Grand Avenue Plan Expected to Receive Approval to Proceed
By HOWARD FINE
The L.A. County Board of Supervisors is set to approve environmental documents this week or next for the initial phase of a long-discussed plan to remake downtown’s Grand Avenue.
The first phase includes the re-aligning Grand Avenue between Temple and Second Streets and the widening of stairways from Grand Avenue to the Music Center and the County Mall across the street.
If approved, construction on the $12.5 million phase could begin as early as January, with the goal of wrapping up by next Septemberfor the opening of the Disney Concert Hall.
Major work will involve shifting Grand Avenue several yards to the east to allow for a wider sidewalk in front of the Music Center and Concert Hall.
The county will also be certifying environmental documents for a makeover of the Music Center itself. Plans call for the raising of the sunken plaza in between the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, the Mark Taper Forum and the Ahmanson Theatre, as well as construction of an education center facing Grand Avenue.
This phase, expected to cost more than $100 million, has not been funded and faces opposition from the Los Angeles Conservancy, which wants to preserve the sunken plaza designed by architect Welton Beckett.
Meanwhile, little progress has been made on the major portion of the Grand Avenue Cultural Corridor project, extending through the rest of Bunker Hill down to Fifth Street. Plans call for widening street and sidewalks, more landscaping, kiosks, ground floor retail and the development of four parcels that are now parking lots into mixed-use projects.