Grand LA on Bunker Hill – Tip of the Iceberg for Downtown Destiny

Seems like only yesterday, Eli and Edythe Broad and Lillian Disney broke ground on the site that would become Walt Disney Concert Hall.

The year was 1999. Joined by Mayor Richard Riordan, all holding their shovels, acoustic hall designers Minoru Nagata and Yasuhisa caught their footing alongside Pritzker Prize-winning architect Frank Gehry. 

Breaking the earth, this well-seasoned group of philanthropists and visionaries plunged their golden shovels into downtown destiny – the destiny of Bunker Hill transforming into America’s most treasured cultural epicenter. 

It’s happening. 

With Music Center, Moca and Colburn School firmly rooted in Bunker Hill for decades, the introduction of the LA Phil and Master Chorale at the newly constructed Walt Disney Concert Hall coupled with the legacy of Eli Broad rang the city’s highest notes.

But it wasn’t over yet. As Covid forced the cancellations of many a show, construction of the Grand LA continued amid this performance Mecca.

The final piece of the Grand Design, or Grand Ave Project as it was officially named, The Grand LA would become the tip of the iceberg reaching high into our city’s skyline. 

The second building designed by Gehry, Grand LA, would exist as two massive skyscrapers. The taller structure offers mixed-use luxury and affordable housing units while the smaller structure, facing north; 305 rooms inside the 28-story luxury hotel. 

Related Companies’ (Time Warner Center and the Bronx Terminal Market City) mixed-use The Grand LA, designed by Frank Gehry, highlights incorporate luxury accommodations for visitors and permanent residents, hotel, three levels of retail, and a 16,000 sq ft rooftop pool deck joined together at ground level with year-round concerts in the plaza. 

Rick Vogel, senior vice president for a private New York real estate company and developer Related Companies, oversees the project. 

“What The Grand LA is doing is creating a 24/7 neighborhood that gives something to do for everybody…Hopefully, it will be in the top two of three destinations for visitors when they visit Los Angeles,” he said. 

There will be views…and food. 

Frank Gehry’s 30-year dream awakens with interior designers by AD100 firm Ingrao Inc. Both structures offer tremendous city views. 

Enter José Andrés

Joining the list of prestigious chefs destined to produce the lush aromas up on the Hill comes one of Spain’s most lovable culinary masterminds. 

Andrés has been named one of Time’s “100 Most Influential People” and awarded “Outstanding Chef” and “Humanitarian of the Year” by the James Beard Foundation, as well as the inaugural “American Express Icon Award” by the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. 

On the second day of this year, Andrés shocked the world with his recent announcement on Ellen that he would be responsible for the entire food program at The Grand LA’s hotel. 

Audiences cheered, matching the energy of Andrés as he wittily spoon-fed the famed talk show host his version of “hope and new beginnings for 2022”; a spherified Mohito in the form of an intoxicating bursting tongue bubble. 

Andrés proudly told America how excited he was to return to Los Angeles, sharing news of not only one but three new restaurants he would head inside The Grand LA. 

Jose Andres has long shared his savory dishes with added joy and laughter across the nation and is no stranger to hotel extravagance. At that very moment, operating restaurants in Miami, Chicago and New York; at Sahara Hotel, as many as 350 guests dined on lamb chop perfection, poolside, sipping cocktails in the electric dessert that is Las Vegas.

“I love Los Angeles! It is where we debuted The Bazaar years ago and since then, we’ve evolved with many new stories to share through food,” said Andrés. “This city welcomed me so warmly when we first opened, and I can’t wait to return to give Angelenos and the world an exciting new destination for dining in Downtown LA.”

Destiny has arrived for the visionaries of Bunker Hill, cementing downtown Los Angeles as the number one destination for life, work, and play in Southern California.

Author: Abel Weiss

Author | Father | Lego Artist | Los Angeles Born & Raised