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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Korean Air Towers, Los Angeles, United States

Korean Air to build $1billion tower project in Los Angeles
Korean Air has announced plans to develop a $ 1 billion mixed use complex in downtown Los Angeles that will transform the city’s skyline and be a symbol of civic pride for the city’s Korean community, the second largest outside of Seoul. If approved, it will be the first new downtown development project in Los Angeles since the economic downturn and the first major office building to be built there in two decades.

Developed by Thomas Properties Group and designed by Los Angeles based A.C. Martin, the 1.75 million-sq ft project calls for two high rise towers: a 40-storey luxury hotel tower with up to 700 rooms topped with several floors of condominiums and a 60-story office tower connected with plazas and 18,000 sq ft of public space.

While the economy is still in turmoil, the development process in Los Angeles is archaic and thus lengthy. In making the announcement now, Thomas Properties, which has extensive experience building complex projects in the city, is positioning itself to be first in line when the rebound occurs. Jim Thomas, CEO of the development company, told the LA business journal that with its current 88 percent office occupancy level, downtown will need a Class A office building in the next three to five years. To meet that timeline we need to get started right now. Thomas said.

Korean Air and Thomas Properties said they expect financing will be available by the time construction begins in 2011.

Sharon McHugh
US Correspondent
architecture NOW

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