Korean Air's downtown Los Angeles hotel will open in 2017

By Danny King
Korean Air, which first pitched a hotel at the site of downtown Los Angeles' now-shuttered Wilshire Grand in 2009, has set a 2017 opening date and released further details about the $1 billion mixed-use project.

The development, now known as the Wilshire Grand Project, will have 900 four-star rooms as well as 400,000 square feet of offices and about 45,000 square feet of retail space. No management company or brand has been disclosed.

The 73-story, glass-sheathed building will have a 70th-floor hotel lobby and will include a spire that tops out at 1,100 feet, making the structure about 80 feet taller than the U.S. Bank Tower, Los Angeles' tallest building.

The project will be designed by L.A.-based architecture firm AC Martin Partners, whose 100-year-plus history includes Los Angeles City Hall and downtown's Security Pacific Plaza (now Bank of America Plaza).

The 1,275-room original Wilshire Grand, which opened as the Statler Hotel in 1952, closed in 2011.

Korean Air, which has owned the site since 1989, is adding rooms in a Los Angeles hotel market where demand growth has outpaced most of the country's. Last year, revenue per available room (RevPAR) for hotels in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area jumped 11% from a year earlier, compared with a 6.8% RevPAR increase for the country, according to Smith Travel Research.

The plan Korean Air pitched in April 2009, which set a completion date of 2014, called for two towers that would include a 700-room hotel, condominiums and offices.

Follow Danny King on Twitter @dktravelweekly.
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