This $400 million office building broke new ground with its design when it was completed, replacing the landmark Schubert Theatre. The design team took the unusual approach of placing two mid-rise towers in one horizontal structure with bridging floors. That resulted in the creation of a distinctive, large hole in the middle of the building, which is anchored by Creative Artists Agency.

Developer: Trammel Crow Co., El Segundo
Architect: Gensler & Associates Architects, San Francisco
Contractor: Hathaway Dinwiddie Co., San Francisco
Engineer: John A. Martin Associates, Los Angeles

Bradley Cox, a transplant from Philadelphia, first entered the Southern California real estate business in the early 1980s as a commercial broker. But he wanted to do more than just fill up office towers with tenants; he wanted to be part of the towers' development.

"I love the challenge of selling a vision before the vision is realized and then to watch it come to fruition," he said.

After stints as a broker for Koll Co. and Bren Investment Properties, both in Orange County, Cox joined Cushman & Wakefield in 1997, eventually becoming senior managing director for Cushman's Southern California region.

Along the way, he developed or directed the marketing and leasing of portfolios totaling more than 10 million square feet across Southern California. But as senior managing director for Cushman, Cox found his duties taking him away from individual buildings and becoming more administrative.

So, in the spring of 2002, he jumped ship and moved over to Trammell Crow Co., then based in Dallas. He immediately became immersed in the planning for the 2000 Avenue of the Stars project, which was then in the entitlement phase.

For Cox and the rest of the development team, the 2000 Avenue of the Stars project posed several formidable challenges. First and foremost was that the building would have to be constructed atop an active seven-story parking garage serving the adjacent Century Plaza Towers, the largest underground parking garage west of the Mississippi River.

The team settled on the design of one building frame with towers on each side and open space in the middle, topped by two 70,000-square-foot floors extending the full length of the building. Cox' other big challenge was creating a lobby that would help bridge a 35-foot elevation change between Avenue of the Stars and the lobbies of the Century Plaza Towers while still preserving the view of those towers. He settled on a unique split-level design, with a staircase bridging the two levels.

Finally, the project faced stiff deadlines because of an already-signed agreement with Creative Artists Agency to take up most of the south tower as of the beginning of 2007. "This wasn't a spec building where we could fudge the deadlines on," he said.

Cox, who lives in Marina del Rey with his wife Anna, has already moved on to oversee other projects, including Branford Industrial Park, a 33-acre 334,000-square-foot multi tenant campus in Los Angeles.

Gene Watanabe
Principal; Director of Design for Southwest region, Gensler &
Associates Architects
Notable Projects: Metropolitan Water District Headquarters, Port of Long Beach Headquarters, Waters' Edge office buildings in Playa Vista
2000 Avenue of the Stars: "Once we decided on a design of two towers with bridging floors, the biggest concern was whether it would become a prominent building because it had a hole in it. Now that it's built, everyone can see it has a distinctive identity."
Local Favorite: Salk Institute, La Jolla
L.A.: "This community is now more open to high quality work than ever before."
Architecture: "Buildings shouldn't be containers just for people to work in. Buildings in Los Angeles should be designed to contribute to their surroundings and be inviting enough to be magnets for people in the neighborhood."

Arthur Kozinski
Project Director, Hathaway Dinwiddie Co.
Notable Projects: Getty Center; California Plaza in downtown L.A.; MGM Tower and SunAmerica Building, Century City.
2000 Avenue of the Stars: "The biggest challenge was putting an 850,000-square-foot building over six- to eight-levels of underground parking. A special foundation system was needed because we were essentially putting a new building on top of an existing one."
Dream Project: "A pure entertainment venue like a new stadium would be very intriguing to work on."
L.A.: "The city needs more mixed-use designs. I'm originally from Chicago where mixed-use has been the norm for years."
Contracting: "In the past, there were some lines drawn with distinct responsibilities: the architect drew up the designs and the contractor carried them out. Now the contractor is right up in there with a greater role in completing the designs and the three-dimensional computer modeling.

Owner, Taslimi Construction Company (Tenant improvements for Creative
Artists Agency.)

Notable Projects: Univision Inc. headquarters; KCBS/KCAL high-definition broadcast studios in North Hollywood; Endeavor talent agency headquarters in Beverly Hills; renovation of Beverly Hilton Hotel.
2000 Avenue of Stars: "The extent of the open atrium space within the CAA offices is quite unique: it extends seven floors. That posed several engineering challenges. But it's that atrium that connects all the CAA floors to form a single community."
Local Favorite: "I really wish I could have worked on the Getty Center. I love how it's been designed."
L.A.: "I'd like to see more of the type of architecture that 2000 Avenue of the Stars represents: it's a great environment to work in and also for people to come down and enjoy the venue. I also would like to see more mixed-use neighborhoods, not just mixed-use individual projects."

Principal, Trammel Crow Co.
Notable Projects: Westwood Gateway Project, 550 South Hope in downtown L.A.
2000 Avenue of the Stars: "It's by far the most difficult project I've ever worked on."
Local Favorite: Gas Co. Tower in downtown L.A.. "The lobby design was very challenging and they had to work around a Pacific Bell switching station. Also, the slope change they had to deal with is stunning."
L.A.: "We need to build structures that integrate the community into the business life of the structure. We have too many buildings that are single-purpose and do not bring the community into them."

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