The Main Museum of Los Angeles Art is offering visitors a sneak peek at the $50 million work-in-progress after launching in a “beta stage” last month.

Allison Agsten, the museum’s director, said the opening has already exceeded her expectations, attracting a wide swath of artists, community members, and passers-by.

The portion of the museum that’s open to the public is a 3,500-square-foot storefront in the Hellman Building on Main Street. When construction is completed in 2020 or later, the museum will sprawl across a total of three Old Bank District buildings and include exhibition galleries, studio space, and a rooftop sculpture garden.

“Instead of having a collection at its center, it will have an artist residency program at its core,” said Agsten.

The museum is being designed by L.A.-based architect Tom Wiscombe, known for a variety of futuristic-looking museums and public structures across the country. Main Museum is funded by downtown-based real estate developer Tom Gilmore and partner Jerri Perrone.

Agsten, who previously worked for Westwood’s Hammer Museum, said building a museum from the ground up has its challenges, which are amplified by the fact that the institution only has four employees – for now, at least.

“It’s definitely the greatest job I’ve ever had, by a power of 10,” she said.

Beta Main, as this stage of the museum has been called, will continue to host a rotating selection of performance artists, panel discussions, and art displays over the coming months.

Agsten will be hosting “Office Hours,” during which local creators can meet with the director and potentially have a piece of art temporarily placed in the space.

Legendary Event

While nearly 14,000 screaming fans descended on the Staples Center on Oct. 29, they weren’t there to cheer on the Lakers, Clippers, or Kings. They were there to cheer on the e-sports players competing in one of the world’s largest video-game tournaments, the 2016 League of Legends World Championship.

This is the third time the arena has hosted a “League of Legends” tournament, which is a game published by West L.A.’s Riot Games.

The enthusiasm of the fans, who paid as much as $71 a ticket, didn’t disappoint, said Lee Zeidman, president of Staples Center and L.A. Live, which is owned and operated by Anschutz Entertainment Group.

“I knew something big had happened when you get an eruption of cheers from the 13,700 fans that were in the building,” said Zeidman, who noted he is still familiarizing himself with the finer points of the battle arena video-game culture.

The e-sports tournament required more than 260 stagehands, the largest workforce at the arena since February’s Grammy Awards. The event also spilled over into L.A. Live’s Microsoft Square, where 3,000 fans bought tickets to watch the tournament on big screens.

The festivities lasted into the wee hours, said Zeidman, who anticipates that the arena will host more e-sports events in the future.

“They didn’t get out of the building until 7 a.m. on Sunday and we turned the court over to the Clippers at 8 a.m.,” he said.

Lap of Luxury

Another luxury hotel brand is set to plant its flag in downtown.

The Park Hyatt has been tapped for Oceanwide Plaza, a massive mixed-use development from Beijing-based developer Oceanwide Holdings Co. Ltd. With 184 rooms, the hotel, owned by Hyatt Corp., will connect to 153,000 square feet of retail space at Oceanwide, alongside more than 500 condominiums. The location, across from the Staples Center, would be the sixth Park Hyatt in the United States when it opens in 2019.

“The Los Angeles market has seen unprecedented growth over the last several years and we know it is a destination where our guests are traveling,” said David Tarr, senior vice president of real estate and development at Hyatt, in a statement.

Bruce Baltin, hotels managing director of CBRE, said the Park Hyatt would likely compete with the Ritz-Carlton, which opened in 2010 next to L.A. Live.

“Park Hyatt is a very prestigious name, well respected in Asia as well,” he said.

Other competition is on the way within blocks of Oceanwide. InterContinental Hotels & Resorts is slated to open next year with 900 rooms inside the Wilshire Grand tower, a development from Korean Air Lines Co. Ltd. Hotel Indigo, with 350 rooms, is slated to open in Greenland USA’s Metropolis project next year. Shenzhen Hazens Real Estate Group Co. is planning a W Hotel with 300 rooms to open in 2019. And a hotel with 1,100 rooms, slated to be operated by three brands, is planned for Lightstone Group’s Fig+Pico project.

Staff reporters Hayley Fox, Garrett Reim, and Daina Beth Solomon contributed to this column. #DTLA is compiled by Managing Editor Omar Shamout. He can be reached at

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