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LA City Council Approves Plans For Wilshire Grand Redevelopement

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(credit: Wilshire Grand)

(credit: Wilshire Grand)

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The Los Angeles City Council Tuesday approved plans for a sweeping redevelopment of the Wilshire Grand hotel.

On a vote of 13-1, the council approved an agreement with Thomas Properties and Korean Air to develop Wilshire Grand, an estimated $1.2 billion project that will include a 45-story tower housing a luxury hotel and residential units and a 65-story office tower downtown at Seventh and Figueroa streets.

Officials say the project will bring in $22 million per year in desperately needed revenue for the city’s general fund beginning in 2015.

Developers said the project would create 7,300 construction jobs and 6,200 permanent jobs.

But not everyone was entirely satisfied with the project. Councilman Bill Rosendahl, who voted in opposition of the project, said he was concerned the city would not receive any money from digital advertising that will cover the lower few stories of the buildings.

The project’s proposed digital signage and lighting would nearly cover the two towers from top to bottom, with the first 150 feet devoted to advertising.

The city Planning Department initially declined the developers’ plans to install LED lighting art that would display from 150 feet above the ground to near the buildings’ tops. The Council overruled the department and approved the lighting plan with a new sign ordinance that will apply only to the 3.2-acre project site downtown.

The approved agreement calls for demolition of an existing hotel on the site to begin in December. The renovation is scheduled to be completed by 2015.

 (©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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