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Wilshire Grand to be Torn Down; Replaced with Office, Hotel Towers

By Eric Richardson
Published: Thursday, April 02, 2009, at 07:59PM
Statler Hotel USC Digital Archives / Dick Whittington Studio []

A 1950's photo of the Statler Hotel, now the Wilshire Grand.

Multiple sources confirmed tonight that the Wilshire Grand hotel is slated to be torn down, replaced by a new development featuring office space and a smaller hotel. The giant hotel opened in 1952 as the Statler, and has been showing its age despite recent renovations. It is currently owned by Korean Airlines.

Sources say that Downtown developer Thomas Properties Group will be a partner on the development, said to consist of a pair of towers: one office and one hotel.

The Downtown News sent out an email this afternoon teasing the story and saying that the project would cost $1 billion and break ground in 2011. Their email, which was posted on Curbed LA, said the paper's story would run at midnight.

The Downtown office market hasn't seen any additions since the building boom of the 1980s. Maguire Properties proposed a tower on 8th street, but plans for that project have not moved forward and the company has experienced financial troubles.

Before becoming the Wilshire Grand, the structure was the Statler, the Statler Hilton and the Omni Hotel. Sources say that the hotel will continue to operate for up to two years.

The hotel, at 930 Wilshire, occupies the block bounded by 7th, Figueroa, Wilshire and Francisco streets.

Korean Air's CEO was in town this week, promoting the Mayor's Million Trees LA program. The firm committed a donation of $160,000 over four years to the program.

Update (9:40pm): A Bloomberg story published minutes ago says it's a 60-story tower and a 40-story tower. The larger would be the office tower, with 1.15 million square feet. Thomas and Korean Air hope that financing will be available by the time the project's ready to break ground in 2011.

The Syracuse Post-Standard, of all places, seems to be first to run a meandering Associated Press story on the announcement, which also ties in the Grand Avenue Project, homelessness, the Nickel Diner and a Joel Kotkin quote. That article says the larger tower will be 80 stories, and have a "slanted profile resembling a ship's sail."

Update (8am): More stories posted overnight. 60 stories is the consensus. Here's Downtown News promised story. LA Times has a story and a photo gallery of renders (Downtown News has them as well, but these are higher resolution). Also, an official press release came out at 5am.


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