Ki Suh Park
Managing Director, Gruen Associates
Specialty: High-end retail
Notable project: Barneys New York, Beverly Hills
Ki Suh Park has been involved in some of the largest construction projects in Los Angeles. His firm has designed 65 regional shopping malls, including South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa and Fashion Park in Santa Anita.
Gruen specializes in high-end retail design, including the Barneys New York store in Beverly Hills, as well as store interiors for Louis Vuitton and the Lladro Center, both also in Beverly Hills. Currently, Gruen is at work on federal courthouses in Santa Ana and Fresno, with a combined budget of $210 million.
Park may be best known for his involvement with the $300 million addition to the Los Angeles Convention Center, which Gruen designed in association with design architect Pei Cobb Freed.
Chris Simons, senior project manager for the convention center, said Park’s “personal commitment to making the job successful was a key factor in awarding that (design) project to that team,” said Simons.
Park, he recalls, insisted on “a special programming phase before the conceptual design began,” to fine tune the building’s many functions. “That was not something that we asked for, but it turned out to be very important,” Simons said.
Park is also known as a community leader. Born in Korea and educated at UC Berkeley, he served as chairman of the Korean-American Coalition, an organization devoted to promoting civil rights, shortly after the Los Angeles riots. He also chaired the Racial Harmony Task Force, created by Rebuild L.A. in 1994.
For him, the issue of the moment is “inter-ethnic dialogue and communication to reduce conflict,” he said. “Our future depends on how well various ethnic groups live together.”