Korean Air has announced plans to redevelop a site in Los Angeles, creating a new luxury hotel, as well as office and residential complexes.
The airline, which also owns three hotels in Korea and one in Hawaii, bought the Wilshire Grand Hotel in 1989, and says it will replace the exisiting building with a new 2 million sq ft mixed-use development. Plans include two high-rise towers, one of which will be 40 storeys high and will include a 700-room luxury hotel.
The billion dollar development will also have open space and is designed to meet US Green Building Council LEED certification standards.
Los Angeles’ Mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa, said: “This exciting and bold new project is a major step forward in our efforts to add green, multi-use developments to the center of our city. The Wilshire Grand redevelopment effort will help revitalize downtown, and produce a new landmark that benefits Los Angeles, the community, and the local economy."
Korean Air operates 24 weekly flights to Asia from LAX, and the city has been the centre of Korean Air’s operations in North and South America since its first transpacific flight in 1972.
Yang-Ho Cho, chairman and chief executive at Korean Air said: “Korean Air has a long and deep-rooted commitment to Los Angeles. We have significant real estate holdings here and have a vested interest in Los Angeles' success.” The Korean community in LA is the largest in the world outside of Seoul.
Korean Air has also recently announced it is to unveil new business and first class seats in June (see online news March 12).
Report by Sara Turner