West Coast’s Tallest Building Open for Business

Korean Air and Hanjin Group developed Wilshire Grand Center, a $1.1 billion skyscraper, which brings offices, a luxury hotel and convention space to downtown Los Angeles.

The Wilshire Grand Center, a $1.1 billion development in downtown Los Angeles built by Korean Air and Hanjin Group, is open for business.

The Wilshire Grand Center
The Wilshire Grand Center

The 73-story, 1,100-foot tall development is the highest building in the Western United States and offers 360­­-degree views of Los Angeles. On the building’s lower floors, there are offices, convention space and commercial uses, while the top part is a hotel.

Cushman & Wakefield is leasing the office space.

“It’s a boutique office building with 17 floors and 75 percent of it is a hotel,” Steve Marcussen, Cushman & Wakefield’s executive director, told Commercial Property Executive. “What’s unique about it is that it has a large meeting facility on the fifth and sixth floors to support the tenants in the office building and support the meetings that the hotel will offer.”

High-End hotel component

InterContinental Hotels Group is operating a luxury, 900-key hotel, with glass doors in the hotel’s ballrooms, and guestrooms equipped with retractable windows, so guests can enjoy the beautiful Los Angeles weather. The hotel has a sky-lobby and observation deck on the 70th floor.

 “The InterContinental® Los Angeles Downtown hotel is a flagship property for the world’s largest luxury hotel brand,” Elie Maalouf, InterContinental Hotels Group’s CEO of The Americas, said in a prepared release. “The Wilshire Grand, home of the new hotel, is a remarkable building and an iconic landmark for the city, and we are proud to work with Korean Air and Hanjin International Corp. to open this new marquee property.”

Located on Wilshire Boulevard and Figueroa Street, the building has a signature 73-story-high LED lighting display that can light up the downtown skyline.

“Developers have been working hard to fill in all the empty spots [in downtown Los Angeles], but mostly what’s going up are residential apartments,” Marcussen said. “The fact that we have such a big hotel and a new office building is making news in the market.”

Project’s special design

The project originally began construction in February 2014 and since that time, approximately 11,500 workers spent 5,433,012 hours constructing the skyscraper that showcases Los Angeles’s first sky lobby, a sky deck, innovative outdoor spaces, exterior plazas and light features that will redefine the skyline and living experience of downtown Los Angeles for generations to come.  

“The property’s been owned by Korean Air for almost 20 years and it was a 900-key hotel, so replacing the hotel didn’t really change the supply and demand in downtown L.A., but it added 886 premium rooms, and they’re seeing tremendous interest,” Marcussen said.

The Wilshire Grand Center is an eco-friendly building, designed as an environmentally-friendly building to meet the “Green California” guidelines. An app controls all of the building’s systems, there’s an underground cooling system and the building has reflective glass so it makes it cool in the office space.

It also was constructed to withstand a magnitude 8 earthquake by using the Bucking Restrained Braces (BRB) method that is especially important in a region affected by Pacific Rim earthquakes.

Image courtesy of AC Martin