|Wilshire Grand Center|
|Alternative names||Wilshire Grand Tower|
|Hotel chain||InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown |
|Tallest in California since 2017[I]|
|Preceded by||U.S. Bank Tower|
|Type||hotel, restaurants, retail, offices, and observatory|
|Architectural style||Metamodern|
|Location||900 Wilshire Boulevard|
Los Angeles, California
|Construction started||February 15, 2014|
|Completed||June 23, 2017|
|Owner||Hanjin Group |
IJNR Investments Inc.
Plant Holdings NA, Inc.
|Management||Martin Project Management|
|Architectural||1,100 ft (335.3 m)|
|Roof||928 ft (283 m)|
|Floor area||1,500,005 sq ft (139,355.0 m2)|
|Design and construction|
|Architect(s)||AC Martin Partners|
|Developer||Thomas Properties Group, LLC|
|Structural engineer||Brandow & Johnston, Inc.|
|Services engineer||Glumac (MEP)|
Simpson Gumpertz & Heger (Fire)
|Main contractor||Turner Construction|
|Known for||First skyscraper in L.A. without a flat roof|
|Number of rooms||889|
|Number of restaurants||6|
|Number of bars||4|
Wilshire Grand Center is a 1,100-foot (335.3 m) skyscraper in the financial district of downtown Los Angeles, California, occupying the entire city block between Wilshire Boulevard and 7th, Figueroa, and Francisco streets. Completed in 2017, it is the tallest building west of Chicago. Though the structural top (in this case, the spire) of the Wilshire Grand surpasses L.A.'s U.S. Bank Tower by 82 ft (25 m), the roof of the U.S. Bank Tower is still 90 ft (27.4 m) above the Wilshire Grand's. The Skyscraper Center lists the Wilshire Grand Center as the 15th-tallest building in the U.S. and the 95th-tallest in the world. It won the Structural Engineering Award 2019 Award of Excellence from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.
The building is part of a mixed-use hotel, retail, observation decks, shopping mall, and office complex. The development of the complex is estimated to cost $1.2 billion. The Wilshire Grand Center includes 67,000 square feet (6,225 m2) of retail, 677,000 square feet (62,895 m2) of Class A office space, and the 889-room InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown. The hotel features the tallest open-air bar in the Western Hemisphere.
The original Wilshire Grand Hotel opened in 1952 as the Hotel Statler, on the site of the new Wilshire Grand. In 1950, the city of Los Angeles issued the largest single building permit at the time for the construction of the hotel, which cost over $15 million. The hotel quickly became a landmark of downtown Los Angeles, and over its 59-year lifespan attracted famous guests including President John F. Kennedy and Pope John Paul II.
In 1954, two years after its opening, Hilton Hotels & Resorts purchased the Statler Hotels chain, renaming the hotel the Statler Hilton in 1958. In 1968 Hilton completed a $2.5 million renovation of the hotel and renamed it the Los Angeles Hilton, and later the Los Angeles Hilton and Towers. Reliance Group later purchased the hotel in 1983 and invested $30 million in renovations. Korean Air purchased the Los Angeles Hilton from Reliance in 1989. They changed the hotel's management and it became the Omni Los Angeles Hotel in 1995 and then later the Wilshire Grand Hotel in 1999. Among the major events hosted, this included the 1952 Emmy Awards, the HQ for the 2006 Miss Universe Pageant.
Seeking to revive the Wilshire Grand as a landmark and icon of Los Angeles, chairman and CEO Cho Yang-ho of Hanjin Group conceived the idea of developing a new complex which would include the tallest building in Los Angeles, at 1,099 feet (335 m). It is also part of an urban development effort to revitalize the Figueroa Street corridor of downtown Los Angeles as a vibrant light-and-sign district, similar to New York's Times Square.
The original hotel closed on December 31, 2011. Demolition of the original building began on October 23, 2012, and continued for over a year until November 21, 2013, when a bottoming-out ceremony was held in the 106-foot pit (32 m) excavated for the towers.
Wilshire Grand Hotel, 2006
Wilshire Grand Hotel demolition, 2013
Originally envisioned as two towers, the taller of which would have been 1,250 feet (380 m) tall, the complex is now a single 1,100-foot (335 m), 73-story tower consisting of the 889-room InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown hotel, retail, observation deck and office space. The Los Angeles–based architectural firm, A.C. Martin Partners, oversaw the project and prepared the current design. They took over from Thomas Properties, which managed the early proposals, but which was replaced when the owners became dissatisfied with their approach.
A distinctive feature of the building is its sail-shaped crown which is illuminated with LED lighting at night. The tower will spearhead part of a new planned light and sign district that will extend along the Figueroa Corridor down to L.A. Live. According to recent renderings, it is unclear however to what extent LED lighting and advertising will be applied. Lead designer David C. Martin said that the spire and the entire exterior skin of the tower will be filled with programmable LED lighting. The spire weighs 200,000 pounds (91,000 kg) and adds 294 feet (90 m) in height to the building.
The skyscraper is a distinctive part of the Los Angeles skyline, as it is the first building over 75 feet tall built since 1974 to not feature a "flat roof" design, an integral part of buildings in Los Angeles today. The pattern of buildings in Los Angeles to feature these "flat roofs" was the result of a 1974 fire ordinance which required all tall buildings in the city to include rooftop helipads in response to the Joelma Fire in São Paulo, Brazil, in which helicopters could not be used to effect rescues from the rooftop of the building because of the lack of a landing spot, and could otherwise have prevented many deaths. The Wilshire Grand was granted an exception by the Los Angeles City Fire Department however, as the building includes advances in fire safety and building technology (such as a reinforced concrete central core) which exceeds the city's current fire code. The building nevertheless has a helipad, but it is smaller than the uniform standard used in the city, and, like all helipads, can only be used in emergencies. The helipad is still big enough for a smaller rescue or fire helicopter to land onto.
Turner Construction received the contracts for both the demolition of the former hotel and the construction of the new tower. The latter began on February 15, 2014, with a record 21,600 cu yd (16,500 m3) pour of concrete in just 20 hours,[a] creating an 18-foot-thick (5 m) base for what would become the tallest building west of the Mississippi.
More than 12,500 m2 of interior dimension stone and 8,500 m2 exterior stone cladding and paving were used on the project. The sourcing, production, QA/QC and expediting of the stone was carried out by Ramsey Stone Consultants on behalf of Turner Construction.
On March 17, 2016, a construction worker died by suicide after jumping from the 53rd floor, landing on a vehicle below.
The building, while recognized as "tallest" in the city by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, achieves this recognition through the height of its decorative sail and spire rather than highest occupiable floor space. From the ground, due to local topography, the Wilshire Grand sits visibly lower than other surrounding buildings. From the vantage of the building's 73rd floor observation deck, the US Bank Tower is markedly higher in elevation, and remains downtown Los Angeles' most prominent visual landmark.
The building is owned by the Hanjin Group (through its subsidiary Hanjin International), a South Korean conglomerate that also owns Korean Air. In 2020, Hanjin negotiated a refinancing of the building's debt ($900 million), which came with the condition of paving the way to sell the building further down the road. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the value of the building dropped from $1.1 billion to $573 million. From 2011 to 2017, Hanjin got a 60-million tax break from the City of Los Angeles.
- Floors basement to 7: Podium building with retail and InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown meeting rooms, gym, and pool.
- Floors 11 to 29: Offices
- Floors 31 to 68: InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown - hotel rooms
- Floor 69: InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown - restaurants - Sora & Dekkadance
- Floor 70: InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown - main lobby and Sky Bar
- Floor 71: InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown - restaurant - La Boucherie
- Floor 73: InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown - Spire 73, the tallest open-air bar in the Western Hemisphere
- List of tallest buildings in Los Angeles
- List of tallest buildings by U.S. state
- Downtown Los Angeles
- Wilshire Boulevard
- On February 16, 2014, Guinness World Records announced that 21,200 cubic yards (16,200 m3) of concrete, or 82 million lb (37 million kg), was poured at the site the previous day, breaking a prior record of 21,000 cubic yards (16,000 m3) of concrete poured in one continuous pour, which was set in 1999 during the construction of The Venetian hotel in Las Vegas.
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- Vaillancourt, Ryan (February 7, 2013). "New Wilshire Grand Design Revealed". LA Downtown News. Retrieved August 9, 2014.
- InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown
- Spire 73
- "History". Wilshire Grand Center. Retrieved May 13, 2019.
- "Say Goodnight: Wilshire Grand Hotel Closing, Will be Torn Down and Replaced by 2 New Towers". December 24, 2011.
- "Say Goodnight: Wilshire Grand Hotel Closing, Will be Torn Down and Replaced by 2 New Towers". December 24, 2011.
- "Wilshire Grand, Destined for Demolition, Holding "largest garage sale Los Angeles has ever seen"". April 24, 2012.
- Glick Kudler, Adrian (October 23, 2012). "Work Officially Begins at Site of LA's Second Tallest Tower". Curbed LA.
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- Curwen, Thomas (August 10, 2014). "How the Wilshire Grand tower project was born". Los Angeles Times.
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- Curwen, Thomas (September 14, 2014). "Massive skylight would be skyscraper's signature element, but at what cost?". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on March 23, 2019. Retrieved May 13, 2019.
- Aragon, Greg (February 22, 2013) "New Wilshire Grand to Tower Above Downtown Los Angeles" ENRCalifornia McGraw Hill Education
- Slayton, Nicholas (September 12, 2016). "An Amazing View of the Wilshire Grand Spire". Los Angeles Downtown News. Retrieved September 13, 2016.
- Rosenberg, Jeremy (January 16, 2012). "Laws That Shaped L.A.: Why is the Los Angeles Skyline So Bland?". KCET. Retrieved May 13, 2019.
- Dunn, Benjamin (November 18, 2014). "Don't Expect Anything Soon with L.A.'s New Skyscraper Regulations". Retrieved December 2, 2015.
- Glick Kudler, Adrian (February 7, 2013). "New Wilshire Grand Will Be the West Coast's Tallest Tower". CURBED Los Angeles. Retrieved May 13, 2019.
- Abdollah, Tami (February 16, 2014). "LA workers break record for largest concrete pour". The Seattle Times. Retrieved May 13, 2019.
- "LA workers break record for largest concrete pour". Yahoo! News. February 17, 2014.
- Curwen, Thomas (March 8, 2016). "The West Coast's tallest building tops out: The view from 1,100 feet up". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
- Rocha, Veronica; Queally, James; Curwen, Thomas (March 18, 2016). "Construction worker dies after falling 53 stories from downtown L.A. high-rise". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 18, 2016.
- Edwards, Chelsea (September 3, 2016). "Wilshire Grand in DTLA becomes tallest building west of Mississippi". KABC-TV. Retrieved September 4, 2016.
- "The Wilshire Grand is the biggest missed opportunity west of the Mississippi". Curbed. July 24, 2017.
- Kevin Sun, Korean Air eyes sale of Wilshire Grand, Therealdeal.com, 17 September 2020
- Choi Moon-hee, Korean Air Borrows up to US$343.8 Mil. against Wilshire Grand Center, Businesskorea.co.kr, 8 January 2021
- Elijah Chiland, City gives developer of Wilshire Grand—LA’s tallest skyscraper—$60M in tax breaks, La.curbed.com, 1 March 2017