxury hotel. Cavalli Club, known for its original extravagant location in Dubai’s fancy Fairmont Hotel and inspired by fashion designer Roberto Cavalli, is slated to be a major attraction as part of Fig Central’s new hotel tower. Owned by Dubai-based Pragma Group, Cavalli Club now has three other party-central locations including: Miami, Milan, and Ibiza. Looking at Pragma’s website, you can see that their only hotel partner (so far) has been the Fairmont.
That begs the question: Will Fig Central’s luxury 183-room hotel be a Fairmont as well?
Some renderings of Fig Central