Los Angeles has maintained its status as a development nexus despite recent challenges and, while developers stayed the course, they adapted to a new reality shaped by the pandemic. From obtaining online permissions to integrating contactless technologies, companies are stressing the importance of the functions needed to navigate the “new normal” and are responding to changing consumer preferences. We've compiled a list of notable projects, ranging from extensive mixed-use developments to major infrastructure improvements, all with a focus on improving mobility, promoting housing and sustainability, and creating civic destinations. These projects are expected to transform the city in the coming years.
Designed by architect Frank Gehry, The Grand will become “the linchpin of the Grand Avenue Arts Corridor,” Rick Vogel, Senior Vice President of Related, told Commercial Property Executive. The project has been under development since 2004, and the works are progressing even in the midst of the pandemic. The pandemic has changed development and design trends, and outdoor experiences are increasingly in demand. Composed of public spaces, such as a landscaped plaza with open seating, The Grand will include the features necessary to navigate the new reality.
Related intends to integrate contactless, frictionless and cashless technologies into the project, Vogel explained. Developers are committed to improving traffic flow in the area and promoting sustainability. 20 percent of the hotel's parking spaces will be adapted to electric vehicle charging. The association is also investing in technological infrastructure and in the burial of overhead power lines and telecommunications infrastructure along the Olympic Boulevard. Distributed antenna systems are configured to offer 5G coverage, and Wi-Fi will be available in public and service areas.
The project also addresses housing issues, and West Edge will include 121 affordable and workforce units. The plans include security elements, such as an air conditioning system that incorporates 100 percent outdoor air economizers and contactless functions in access controls, elevator systems and public restrooms. In addition, the health crisis has led West Edge developers to carry out certain processes differently. Development has progressed recently, and workers have taken advantage of the lower volume of passengers and vehicles. Roads were closed for longer periods of time, without affecting airport operations, according to Jake Adams, Deputy Executive Director of Los Angeles World Airports. LAWA has made the local community and small businesses a top priority.
The contract also requires the use of small and local businesses, minority-owned businesses, businesses for disabled veterans, etc., Adams said. The line will offer transportation options along Crenshaw, Inglewood, Westchester and LAX, and will have eight new stations. Ubaldo explained that this will allow residents to travel throughout the county. In addition, the LAWA Airport Metro Connector and people transporter will provide a reliable connection to LAX. The Sixth Street viaduct, which stretches across the Los Angeles River, will be accompanied by a 12-acre park in Boyle Heights and the Arts District.
Developed as a separate project, the green space will provide access to public art and recreational activities. The founders will oversee construction, collection and endowment costs. It is estimated that the project will generate some 1,500 construction jobs and 350 permanent jobs when it is delivered later this year. The five-story facility will include 100,000 square feet of dedicated exhibition space. The Museum's collection includes illustrations from books and magazines, comics and comic strips, paintings, drawings, photographs, posters and visual materials from the cinematographic arts. The exhibitions will feature works from the collection. The process of obtaining rights is one that developers must follow in order for their projects to be approved for construction.
And because of the recent increase in population, Los Angeles this decade has been adding housing at its lowest rate in at least 40 years according to state records show. They can also lead to a reduction in scope as fewer homes are approved than could be legally built in accordance with zoning regulations. Other major neighborhoods such as Hollywood and Koreatown are flooded with residential construction partly because fewer units can easily be built according to University of Calgary professor Greg Morrow whose UCLA doctoral thesis covered the history of Los Angeles zoning. The article quotes Mayor Bass who said: “Today I will sign an ordinance that takes an important step in coding the ED by exempting affordable housing and mixed-use mixed-income projects that qualify from the site plan review process. An analysis suggested that underutilized commercial properties in Los Angeles County could house 1.6 million housing units. The owners of commercial skyscrapers in San Francisco and Los Angeles have stopped paying their loans and an increasing number of office buildings across the state are facing foreclosure due to COVID-19.