Grand Avenue Project May Get a Jumpstart

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Developers and city leaders billed the more than $2 billion Grand Avenue project as a perfect complement to a changing downtown Los Angeles when it was first proposed in 2004. The mixed-use development would comprise a luxury hotel, residential towers, shops, restaurants and a public plaza. It's been designed by Frank Gehry and would sit across from the Walt Disney Concert Hall that he also designed. It’s intended to bring vitality to Grand Avenue and to connect the top of the hill with downtown further east. For many decades Grand Avenue was an acropolis of lone cultural and office buildings accessible only by car that felt lifeless and cut off from the rest of downtown. But since its inception, the project has been wrought with delays and financial shortfalls. The LA City Council is expected to vote on a financial aid package worth up to $198.5 million over 25 years to help get the project started. Critics say taxpayers shouldn't have to subsidize its ever-increasing price tag.

Photo: A model of Frank Gehry's proposed Grand Avenue Project